Robert Rodi

Sheryl Craig

Robert Rodi

Rep. Mark Takano

Robert Rodi

The Mission Inn’s beautiful setting

November 2021

Ms. Austen Goes to Washington:

Jane Austen and Politics

November 13, 2021

Mission Inn Hotel and Spa, Riverside

Spanish Art Gallery


Sheryl Craig, PhD
Congressman Mark Takano (D-Riverside)


JASNA Southwest is planning a very special all-day meeting at the historic and beautiful Mission Inn Hotel and Spa in Riverside (a living museum and destination unto itself!) with the theme “Miss Austen Goes to Washington: Jane Austen and Politics.” Our speakers will be Congressman Mark Takano (D-Riverside) (who launched a Jane Austen reading group in Congress) and Austen scholar Sheryl Craig (author of Jane Austen and the State of the Nation).

Hour-long tours of the historic Mission Inn will be available for those interested following the meeting (you will need to pre-book a spot along with your registration). The Mission Inn is home to priceless treasures and artifacts. The hotel features two on-site chapels, a collection of hundreds of bells and countless priceless paintings, including Henry Chapman Ford’s oil paintings of the 21 California missions.

A block of rooms is available at a reduced rate for those wishing to spend more time here, or who are traveling further distances.
To book your room at the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa, call the hotel’s reservations department at 800-843-7755 or 951-784-0300, extension 850. Our discounted rates cannot be booked online. You must reference the Jane Austen Society, Southwest Region, Guest Room Block, to receive the group rates, which are available for both Friday and Saturday nights.
Additional nearby hotel options will be shared on the website and in the registration materials as the event draws nearer.


Sheryl Craig recently retired from the English Department at the University of Central Missouri, where she was on faculty for more than 20 years. She has published dozens of articles on Jane Austen and has lectured on Austen at regional, national and international meetings and conferences. Her writing is frequently published in Persuasions and Jane Austen Regency World Magazine. She recently concluded 10 years of service as editor of JASNA News.

Her book Jane Austen and the State of the Nation explores Jane Austen’s references to politics and to political economics and concludes that Austen was a liberal Tory who remained consistent in her political agenda throughout her career as a novelist. She is currently writing a new book, Jane Austen and the Plight of Women.

Craig earned her PhD in 19th century British literature from the University of Kansas.

For more than 20 years, Mark Takano has worked to improve the lives of Riverside County residents, both as an elected official and as a teacher at Rialto High School.
Born and raised in Riverside, Takano’s commitment to public service began at an early age. His family roots in Riverside go back to his grandparents who, along with his parents, were removed from their respective homes and sent to Japanese American Internment camps during World War II. After the war, these two families settled in Riverside County to rebuild their lives.
Takano was valedictorian of his La Sierra High School class, then matriculated to Harvard, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in government. During his senior year, he organized a transcontinental bicycle ride to benefit the international development agency Oxfam America.
Upon graduation, Takano returned home to Riverside and began teaching in the Rialto Unified School District in 1988. In 1990, he was elected to the Riverside Community College District’s Board of Trustees, where he worked with Republicans and Democrats to improve higher education for young people and job training opportunities for adults seeking to learn a new skill or start a new career. He was elected board president in 1991.
In 2012, Takano became the first openly gay person of color to be elected to the United States House of Representatives. He chairs the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and is a member of the Education and Workforce Committee.
He established the Jane Austen Reading Group in Congress.