Robert Rodi
Robert Rodi

John Kessel will discuss his book Pride and Prometheus, a mashup of Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein.

Robert Rodi

Anne Mellor

Robert Rodi
Robert Rodi

Victoria Shorr will share insights on her book about Jane Austen, Mary Shelley and Joan of Arc.

September 2019

Jane Austen Meets Mary Shelley

September 14, 2019

Chapman University


John Kessel
Anne Mellor
Victoria Shorr


John Kessel is the author of the novels Pride and Prometheus, The Moon and the Other, Good News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice and, in collaboration with James Patrick Kelly, Freedom Beach. His short story collections are Meeting in Infinity (a New York Times Notable Book), The Pure Product and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories.

Kessel’s stories have twice received the Nebula Award given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, in addition to the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, the Locus Poll, the James Tiptree Jr. Award. His play Faustfeathers won the Paul Green Playwright’s Prize, and his story “A Clean Escape” was adapted as an episode of the ABC TV series Masters of Science Fiction. In 2009 his story “Pride and Prometheus” received both the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award.

With Jim Kelly, he has edited five anthologies of stories re-visioning contemporary short sf, most recently Digital Rapture: The Singuarity Anthology.

Kessel holds a BA in Physics and English and a PhD in American Literature. He helped found and served as the first director of the MFA program in creative writing at North Carolina State University, where he has taught since 1982. He lives and works in Raleigh, N.C., with his wife, author Therese Anne Fowler. 

Anne K. Mellor is a Distinguished Professor of English and Women’s Studies at UCLA and the author of books on Mary Shelley, Romantic women writers (including Jane Austen), William Blake and many other British Romantic poets. Her book Mothers of the Nation – Women’s Political Writing in England, 1780-1830 (2000) argues that women writers were instrumental in shaping public opinion during the Romantic era. She is the author of Blake’s Human Form Divine (1974), English Romantic Irony (1980), Mary Shelley: Her Fiction, Her Life, Her Monsters (1988) and Romanticism and Gender (1993). She edited the first collection of feminist essays on Romantic writing, Romanticism and Feminism (1988), and is the co-editor of an anthology of canon-transforming Romantic writing, British Literature 1780-1830, as well as of The Other Mary Shelley (1993) and Passionate Encounters in a Time of Sensibility (2000).

In 1999 she received the Keats-Shelley Association Distinguished Scholar Award; she has been the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships, three National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar for College Teachers Directorships, and American Council of Learned Societies, NEH, Rockefeller and Australian National University Fellowships in the Humanities. She received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002 and was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the English Association in 2004.

She earned her BA summa cum laude from Brown University and her MA and PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Victoria Shorr‘s first novel, Backlands, was named one of Booklist’s top-10 first novels of 2015. She co-founded the Archer School for Girls, and the Pine Ridge Girls’ School in South Dakota, the first independent, culturally based, college-prep school for girls on a Native reservation in America. Her most recent book, Midnight: Three Women at the Hour of Reckoning, was published in March 2019 and focuses on three women as they face their greatest challenge — a homeless Jane Austen, Joan of Arc at the stake and Mary Shelley in Italy as she contemplates a potential future without her husband. Shorr lives in New York and California. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College.