Our Southern California location and large, active membership base enable JASNA Southwest to offer a vibrant range of speakers and programming each year for our regular region-wide meetings — from filmmakers and authors to academic experts and historians, and from sneak-preview performances to gardening, fashion and rare book specialists. Beginning in 2019, we expanded to four meetings per year, generally in February/March, May/June, September/October and December. We moved to online-only events beginning in March 2020, and will continue holding periodic free Zoom events even after we return to more regular programming. We are returning to in-person meetings in June 2022!

In addition to our regular meetings, JASNA Southwest members also occasionally have the opportunity to attend free film screenings (such as Love and Friendship, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Austenland and Belle) and participate in special events such as Santa Monica Reads, which included a book discussion with author Jo Baker (Longbourn).


For our four annual region-wide gatherings, we include a mix of locations for the convenience and interest of our far-flung membership. Venues have included:

  • Universities (Caltech, Chapman University, UCLA, University of Southern California)
  • Libraries (such as the Huntington Library in Pasadena, the Pasadena Public Library and Brand Library in Glendale)
  • Queen Mary in Long Beach
  • Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City
  • Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Riverside
  • Restaurants and hotels

 JASNA Southwest 2022-2023
In-Person Meetings & Zoom Presentations
For details and registration information,
sign up for our e-newsletter and/or visit

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

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


Saturday, September 10, 2022
9:00 AM – 12:45 PM
Location to be Announced

Presented by Superior Court Judge Stephanie Thornton-Harris

Presented by Writer and Film Producer Alex Siskin



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.




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

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.


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

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

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

February 11, 2023

Regency Noir: Romance, Race and the Rise of ‘The Woman of Colour’.

In-Person Event 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

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

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