Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest Region
Whether you have just discovered Jane Austen or are a lifelong aficionado, you are welcome at the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) and our local region of the society, JASNA Southwest.
Our region is the largest and one of the oldest in the national society. We host four regional meetings annually that feature a wide range of speakers and presentations, offer numerous local reading and game groups, sponsor a Young Filmmakers Contest and maintain a comprehensive guide to Austen Adaptations.
Learn more about the benefits of joining JASNA and JASNA Southwest on our membership page.
We hope you enjoy exploring our site and we hope to see you soon!
Left: Lyme Park stood in for Pemberley in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries.
Upcoming Free Zoom Events
We are pausing our in-person events until it is safe for large groups to meet again in person. In the meantime, join our monthly free Zoom presentations by notable scholars, authors and others with an interest in all things Austen-related!
Saturday, May 15
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time
The Theatrical Jane Austen
Melinda Finberg, a dramaturg and theatre history scholar at the USC School of Dramatic Arts
Finberg is an associate professor of theatre practice in critical studies at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. She is a nationally known dramaturg and scholar of theatre history.
Her illustrated talk on “The Theatrical Jane Austen” will explore Austen’s early exposure to theatre, what theatre was like in Regency England, what Austen would have seen on stage in London and Bath, the family’s home theatricals, Austen’s favorite playwrights and more!
Finberg’s volume Eighteenth-Century Women Dramatists (Oxford University Press, 2001) is now in its third printing and is taught in colleges and universities across the U.S., Canada and Europe. This anthology opened college classrooms to historical women playwrights by giving teachers and students access to authoritative, annotated editions of plays that had previously been available only in rare books libraries. In addition, she has been instrumental in bringing the plays of these women to professional and university stages, receiving the 2006 Elliot Hayes Award for Achievement in Dramaturgy from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas for her work on the 2005 Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s critically acclaimed revival of Hannah Cowley’s The Belle’s Stratagem.
Finberg’s scholarly work is widely published and cited in journals, collections of essays and reference books. Her goal is no less than rewriting theatre history by restoring these forgotten geniuses and by establishing their place in our classrooms and on our stages. Without reexamining how minority playwrights have been written out of our history in the past, we will not be able to prevent them from being erased in the future. She also loves to teach production dramaturgy, Shakespeare, Restoration comedy, gender issues in theatre and staging the American experience(s).
Saturday, June 19, 2021
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific time
Registration information to be posted by April.
Topic: Costuming Regency-era Adaptations (event title forthcoming)
Deborah Nadoolman Landis, founding director and chair of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA
Ellen Mirojnick, Emmy Award-winning costume designer, who oversaw creation of 7,500 pieces for 5,000 costumes for Bridgerton
Upcoming In-Person Events
We are pausing our in-person events until it is safe for large groups to meet again in person. We have moved our events that had to be postponed in 2020 to new dates in 2022. Sign up for our mailing list for more information.
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Mission Inn, Riverside
(a block of rooms will be reserved for those wishing to spend Friday and/or Saturday evening)
Miss Austen Goes to Washington
Our event will explore Regency-era politics as well as Austen’s influence today.
Congressman Mark Takano (D-Riverside), former English teacher who launched a Jane Austen reading group on Capitol Hill
Austen scholar Sheryl Craig, author of Jane Austen and the State of the Nation
Saturday, December 3, 2022
The Grand, Long Beach
We originally planned for our event on Regency fashion and footwear to be held at The Grand, followed by dance lessons and an English country dance. We have shifted our two stellar speakers for that event to a virtual meeting to be held on Saturday, June 19, 2021. See more information above.
Please save the date for our new event at The Grand in December 22. Details on the topic and speakers will be announced at a later date.
If you missed Kimberly Alexander's wonderful April 24, 2021, talk on "18th Century Shoes and Their Secret Stories," or want to revisit the presentation or share it with a friend, the video is now live on the JASNA Southwest YouTube channel. The chat is also available....
Registration is now open for "The Theatrical Jane Austen," with Prof. Melinda Finberg of the USC School of Dramatic Arts. The free Zoom event will be held Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 11 a.m. Pacific time. Her illustrated talk will explore Austen's early exposure to...
Aydrea Walden, creator and star of the web series Black Girl in a Big Dress, joined Jillian Davis—co-creator of The Pemberley Podcast—for an Instagram Live chat on March 30 for JASNA Southwest. Video from the event is now available online. Walden shared her love of...
Author Karen Tei Yamashita's enlightening March 27 talk on her 2020 book, Sansei and Sensibility, is now available on the JASNA Southwest YouTube channel. Inspired by her sister Jane Tomi Boltz (pictured left with Yamashita) and her love of all things Austen,...
Jillian Davis and Yolanda Rodriguez have joined the 2021 Young Filmmakers Contest committee after winning the 2020 contest in the over-20 category. Davis is a Southern California native and L.A. resident who can thank the 2005 Pride & Prejudice movie and The...
In her beautifully illustrated Zoom presentation on February 20, art historian, curator and author Nancy Mowll Mathews addressed the public image of both Jane Austen and impressionist Mary Cassatt. Mathews revealed how much Cassatt hated her portrait that was painted...
We've officially launched the 2021 Young Filmmakers Contest. Please help spread the word to any teachers, professors or aspiring young filmmakers and fans of Jane Austen! Any amateur filmmakers under the age of 30 in North America are eligible to enter. Entry is free....
A lively Q&A session with the filmmakers and two of our esteemed judges followed the January 24, 2021, premiere screening of the 2020 Young Filmmakers Contest winning films. Judges Kenny Turan (retired longtime Los Angeles Times film critic) and...
If you missed our "Anti-Historical Austen" event with Prof. Jason Solinger on Jan. 16—or want to revisit the talk or share it with a friend—the video is now available on the JASNA Southwest YouTube channel. JASNA members and friends from all over North America, as...
Greet visitors at our Festival of Books booth, organize a new reading group or assist with events and more as a valued volunteer.
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