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

JASNA-SW Events & More

Coming Up
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
Many critics have dismissed Jane Austen as nothing more than the "mother goddess of chick lit." For our fall meeting, we have invited Robert Rodi, satirist and author of the Bitch in a Bonnet book series (and blog) to help us dispel this notion and showcase Austen's wit and sometimes scathing satire. Join us on Saturday, October 1st at the Pasadena Public Library for Beyond the Bonnet as we reclaim Austen's work from what Rodi calls "the stiffs, the snobs, the simps, and the saps." You are encouraged to wear a bonnet or hat in solidarity with our favorite author. Click on the title above to register.
2016 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Emma. At the JASNA Southwest Spring Meeting aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Juliet McMaster will speak about women on board ships and her latest book, Lynda Hall will examine Miss Bates with a sympathetic eye, and Bernie Su and Company will introduce us to their Web series Emma Approved. Click on the title above for more information and to register.
"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!" At our Winter Meeting, we explored books and reading in Jane Austen's time. Our own Claire Bellanti presented her talk on circulating libraries and we also learned about book binding and bibliotherapy.
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

2012 Winter Meeting: Serious Laughter - The Importance of Satire and Humor in Jane Austen's Time

2012 JASNA-Southwest Winter Meeting
Saturday, December 1
9:00 am ~ 3:30 pm
Centennial Ballroom
The Los Angeles Athletic Club

During the Bennett sisters’ sojourn at Netherfield, the officious Miss Bingley confides to Elizabeth that she could not possibly tease or laugh at Mr. Darcy: “‘Teaze calmness of temper and presence of mind! No, no —I feel he may defy us there. And as to laughter, we will not expose ourselves, if you please, by attempting to laugh without a subject.’” Elizabeth’s response is characteristic: “‘Mr. Darcy is not to be laughed at!’ cried Elizabeth. ‘That is an uncommon advantage, and uncommon I hope it will continue, for it would be a great loss to me to have many such acquaintance. I dearly love a laugh’”.

Like her heroine in Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen dearly loved a laugh. But in her literary quiver, humor was an arrow with which she deftly pierced pomposity, ignorance, and the social callousness of her day. “Serious Laughter: The Importance of Humor and Satire in Jane Austen’s Time” will bring us together to examine the culture of laughter and ridicule, verbal and visual, in the eighteenth century.

9:00am Registration, Breakfast Breads, Coffee & Tea, Conversation & Shopping
Jane Austen 2013 calendars, Marcee Chipman's lovely capes, and various books and sundries will be available for purchase in our own Regency Emporium.

9:45 am Announcements and Election of Officers
The Nominating Committee proposes the following slate of candidates for the Board:

President and Regional Coordinator - Nancy Gallagher
Past President - Mimi Dudley
Program Chair /​ Membership Chair - Carla Washburn
Program Co-Chair - Lynda Hall
Treasurer - Claire Bellanti
Secretary - Cheryl Cole
Publicity - Jaye Scholl Bohlen
Electronic Communications Coordinator - Terry Ryan
Newsletter and Social Media Editor - Deanna Heikkinen
Member at Large - Kathleen Peck
Member at Large - Carol Krause
Member at Large - Jan Fahey
Member at Large - Sonya Samuels

Note: The board also benefits from the advice and efforts of those in the following appointed positions:
Board Advisor - Diana Birchall
Chair, Education Outreach Committee - Rebecca Weersing
Co-Chair, LA Times Book Festival - Emily Bergman
Assistant, LA Times Book Festival - Paula Dacker

10:00 am Visual Raillery: Seeing and Being Seen in Northanger Abbey
Timothy Erwin, Professor and Cultural Studies Chair at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, will discuss how Catherine Morland, Jane Austen’s heroine of Northanger Abbey, finds herself amid the urban scene in Bath, and becomes a participant in the visual culture of the period, artfully reflected in the work of such Regency satirists as Matthew Darly, James Gillray, Isaac Cruikshank, and Thomas Rowlandson.

11:15 am Jane Austen’s Enlightenment Feminist Humor
Audrey Bilger, Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College and author of Laughing Feminism: Subversive Comedy in Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen, will illustrate how Austen took part in--and refined--a tradition of enlightenment feminist humor. By drawing on satire and comedy, Austen and other authors of the period made serious points about the gender politics of the eighteenth century, and thereby advanced the rights of women.

12:30 pm Luncheon and Birthday Toast
During our congenial lunchfest, you will be invited to try your hand at charades. Then Diana Birchall will lead us in the traditional mulled wine toast to “L’amiable Jane” and Syrie James will share a preview of her latest novel, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen.

Luncheon Menu


Your choice of
    stuffed with Wild Rice, served in Mushroom Sauce
    prepared and finished with a zesty Lemon Butter
    stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese


2:15pm "Jane Austen Unscripted"
Following lunch, the highly acclaimed cast of the Impro Theatre will regale us with an impromptu version of “Jane Austen Unscripted,” a witty and informed improvisation based on the comedic situations and characters in Austen’s novels. Those who have seen Impro Theatre’s performances before know that each hilarious performance is original to the moment and the suggestions of the audience.

or click below to print and mail a registration form with check

PLEASE NOTE: The registration deadline has been extended to Wednesday, November 28. Because JASNA must prepay for all meals, though, we still can't grant refunds for cancellations made after November 26.

Unforeseen schedule changes will be posted in the events section of our website, jasnasw.org.

Questions regarding the schedule or event venue may be directed to Carla Washburn at carlawashburn@​me.com or 818.414.2680.

Questions regarding the on-line registration process may be addressed to Terry Ryan at tryan1141@​earthlink.net.

Directions to The Los Angeles Athletic Club
431 West Seventh Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Main Phone: (213) 625-2211

From 110 Freeway-North & South:
1. EXIT at Ninth Street
2. Follow Ninth Street EAST 6 blocks to Olive Street
3. TURN LEFT onto Olive Street and stay in right lane
4. Proceed 2 blocks and cross Seventh Street
5. Parking garage is the first driveway on the RIGHT, just past Seventh Street.

The parking garage address is 646 South Olive Street. The fee is $4.50 for the day with our validation, so please consider carpooling.