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.
2022 AGM in Victoria, BC
AGM in Victoria
Numerous JASNA Southwest members attended the 2022 JASNA Annual General
Meeting in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Sept. 30–Oct. 2. More than 600 JASNA
members attended the conference in person with another 200 participants joining
Plenary speakers for this year’s AGM were:
British scholar Emma Clery, whose presentation was “‘Our Garden Is Putting in
Order’: The Place of William Cowper in Jane Austen’s Thought-World.” Clery is
professor of English literature at Uppsala University in Sweden and has authored
several books, including Jane Austen: The Banker’s Sister.
Robert Morrison, Queen’s National Scholar at Queen’s University in Ontario and
British Academy Global Professor at Bath Spa University in the U.K., whose talk
was “‘Deeper in a Life of Sin’”: The Regency Romance of Sense and Sensibility.”
Morrison is the author of The Regency Years: During which Jane Austen Writes,
Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern.
Longtime president of the Jane Austen Society of Australia Susannah Fullerton
rounded out the plenary sessions by discussing “The Many Duels of Sense and
Sensibility” at the Sunday morning brunch.
These scholarly talks were thought-provoking and informative, sparking spirited
conversation among attendees.
Breakout sessions were numerous and varied, including presentations by Southwest’s
own Lynda Hall, who gave a talk on “Marianne Dashwood’s ‘Animating Gales’ and
‘Dead Leaves,’” and Diana Birchall and Syrie James, who wrote and performed a
comedic sketch titled “What Did Lucy Steele?”
Special sessions also covered a broad range of topics, from the evolution of fashion
during Austen’s lifetime to a virtual interview with author Uzma Jalaluddin (Ayesha at
Last) and from a presentation on female fossilists of the Regency to an interactive talk
on “Wine and Sensibility or, What Would Jane Austen Have Drunk?” by Alisa Shorago,
regional coordinator of the San Diego Region.
New officers and board members were elected at the annual business meeting. Mary
Mintz was elected president. Former Southwest RC Susie Wampler was named first
vice president (Regions). Other officers and board members elected were: Celia
Easton, second vice president (Publications); Debra Roush, third vice president
(Conferences); Virginia Mellema MaGee, secretary; Vicki Peterson, treasurer; Marcia
Merrill, assistant treasurer; and Southwest member Carol Medine Moss, membership
secretary. Directly elected board members with terms expiring in 2025 were Carlotta
Marie Boone (District of Columbia), Gabriela Montero (Jane Austen Society Mexico),
and Paul Savidge (Eastern Pennsylvania).
Outgoing President Liz Philosophos Cooper announced that two JASNA Tours of
England will explore Austen’s England in 2023: For the first time, one group will travel in spring,
April 14–25, with the second following from June 30–July 11. Both tours will start in Windsor.
Registration for the spring tour will open in November.
Treasurer Vicki Peterson noted that the cost incurred by JASNA to support each
member is $50.36, more than the cost of dues. Generous donors help fill the gap.
Denver/Boulder Region: October 27-29, 2023, “Pride and Prejudice: A Rocky Romance”
North Ohio Region (Cleveland): October 18-20, 2024, “Austen, Annotated: Jane
Austen’s Literary, Political, and Cultural Origins”
Maryland Region (Baltimore): October 10-12, 2025, 250th anniversary of Austen’s birth
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...