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

JASNA-SW Events & More

Coming Up
"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!" At our Winter Meeting, we'll explore the concept of reading in Jane Austen's time. Our own Claire Bellanti will present her talk on circulating libraries and we'll also learn about book binding and bibliotherapy. Click on the title above for more information and to register.
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
On Saturday, September 26, we celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the glamour of the Duchess of Richmond's Ball and the following brutality of the Battle of Waterloo. Peter Graham gave us an illustrated lecture on the ball and it's literary representations (most famously in Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Thackeray's Vanity Fair). Fritz Bronner from the War Horse and Militaria Heritage Foundation shared his experience as part of the bicentennial re-enactments in Waterloo in June 2015. This year's Fall Meeting took place on the beautiful campus of Chapman University in Orange.
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.
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 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?).
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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

Upcoming Meetings

JASNA Southwest Winter Meeting

Reading in the Time of Jane Austen

Saturday, December 5, 2015

UCLA Faculty Center

Reading was an important pastime in Jane Austen's time and "suitable" reading was considered an excellent form of improvement for women. Indeed, reading was often the only source of education for a woman. Though the Bennet sisters lacked fashionable accomplishments, Elizabeth Bennet tells Lady Catherine that "we were always encouraged to read" and clearly the same was true of Jane and her sister Cassandra. Mr. Darcy also asserts that the well-educated woman must engage in "the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.'' Join us at UCLA as we learn all about reading during the Regency period, from circulating libraries to developments in book design, and also explore how reading Jane Austen can be a healing experience for us today.

Click here for more information and to register.

JASNA Southwest Hosts the

2017 AGM in Huntington Beach

Watch Jane Austen discovering Paradise

JASNA Southwest Fall Meeting

Waterloo: The Folly and The Grandeur

September 26, 2015

Chapman University

Scotland Forever! The Royal Scots Greys at Waterloo

In June of 1815, some of the most significant battles took place between England and its allies against Napoleon. 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and of the Duchess of Richmond's Ball that was held in Brussels on the eve of the battle.

During the ball, Wellington received the unwelcome news that Napoleon and his forces were much closer than expected and that battle was imminent. All night, his officers gradually withdrew from the ball to prepare for the fighting, many of them never to be seen alive again.

Join us on Saturday, September 26, as we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the glamour of the Duchess of Richmond's Ball and the following brutality of the Battle of Waterloo. This year's Fall Meeting takes place on the beautiful campus of Chapman University in Orange.

Click here for more information

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"