Welcome

Whether you have just discovered Jane Austen or are a lifelong aficionado, you are welcome at the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) and our local region of the society, JASNA Southwest.

Our region is the largest and one of the oldest in the national society. We host four regional meetings annually that feature a wide range of speakers and presentations, offer numerous local reading and game groups, sponsor a Young Filmmakers Contest and maintain a comprehensive guide to Austen Adaptations.

Learn more about the benefits of joining JASNA and JASNA Southwest on our membership page.

We hope you enjoy exploring our site and we hope to see you soon!

Left: Lyme Park stood in for Pemberley in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries.

Upcoming Free Zoom Events

We are pausing our in-person events until it is safe for large groups to meet again in person. In the meantime, join our monthly free Zoom presentations by notable scholars, authors and others with an interest in all things Austen-related! 

Sign up for our mailing list for more information. Or visit our YouTube channel to view past presentations.

Saturday, March 27
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time

 
Sansei and Sensibility
 
Featured speaker:
Karen Tei Yamashita
 
Join us on Saturday, March 27, from 11-12:30 p.m. Pacific time, for a talk by author Karen Tei Yamashita on her 2020 book, Sansei and Sensibility. Yamashita is the author of seven books, including National Book Award finalist I Hotel, Tropic of Orange, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest and Letters to Memory. Recipient of numerous awards, including the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, she is professor emerita of creative writing and literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Sansei and Sensibility is described by Kirkus as “An elegantly written, wryly affectionate mashup of Jane Austen and the Japanese immigrant experience. … Yamashita’s reimagining of Austen is sympathetic and funny—as on target as the movie Clueless.”
 
Publisher’s description:
In these buoyant and inventive stories, Karen Tei Yamashita transfers classic tales across boundaries and questions what an inheritance―familial, cultural, emotional, artistic―really means. In a California of the ’60s and ’70s, characters examine the contents of deceased relatives’ freezers, tape-record high school locker-room chatter, or collect a community’s gossip while cleaning the teeth of its inhabitants. Mr. Darcy is the captain of the football team, Mansfield Park materializes in a suburb of L.A., bake sales replace ballroom dances and station wagons, not horse-drawn carriages, are the preferred mode of transit. The stories of traversing class, race and gender leap into our modern world with with and humor.

Saturday, April 24
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time

Registration coming soon!
 
Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era
 
Featured speaker:
Kimberly Alexander
 
Kimberly Alexander, PhD, teaches museum studies, material culture, American history and New Hampshire history in the History Department of the University of New Hampshire. She has held curatorial positions at several New England museums, including the MIT Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum and Strawbery Banke Museum.

Her book Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018) traces the history of early Anglo-American footwear from the 1740s through the 1790s. Alexander was Andrew Oliver Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) (2016-2017) and guest curator of “Fashioning the New England Family” (October 2018- April 2019) at MHS. Her companion book, Fashioning the New England Family, was published in 2019.

Saturday, May 15
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time

Registration information coming soon!

Austen Family Theatricals

A staged reading will follow the presentation.

Featured speaker:
Melinda Finberg, a dramaturg and theatre history scholar at the USC School of Dramatic Arts

Finberg is an associate professor of theatre practice in critical studies at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. She is a nationally known dramaturg and scholar of theatre history.

Her volume Eighteenth-Century Women Dramatists (Oxford University Press, 2001) is now in its third printing and is taught in colleges and universities across the U.S., Canada and Europe. This anthology opened college classrooms to historical women playwrights by giving teachers and students access to authoritative, annotated editions of plays that had previously been available only in rare books libraries. In addition, she has been instrumental in bringing the plays of these women to professional and university stages, receiving the 2006 Elliot Hayes Award for Achievement in Dramaturgy from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas for her work on the 2005 Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s critically acclaimed revival of Hannah Cowley’s The Belle’s Stratagem.

Finberg’s scholarly work is widely published and cited in journals, collections of essays and reference books. Her goal is no less than rewriting theatre history by restoring these forgotten geniuses and by establishing their place in our classrooms and on our stages. Without reexamining how minority playwrights have been written out of our history in the past, we will not be able to prevent them from being erased in the future. She also loves to teach production dramaturgy, Shakespeare, Restoration comedy, gender issues in theatre and staging the American experience(s).

Saturday, June 19, 2021
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time

Registration information to be posted by April.

Topic: Costuming Regency-era Films (event title forthcoming)

Featured speaker:
Deborah Nadoolman Landis, founding director and chair of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA

Landis’ distinguished career includes Coming to America (1988), for which she was Academy Award-nominated; An American Werewolf in London (1981); Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); the classic Animal House (1978); and the costumes for the groundbreaking music video Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983). From 2001-2007, she served as two-term president of the Costume Designers Guild, Local 892. She is the author of six books, including Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design (2007) and the catalogue for her landmark exhibition, Hollywood Costume, which she curated at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Upcoming In-Person Events

We are pausing our in-person events until it is safe for large groups to meet again in person. We have moved our events that had to be postponed in 2020 to new dates in 2022. Sign up for our mailing list for more information.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Mission Inn, Riverside
(a block of rooms will be reserved for those wishing to spend Friday and/or Saturday evening)

Miss Austen Goes to Washington

Our event will explore Regency-era politics as well as Austen’s influence today.

Featured speakers:
Congressman Mark Takano (D-Riverside), former English teacher who launched a Jane Austen reading group on Capitol Hill
Austen scholar Sheryl Craig, author of Jane Austen and the State of the Nation

Saturday, December 3, 2022

The Grand, Long Beach

We originally planned for our event on Regency fashion and footwear to be held at The Grand, followed by dance lessons and an English country dance. We have shifted our two stellar speakers for that event to a virtual meeting to be held on Saturday, June 19, 2021. See more information above.

Please save the date for our new event at The Grand in December 22. Details on the topic and speakers will be announced at a later date.

Reading, Film and Game Groups

For the upcoming schedule for each of our reading, film and game groups, visit the groups page.

Prof. Jason Solinger Event Video Now Online

Prof. Jason Solinger Event Video Now Online

If you missed our "Anti-Historical Austen" event with Prof. Jason Solinger on Jan. 16—or want to revisit the talk or share it with a friend—the video is now available on the JASNA Southwest YouTube channel. JASNA members and friends from all over North America, as...

read more
Young Filmmakers Winners Announced!

Young Filmmakers Winners Announced!

JASNA Southwest has announced the winners of our fourth annual Young Filmmakers Contest in two age categories: Under 20 and Over 20. Selected from an unprecedented volume of entries, each of the winning entries explored the characters, books, mores and life of Jane...

read more
Jane Boltz Regency Fashion Talk Now Online

Jane Boltz Regency Fashion Talk Now Online

JASNA Southwest board member Jane Boltz' presentation "Exploring Regency-Era Fashions for Women and Men by a Prejudiced and Amateur Seamstress" is now live on our YouTube channel, where you also catch up on past virtual events. In the illustrated talk, she models many...

read more
Karen Joy Fowler Video Live

Karen Joy Fowler Video Live

The video from the September 26 JASNA Southwest meeting featuring author Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club and numerous other titles) is now live on the JASNA SW YouTube page. Her enlightening talk covered Emma and Austen's Hidden Gothics—the untold, highly...

read more

Immerse yourself in an Austen novel, participate in a reading or game group or catch up on the latest JASNA Southwest news.

Explore the benefits of becoming a JASNA and JASNA Southwest member, or join or renew your membership now!

Discover our wide range of events or scroll through our archive for recaps, video and audio from past meetings.

Join other Jane Austen fans from around Southern California by attending one of our regional meetings.

Greet visitors at our Festival of Books booth, organize a new reading group or assist with events and more as a valued volunteer.

Support JASNA’s Southwest region with a tax-deductible donation in any amount. Your gift truly makes a meaningful difference in all we do!

Discover a treasure trove of resources, including our comprehensive guide to film adaptations as well as books Austen herself admired.

Email jasnasw or visit our contact page to direct your query on a specific topic or to a board member. We look forward to hearing from you.

Join Our Mailing List

Sign up today to receive our monthly e-newsletter, event invitations and occasional news, such as free Austen-related film screenings. We never (ever) share your information with anyone. Period.

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” —Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.” —Jane Austen, Jane Austen’s Letters

“For my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.” —Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

“It is not what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” —Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

“It is such a happiness when good people get together, and they always do.” —Jane Austen, Emma

“I am not a great reader, and I have pleasure in many things.” —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“My idea of good company … is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation.” “That is not good company, that is the best.” —Jane Austen, Persuasion

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” —Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“We all have our best guides within us, if only we would listen.” —Jane Austen, Mansfield Park