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: Glamified version of the iconic portrait of Austen by her sister, Cassandra, circa 1810

Austen’s original writing desk, which was returned to the Jane Austen’s House in Chawton in 1957

Chawton Cottage, England 

SAVE THE DATE FOR OUR NEXT IN-PERSON MEETING

Join us at the Japanese American National Museum in Downtown Los Angeles
for our Fall 2022 In-Person Regional Meeting

JANE AUSTEN AND DIVORCE
and
HOLLYWOOD’S ENGAGEMENT WITH JANE AUSTEN

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2022
9:00 AM – 12:45 PM

JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM
In Downtown Los Angeles
100 N. Central Avenue
Los Angeles 90012

All events are open to JASNA-SW members as well as non-members. 

“FAMILY LAW AND MANSFIELD PARK”
Presented by Superior Court Judge Stephanie Thornton-Harris

“JANE AUSTEN AND THE MOVIES TODAY”
Presented by Writer and Film Producer Alex Siskin

 

 

“FAMILY LAW AND MANSFIELD PARK”

Join Stephanie Thornton-Harris, a judge in the Superior Court of California handling family law
matters in the County of San Bernardino as she discusses family law issues raised by Jane Austen in her novel Mansfield Park.

Stephanie Thornton-Harris earned her BA at Princeton University, where she wrote her undergraduate

thesis with British literary scholar, Margaret Doody, and earned her JD from Northwestern
University School of Law. She has served as an administrative judge, judge pro tem, and bench
officer; in addition she served as a deputy federal public defender in the Federal Public Defender’s
Office before being appointed in 2018 to the Superior Court. She has spoken this year on this topic
at the University of Notre Dame literary conference in May 2022.

 

 

“JANE AUSTEN AND THE MOVIES TODAY”

Join writer and film producer Alex Siskin (The Equalizer, Troop Zero, Old Henry) as he discusses
thirty years of Jane Austen adaptations, biopics, and Regency era films, reviews projects in
development and the latest releases (including Netflix’ July Persuasion), and sheds light on
current issues in film production as it relates to Jane Austen and her world. Siskin began working
on an ambitious Jane Austen film project last August, and he will give an insider’s view of film
development and production, along with his own experience attending the Chicago AGM, the 2022
American Society for 18th Century Studies Conference, and the Jane Austen Summer Program—going full
Janeite.

Siskin was a long-time producer at Sony Pictures, where he was a partner with Sid Ganis at Out of
the Blue Entertainment, producing the Adam Sandler films Big Daddy and Mr. Deeds. He began his
film business career at Amblin Entertainment, after he was a PhD candidate in English Literature at
UC Berkeley.

 

Continental Breakfast will be served at 9:00 AM. Attendees will have the opportunity following
our meeting to purchase reduced admission to the Japanese American National Museum ($5
instead of $16) and to enjoy lunch and explore on their own in the surrounding Little Tokyo area
using a curated list of restaurants and shops, including afternoon tea service by Chado Tea
Room at the Museum.
We require all attendees to provide proof of full vaccination along with proof of booster shot
upon arrival. We will not accept proof of a negative COVID test in lieu of vaccination. Masks
are strongly encouraged and will be available upon request.

LA Times Festival of Books 2022 — Saturday, April 23 & Sunday, April 24, 2022

We were back at the Festival of Books this year! The Jane Austen Society of North America was in Booth #917. Thank you to all of our volunteers who set up and manned the booth for the weekend. Welcome to all new Austen fans who found our group! We hope to see you at one of our events or at a reading group near you.

 

 *~* Upcoming Free Zoom Events *~*

All of our online Zoom events are open to JASNA members as well as non-members. Invite your friends!

(See our in-person events in next section)

   July 16, 2022

   Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontes

   Zoom Presentation by Austen scholar Devoney Looser, author of The Making of Jane Austen

   11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Pacific

 

 

 

 Our special guest will be Devoney Looser, Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University, will give us a preview of her new book on the Porter sisters, which will be released on October 25.

From the publisher (Bloomsbury USA):

Jane and Anna Maria Porter -exact contemporaries of Jane Austen- were brilliant, attractive, self-made single women of polite reputation who between them published 26 books and achieved global fame. They socialized among the rich and famous, tried to hide their family’s considerable debt, and fell dramatically in and out of love. Their moving letters to each other confess every detail. Because the celebrity sisters expected their renown to live on, they preserved their papers, and the secrets they contained, for any biographers to come.

But history hasn’t been kind to the Porters. Their literary reputation gradually fell away, their letters languished, and no biographer materialized for a century and a half. Now, Professor Devoney Looser, a Guggenheim fellow in English Literature, sets out to re-introduce the world to the authors who cleared the way for Austen, Mary Shelley, and the Brontë sisters.

Capturing the Porter sisters’ incredible rise, from when Anna Maria published her first book at age 14 in 1793, through to Jane’s fall from the pinnacle of fame in the Victorian era, and then to the auctioning off for a pittance of the family’s massive archive, Sister Novelists is a groundbreaking and enthralling biography of two pioneering geniuses in historical fiction.

 

 

Devoney Looser, Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University, will give us a preview of her new book on the Porter sisters, which will be released on October 25. Devoney has authored or edited nine books on literature by women. Her book The Making of Jane Austen was named a Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book (nonfiction). Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Salon and Slate. She’s also played roller derby as Stone Cold Jane Austen and served as plenary speaker at multiple JASNA Annual General Meetings. Devoney earned her PhD in English, with certification in women’s studies, from SUNY Stony Brook, N.Y., and graduated summa cum laude from Augsburg College in Minneapolis with an English Honors BA.

 

 REGISTER NOW FOR THIS ZOOM PRESENTATION

 

 August 20, 2022
Kamila Knows Best, a Bollywood-style retelling of Emma set in Toronto’s South Asian Community
Zoom Presentation by author Farah Heron
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Pacific

 

November 12, 2022
History and Restoration of the Lost Art of Dhaka Muslin
Zoom Presentation by Mr. Saiful Islam, who leads a project to resurrect the precious fabric imported from
what was then Bengal (and now Bangladesh) and popularized in the late 18th century
11:00 AM-12:30 PM Pacific

 

January 28, 2023

College Students Take On Jane Austen
Zoom Presentation by students of Dr. Jason Solinger, 18th Century scholar, University of Mississippi
11:00 AM-12:30 PM Pacific

 

March 4, 2023
Coverture and Marriage Law in Early America
Zoom Presentation by Dr. Catherine Allgor, President, Massachusetts Historical Society
11:00 AM-12:30 PM Pacific

2022 In-person Meetings, continued

September 10, 2022
Family Law and Mansfield Park presented by Superior Court Judge Stephanie Thornton-Harris
Jane Austen and The Movies Today, an insider’s view of Hollywood and an ambitious Jane Austen film
project presented by Film Producer and JASNA Southwest Member Alex Siskin
In-Person Half-Day Event: Location TBD

 

December 3, 2022

Jane Austen and the Musical Arts
In-Person Full-Day Event concluding with a dance lesson: The Grand Event Center, Long Beach
Musical Performance by Flutist Ann Erwin and Pianist Edie Orloff; History of Dance in Jane Austen’s Time
presented by Cara King; English Country Dancing led by Cara King

 

February 11, 2023
Regency Noir: Romance, Race and the Rise of ‘The Woman of Colour’. Regency Noir is examined
within the recent outgrowth of scholarship on the anonymous novel ‘The Woman of Colour’ (1808) and
considers how scholars may learn from reimagined narratives foregrounding Black characters.
Presented by Dr. Leigh-Michil George, Lecturer, UCLA English Department
In-Person Half-Day Event: Location TBD

 

May 6, 2023

Miss Austen Goes to Washington
In-Person Full-Day Event concluding with optional tour: Mission Inn Hotel and Spa, Riverside
Featured speakers: Congressman Mark Takano (D-Riverside) who launched a Jane Austen reading group
on Capitol Hill; Austen scholar Sheryl Craig, author of Jane Austen and the State of the Nation; and
acclaimed author and Riverside native, Susan Straight

Reading, Film and Game Groups

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

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