Promotional video for the JASNA Southwest-hosted 2017 AGM in Huntington Beach
Annual General Meeting
Each fall, the Jane Austen Society of North America holds a conference, the Annual General Meeting (AGM), hosted by one of its regions and featuring an engaging array of plenary speakers and breakout sessions — as well as the chance to meet other Jane Austen fans from throughout the continent and around the world. Learn more about upcoming AGMs on the JASNA website.
JASNA Southwest was proud to host the 2017 AGM — Jane Austen in Paradise: Intimations of Immortality — and celebrate Austen’s extraordinary and enduring legacy at the 200th anniversary of her passing. The conference was held in Huntington Beach and drew more than 700 attendees.
2024 Annual General Meeting
The Ohio North Coast Region is thrilled to invite JASNA members to an unforgettable conference on the shores of Lake Erie. We’ll gather to explore Jane Austen’s origin story: where she came from, the world of ideas in which her genius was steeped, and the revolutionary world that inspired her to lead her own revolution through her chosen art form—the novel.
In her novels, Austen engages with the changing ideas and current events of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Her precision is evident in her surviving manuscripts, but some of her meaning may be lost to us today. Although the in-jokes and references to current events and public figures would have been obvious to those of her contemporaries who were not “dull elves,” modern readers rely on annotations and the work of cultural historians to plumb the depth of Austen’s genius.
OCT 10 – 12 | BALTIMORE, MD
2025 will be a milestone year: we will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Jane Austen’s birth, and the Maryland Region will welcome members to Baltimore for the Region’s first AGM since 1980. Drawing our theme from Austen’s own words in a letter to her sister Cassandra, we will focus on the essence of Austen—the milestones of her life, her letters and writing development, and her innovation, wit, realism, and irony. This diverse and unique celebration will offer opportunities to explore Austen’s Genius juxtaposed with the rich history of Maryland and “Charm City.”
Stunning waterfront views await at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront, which is dedicating its entire hotel conference space to the AGM. Your experience will be enhanced by sites such as Ft. McHenry, the Inner Harbor, Edgar Allen Poe’s grave, American Visionary Museum, Goucher College’s Austen collection, B&O Railroad Museum, and quirky neighborhoods like Hampden and Fells Point. Attendees will agree that “a very strange [Janeite] it must be, who does not see charms in the immediate environs of [Baltimore], to make him wish to know it better.”
2018 AGM Highlights
The promenade and Regency Ball from the 2018 JASNA Annual General Meeting in Kansas City
2017 Plenary Speakers and Special Presentations
Gillian Dow, executive director of Chawton House Library and associate professor at the University of Southampton, opened the conference with the Carol Medine Moss Keynote Lecture on “The Immortal Jane Austen and Her Best-Loved Heroine: 1817 to 2017.”
Devoney Looser, professor at Arizona State University, gave a rousing talk, “After Jane Austen,” that detailed how Austen came to be included in Westminster Abbey’s Poet’s Corner, the mystery of the missing Steventon pump and other fascinating tales.
Richard Knight, great, great, great grandson of Austen’s brother Edward, gave the closing address, “The Austens’ Knight in Shining Armour,” which focused on Chawton and its history with the Knight family since the 1580s.
Peter Graham conversed with filmmaker Whit Stillman about how Stillman evolved from his initial dislike of Austen into a devotee whose breakout film Metropolitan referenced Mansfield Park and who more recently wrote and directed Love & Friendship, based on Austen’s Lady Susan.
AGM-Related Blog Posts
On Thursday, October 5, our pre-conference activities will include a special trip to the magnificent Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena. The day’s options include: Huntington President Laura Skandera Trombley, an expert on Mark Twain,...
As part of the AGM post-conference offerings, JASNA-Southwest will be offering a memorable day in San Diego and San Juan Capistrano on Monday, October 9. Ships, sailing and the nautical life wove a rich tapestry through Austen’s life and her novels. We thought it...