Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest (JASNA-SW)

JASNA-SW Events & More

Coming Up
The world premier of a new musical based on our beloved Pride and Prejudice, with book, music and lyrics by Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs. As Jane Austen is revising First Impressions, written in her youth, her characters help her reimagine both her story and her own life. JASNA Southwest members save 15% on tickets with this code: LMT15-JASNA-SW. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.
The world premier of The Eliots, a new play by A. J. Darby. For the first time, we can experience the courtship and engagement of Anne and Frederick as Anne's memories come to life on the stage, while she and Captain Wentworth get a second chance at love. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.
As part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, enjoy this modern day retelling of Northanger Abbey set in Hollywood. Full of whimsy, dreams, and imagination, good-hearted Catherine has just moved to L.A. from the Midwest where she is plunged into the life of acting in the city. Tickets go on sale on May 1. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.
Living in Jane Austen's World is the theme for the 2015 JASNA Annual General Meeting. Hotel reservations are now available and are expected to fill up early. You can find out more information and links to hotel reservations at the 2015 AGM webpage.
The 2017 AGM Jane Austen in Paradise will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach. We will need a lot of volunteers over the next three years to assist with AGM planning and hosting. Stay tuned for numerous volunteer opportunities!
Events Gone By
JASNA Southwest will again have a booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books to be held April 18-19, 2015 at USC. Stop by our booth to see some of the latest books, meet and greet with authors, and get your books signed. Consider volunteering to talk to visitors about your favorite writer - Jane Austen-- assist in the decorating the booth, help with sales, or assist with one of the other ways to spread Jane to the masses. To volunteer, email Emily Bergman. Indicate times you are available: Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon.
On April 11, join us at the Los Angeles Athletic Club as we consider Adaptation: Bringing Jane Austen's Novels to the Screen and Stage. JASNA Southwest is pleased to present a new 3-Act Show. In Act 1, Jane Austen Sings!, we see scenes from Pride and Prejudice, A Musical. In Act 2, a "surprise guest" discusses film and TV adaptation. In Act 3, we see scenes from The Elliots, A Play Based on Jane Austen's Persuasion and clips from other adaptations of the novel. Click on the title above for more information and to register.
This year's Santa Monica Reads focuses on Jo Baker's Longbourn, the below stairs story of the servants working in the Bennet household. The Santa Monica Public Library has scheduled a rich set of events for the month, including an afternoon with the author, Jo Baker, and several panels with JASNA Southwest members such as Janet Fahey, Judee Pronovost, Syrie James and Diana Birchall.
Box Tale Soup, a two-person British theater company, presents their award-winning adaptation of Northanger Abbey with two performers, seven puppets, and a handmade props and costumes, on the Broad Stage at Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center. Single tickets go on sale August 16, click here for more info.
On Saturday, Dec 6, we again celebrated the birthday of our favorite author at the elegant Town and Gown on the USC Campus, elected new Board members, and explored the theme of the theater in Mansfield Park. Dr. Susan Allen Ford considered to what degree Austen intended us to subscribe to Fanny and Edmund's condemnation of the mounting of Kotzebue's Lovers' Vows. Jennifer Howard explored eloquence, artfulness and actors in Mansfield Park in her award-winning essay. Diana Birchall, Syrie James, and a large cast of merry players, amused and delighted us with their wickedly witty look at the back stage antics at Mansfield Park.
On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s fourth novel, Mansfield Park, the Montréal Region hosted the 2014 AGM to explore this most challenging—and rewarding— of Jane Austen’s novels. The theme—Contexts, Conventions and Controversies—brought forth a broad range of presentations. Some highlights included the plenary speakers - Robert Miles speaking on “Mansfield Park and the News,” Lynn Festa speaking on “The Noise in Mansfield Park,” and Patrick Stokes speaking on “‘Rears and Vices’: The Georgian Royal Navy” -- and our own Diana Birchall and Syrie James in a staged reading of their newly commissioned play "A Dangerous Intimacy": Behind the Scenes at Mansfield Park..
On Saturday, Sept 20, we met at the Glendale Public Library for the JASNA Southwest Fall Meeting on Jane Austen, Re-imagined. The program included Syrie James detailing research for her latest book Jane Austen’s First Love and presentations by Pemberley Digital creator Jay Bushman and writer Kate Rorick, from the creative team who have brought us the Web series Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved.
135 people attended our Spring Meeting, In the Garden with Fanny Price, held at the UCLA Faculty Center on Saturday, May 31. On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mansfield Park, Kim Wilson introduced us to gardens in Jane Austen's time, Anne Mellor discussed slavery in Mansfield Park, Philip Rundel briefed us on Southern California botanical gardens, especially the UCLA Botanical Garden that attendees toured, Chapman University students gave papers on silence in Mansfield Park, Terry Ryan shared Dr. John Halperin's musings on Mansfield Park as autobiography, and Diana Birchall gave us her thoughts on symbols in Mansfield Park and an in-depth examination of Mrs. Norris.
On Saturday, Dec 7, at USC we considered the P & P characters we love to hate: Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, George Wickham, Lydia Bennett, the Bingley sisters, and even Charlotte Lucas (do we hate her, pity her, or admire her practical scheming?).
More than 20 JASNA Southwest members attended the 35th JASNA Annual General Meeting from September 27-29 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minneapolis was a delightful, welcoming city. The theme of the AGM was "Pride and Prejudice, Timeless." The plenary speakers were Joan Ray, Janine Barchas and John Mullan. They, along with a plentitude of breakout speakers, including our own Lynda Hall, filled us with brilliant ideas and sparkling thoughts. The AGM was a great success! In other exciting news, JASNA Southwest's own Claire Bellanti was elected Vice President/President-Elect (congratulations, Claire!) and the Board accepted our proposal to host the 2017 AGM. Click on the title above for pictures.
JASNA Southwest presented Dr. Michael Suk-Young Chwe, UCLA associate professor of political science and author of the recently released Jane Austen, Game Theorist, at our latest half-day Fall program. Dr. Chwe talked to us about Jane Austen's remarkable insights into strategic thinking, with examples taken from her novels, at the Pasadena Public Library, September 7, from 9:30 - 11:30am. Click on the title above for more information and photos.
During the UCLA Summer Session, English 91C: Introduction to Fiction: the Novels of Jane Austen was offered as an online course, taught by Professor Anne Mellor. The class ran from August 5-September 13 and was taught entirely online. You may view the full course syllabus, which contains some descriptive information or find more information, a short biography for Professor Mellor, and a video demo clip here.
The UCLA Library invites you to Pride, Prejudice, and Strategic Thinking: A Conversation between Michael Chwe and Anne Mellor, 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in the Charles E. Young Research Library Main Conference Room. Michael Suk-Young Chwe, UCLA associate professor of political science and author of the recently released Jane Austen, Game Theorist and Anne K. Mellor, UCLA Distinguished Professor of English and an expert in British literature and cultural history, will engage in a wide-ranging discussion about strategic thinking, nineteenth-century British society, and human behavior. Admission is free but space is limited. RSVP by May 24 to 310-825-6925 or rsvp@library.ucla.edu. Click on the title above for directions and parking information.
Susannah Fullerton, Author and President of JASNA Australia, presented a lecture for the Royal Oak Foundation at 6:00 pm on May 20 at the UCLA Faculty Center. Her talk, Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, explored the style in which the novel was written - the irony, the use of "free indirect speech," and how Austen structures the novel. Fullerton's presentation also included an examination of how the novel has been interpreted through film and inspired prequels, sequels, and other adaptations.
For the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, we enjoyed a fabulous program in partnership with Chapman University. For Chapman, Andrew Davies hosted a two-night viewing of his iconic P & P mini-series that introduced all of us to Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy on Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th to which we were all invited. Mr. Davies then spoke to us about the series at our Spring Meeting on April 27th along with presentations from Rand Boyd, Pamela Ezell, and four young scholars from Chapman's English Department. Click on the title above for more information and photos.
JASNA Southwest again hosted a booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books held April 20-21 at USC. Over 1000 people visited the booth during the two day event. JASNA Southwest thanks all of the hard working volunteers for making the booth a success, notably Emily Bergman for coordinating the event and Paula Dacker for managing the book sales. Click on the title above to see a photo of them in the booth.
Over 150 people laughed with Jane Austen at the JASNA Southwest Winter Meeting, featuring Audrey Bilger talking about Jane Austen's use of subversive comedy, Tim Erwin showing us the importance of the visual in Northanger Abbey through the works of humorous 18th century cartoonists, and Jane Austen Unscripted entertaining us with improvisational comedy. NOTE: Those who could not hear Tim Erwin's paper may read it through a link on the home page.
The LA Theatre Works recorded a radio performance of Pride and Prejudice with Jane Carr for later broadcast, with a discounted price for JASNA members.
Click here for a New York Times article about the meeting.
JASNA Southwest sponsored a half-day program at the Pasadena City Library on Jane Austen vs. The Victorians. This is the first in what we hope will be a series of smaller programs between our two major meetings each year. Click the title above for photos.
Click on the title above to see a full report and photos from our 2012 Spring Meeting, a seaside holiday with Jane Austen at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.
JASNA Southwest's booth at the LA Times Festival of Books was a great hit! We had even more visitors, distributed even more JASNA-SW information, and sold even more books from Vroman's than we did last year. Click the title above for a photo montage.
On Saturday, 3 December 2011, we learned about Regency women's health issues at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Click on the title above to see a full report on the meeting, with photos.
Our first-ever super-regional weekend at the Huntington Gardens & Library and the Westin Pasadena was a spectacular success. Click on the title above for a photo recap.
Our first-ever JASNA-SW booth at the Festival was a resounding success. Please click on the title above for photos.
Please click on the title above for a recap and photos of this event.
Please click on the title above for a report of this exciting event!
Please click on the title above for a text-and-photo recap of this program.
Please click on the title above for a text-and-photo recap of this program.
Click on the title above for a recap and photos of this event.
Click on the title above for photos and a recap of this event.
JASNA members were treated to a sneak preview of the film about Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Click on the title above to see a trailer of the movie.
"Silver Forks, Golden Memories, and Library Treasures." Featured talk: Ed Copeland on Silver Fork Novels.
Click on title above for photos of this exciting event.
If you missed out on this exciting event, you can click on the title above for a recap of our program.
Domestic Entertainments in Jane Austen's Time
Diana Birchall and People take us on a nostalgic journey.
In Memoriam

Experience the excitement of our Spring Meeting!

We were all enthralled by the preview of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, A Musical. From April 17 - May 10, you can see for yourself at the La Mirada Theatre. JASNA Southwest members save 15% on tickets with this code: LMT15-JASNA-SW. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

Lynda Hall gave a lively and entertaining presentation on film adaptations of Jane Austen that we may have missed. Though you can't see the clips, she has shared her presentation so you can be introduced to all of the films. Click on the link below.

The quiz at lunch challenged our knowledge of Jane Austen adaptations. How well can you do? Try the quiz first before you look at the answers.

We finished the day with a discussion of the challenges of adapting Persuasion, a story told with subtle reactions, interior musings, and secrets, for the stage. In a delightful preview of The Eliots, we saw how A. J. Darby addressed the challenges. You can do the same May 8 - June 7 at Fremont Centre Theatre. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

Cheryl Cole is the new

JASNA Southwest President

At the December 6, 2014 meeting, Cheryl Cole was elected to a two-year term as President and Regional Coordinator for JASNA Southwest, replacing Nancy Gallagher. In the same election, Jaye Scholl Bohlen was elected Secretary and Sonya Samuels was elected Treasurer.

Nancy Gallagher

A Great


Cheryl's first official act as President was to express our deep appreciation to Nancy for her dedicated leadership. "I know I speak for all JASNA Southwest in expressing our gratitude to Nancy for her service these last 6 years. As a Board member, it has been a privilege to see how Nancy handles all the little details with such grace to make every event a success. I am confident as Nancy moves into her next position as AGM coordinator, she will use her special touch to make it an AGM to remember."

With Nancy's creativity and dedication, JASNA Southwest meeting attendance grew by 50%, our membership almost doubled, we started an annual tradition of hosting a popular booth at the LA Times Festival of Books, and we successfully applied to host the JASNA Annual General Meeting in 2017. Thanks for everything, Nancy!

More Elections

at the Spring


Nancy did so much of the work of the region that it will take more than one person to replace her. At the Spring 2015 meeting, members will be asked to vote on revised Bylaws to allow an expanded Board and on the remaining Board members.

Claire Bellanti is the new

JASNA President

At the JASNA AGM in Montreal, JASNA Southwest member Claire Bellanti was elected as the next JASNA President. She takes office on December 16, 2014. Congratulations Claire!

JASNA President Claire Bellanti

Why You Should Join JASNA-SW (it's only $15)

In addition to discounted admission to our already affordable Spring and Winter Events, your $15 membership:

* allows our Region to contribute to the restoration of Jane Austen's house and church at Chawton.

* provides food and drink to our holiday season reading group teas.

* allows us to keep our biannual meetings affordable. For example, our last two meetings cost 30% and 55% more, respectively, than what they brought in. Therefore, your $15 membership helped cover the cost of bringing in speakers, the food, and the venues.

* helps cover miscellaneous costs, such as printing and mailing out our newsletters and web hosting for this site.

In addition, members are the first to hear about special screenings and other Austen-related events. Some of these events are open to JASNA-SW members only.

Membership in JASNA-SW is only $15 per year. Please consider joining today. Click on the Join JASNA-SW tab above.

All roads lead to Austen. (photo by Diana Birchall)

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Welcome to the Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest (JASNA-SW), a region of the Jane Austen Society of North America.
JASNA-SW is a non-profit organization with a diverse membership: From admirers to aficionados, students to scholars, book purists to film fans, what brings us together is our love of Jane Austen. Through local reading groups and events that are both entertaining and informative, we celebrate ­the work and life of Jane Austen, the world of her books, and her influence in popular culture.

My idea of good company ... is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company. --Jane Austen


The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) is the parent organization for our regional group.

Members of JASNA receive an excellent journal, Persuasions, and are eligible to attend the three-day Annual General Meeting. JASNA has many entertaining and informative activities for members and supports our local organization in a variety of ways.

For more information about the Jane Austen Society of North America, our annual meetings, and how to join the Society, visit JASNA's national website, jasna.org.

Upcoming JASNA Annual General Meetings
  • September 27-29, 2013 Minneapolis MN. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice ... Timeless
  • October 10-12, 2014 Montreal Quebec Canada. Mansfield Park in Montreal: Contexts, Conventions and Controversies
  • October 9-11, 2015 Louisville KY. Living in Jane Austen's World
  • October 9-11, 2016 Washington DC. Emma at 200: "No One But Herself"