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Annual General Meetings

 

JASNA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a literary conference, a celebration of Jane Austen, and a collegial gathering of JASNA members.

Each autumn 700 to 800 JASNA members attend the AGM, a three-day conference hosted by one of our regions in the United States or Canada.  The AGMs feature dozens of lectures by Austen scholars and JASNA members, as well as special exhibits and events, workshops, and a banquet and Regency ball.  Many papers presented at AGMs are also published in the Society’s journals Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line

Information about an upcoming conference is posted on the AGM's website and updated periodically as details are finalized.  In late spring, JASNA members are invited to register for the upcoming event.  

  AGM Reading Lists are posted each year for those who are inspired to read more about the upcoming conference theme.  We invite you to sample the reading lists created for recent AGMs.

  Questions about AGMs in general?  Please read the AGM FAQs.

2017

Jane Austen in Paradise: Intimations of Immortality


Jane went to Paradise:

That was only fair.

When Rudyard Kipling wrote these words about the immortal Jane, he envisioned her ascent into heaven on the arm of her admirer Sir Walter Scott, taking her place in the pantheon of literary giants that included Fielding, Smollett, Cervantes, and Shakespeare.

JASNA members will gather by the sea in October 2017 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, explore her unique and profound influence on literary and popular culture, and discuss how she has been reimagined by succeeding generations of Austen enthusiasts in the 200 years of her “afterlife.”

Event Details

Date

10/6 - 10/8

Location

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa

Huntington Beach, CA

Event Coordinators

Nancy Gallagher

AGMinParadise2017@gmail.com


2018

Persuasion: 200 Years of Constancy and Hope

Sep 28 - 30 | Kansas City, MO

Join us in the "City of Fountains" as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's last completed novel, Persuasion, and explore its themes of constancy and hope.  Examples of hope, both pure and self-serving, permeate the novel.  Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth represent ideal romantic constancy.  Despite the influences and presumptions of their surrounding society, their steadfast devotion survives separation and obstacles, creating the foundation for hope.


2019

200 Years of Northanger Abbey: “Real, Solemn History”

Oct 4 - 6 | Williamsburg, VA

Gathering together to focus on Northanger Abbey, we will celebrate two hundred years since its publication.  In addition to our discussion of Jane Austen’s novel, our theme is intended to encompass broader subjects relevant to the cultural background of Northanger Abbey: subjects such as the idea of the picturesque, the popularity of the Gothic novel genre, the history of the 12th Light Dragoons, the economics of importing India muslin versus  producing muslin in England, even the conversion of Church buildings into private residences in the centuries after the Dissolution.  Despite our theme, we do not expect our speakers or their subjects to be exclusively solemn!

2016

Emma at 200: “No One But Herself”

Oct 21 - 23 | Washington, DC

JASNA's 2016 AGM celebrated the bicentennial of the publication of Jane Austen's masterpiece Emma.  The conference theme “Emma at 200: ‘No One But Herself’” echoed Jane Austen’s statement, “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”, as well as Emma’s realization that “Mr Knightley must marry no one but herself!”


2015

Living in Jane Austen's World

Oct 9 - 11 | Louisville, KY

The 2015 AGM was held in Louisville, Kentucky, the “Gateway to the  South."  Outstanding speakers, breakout sessions, and special events focused on the theme "Living in Jane Austen’s World."


2014

Mansfield Park in Montréal: Contexts, Conventions and Controversies

Oct 10 - 12 | Montréal, QC

Mansfield Park was the first novel of Jane Austen’s maturity—the first novel that she wrote  all-of-a-piece (after settling into life in Chawton in 1809) rather than rewriting earlier drafts.  JASNA members spent the weekend celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mansfield Park,  Fanny Price, and the contexts, conventions and controversies of this brilliant novel.


2013

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice . . . Timeless

Sep 27 - 29 | Minneapolis, MN

JASNA members celebrated the novel that, for many, remains their first and favorite encounter with Jane Austen.  One cannot deny that it was a "light, and bright, and sparkling" conference.


2012

Sex, Money and Power in Jane Austen’s Fiction

Oct 5 - 7 | Brooklyn, NY

Three powerful components of continuing interest throughout Jane Austen’s  novels and juvenilia formed a compelling conference theme with rich and meaningful associations to the host community in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.


2011

200 Years of Sense and Sensibility

Oct 14 - 16 | Ft. Worth, TX

During the conference JASNA members explored the idea that Sense and Sensibility is a novel of duality, as well as a social satire directed at the leisure class  of Regency England.  While it may be considered the novel that many Janeites find troubling, there was no indication of trouble as attendees enjoyed themselves and a wealth of speakers and events. 


2010

Jane Austen and the Abbey: Mystery, Mayhem and Muslin in Portland

Oct 29 - 31 | Portland, OR

The conference, held during Halloween weekend, perfect Gothic timing, focused on aspects of mystery, mayhem and mendacity in Northanger Abbey.  While there might have been a focus on mystery and mayhem, JASNA members made certain there was a focus on the merry, rather than the mendacious.


2009

Jane Austen’s Brothers and Sisters in the City of Brotherly Love

Oct 9 - 11 | Philadelphia, PA

Old friends were greeted and new ones made when JASNA members gathered  to discuss the siblings that Austen created. There was such a wealth of topics raised in Philadelphia, the city "that shone bright while Jane did."


2008

Jane Austen’s Legacy: Life, Love, & Laughter

Oct 3 - 5 | Chicago, IL

The theme of "Austen's Legacy: Life, Love & Laughter" elicited many opinions and interesting presentations on Jane Austen's influence nearly two centuries after her novels were first published. One thing all agreed upon was that her influence extends from the highest levels of literary scholarship and criticism to the broadest dimensions of popular culture.


2007

Discovering Emma in Vancouver

Oct 5 - 7 | Vancouver, BC

A warm Canadian welcome was given to attendees who gathered to focus on Emma, faultless in spite of all her faults. In spite of discussing the many flaws of Emma Woodhouse, there was universal agreement that the novel Emma is indeed flawless.


2006

Fresh Perspectives on Mansfield Park

Oct 27 - 29 | Tucson, AZ

The Southern Arizona Region promised something for everyone, and that's what attendees were provided.  Thought-provoking lectures and breakout sessions, special-interest workshops, entertainments and diversions, a Regency Masked Ball, and gazing at the stars made this AGM an abundant experience.


2005

Jane Austen’s Letters in Fact and Fiction

Oct 7 - 9 | Milwaukee, WI

JASNA members at the conference examined the most significant primary source material in existence concerning Austen’s life and work—her own correspondence. And for members who felt that no AGM could be complete without a focus on the novels, there were many sessions that focused on Austen’s use of letters in her fiction and her place in epistolary literature. 


2004

Anne Elliot in the City: Interior and Exterior Worlds

Oct 8 - 10 | Los Angeles, CA

The city has played an important role in five of Austen's novels and certainly in Persuasion.   The experiences of Anne Elliot, as well as other characters, were examined in their urban milieu. "Interior Worlds" offered speakers the opportunity to discuss the emotional, mental, psychological, social, metaphysical and physical settings of the private sphere. "Exterior Worlds" allowed for papers that focused on the many environments in the novel: social, physical, political, historical, commercial, educational, artistic, religious, economic, and more.


2003

Homecoming: The Importance of Home and Family in Jane Austen’s Life and Works

Oct 10 - 12 | Winchester,

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of our founding, JASNA members journeyed to England in October 2003  to experience, first hand, Jane Austen’s beloved country. They explored the significance of home and family in Jane Austen’s works and life with distinguished Austen scholars even as  they traced her footsteps at the cherished locales from which she drew inspiration.


2002

Jane Austen’s World: Artistic, Domestic, Political, Social

Oct 11 - 13 | Toronto, ON

The Regency was a period which was both controversial and elegant, as well as corrupt and courtly.  The presentations and the discussions that followed were entertaining and edifying, a perfect combination for JASNA members.


2001

Pleasures, Pursuits, and Passions: Entertainment and Jane Austen

Oct 5 - 7 | Seattle, WA

While Jane Austen is entertainment enough for JASNA members, discussing the various pleasures, pursuits and passions of the Regency, as well as Austen's characters, proved delightful for all who attended the AGM. 


2000

Pride and Prejudice: Past, Present, Future

Oct 13 - 15 | Boston, MA

Boston was an ideal place to consider Pride and Prejudice.  To many visitors, Boston, with its gaslights, elegant townhouses, and charmingly haphazard street pattern, is reminiscent of the London where the Gardiners reside and the Bingley siblings settle for the winter. Attendees determined that Pride and Prejudice will undoubtedly be in their future.


1999

Emma: Austen at her Peak

Oct 8 - 10 | Colorado Springs, CO

Attendees gathered in Colorado Springs, the city nestled at the base of 14,110-foot-high Pike's Peak.  It was the perfect backdrop to discuss the novel that demonstrates Jane Austen was at the peak of her skills when she wrote Emma


1998

Northanger Abbey: the Gothic and More

Oct 9 - 11 | Quebec City, QC

The theme of "Northanger Abbey: The Gothic and More" was perfectly situated in a city that offered so much more than had been promised. 


1997

Sanditon: The New Direction?

Oct 3 - 5 | San Francisco, CA

“The finest, purest Sea Breeze on the Coast—acknowledged to be so—Excellent Bathing—fine hard Sand—Deep Water ten yards from the Shore—no Mud—no Weeds—no slimey rocks—Never was there a place more palpably designed by Nature”—for the Annual General Meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America!   In short, never was there a place where Nature and Ideas were more generously joined.


1996

Jane Austen and Her Men

Oct 11 - 13 | Richmond, VA

Beautiful fall weather and historic houses formed the background for a discussion of “Jane Austen and Her Men” by more than 500 Jane Austen Society of North America members who gathered in Richmond the first weekend in October.


1995

Revisiting Mansfield Park

Oct 6 - 8 | Madison, WI

Revisiting Mansfield Park was a joy for conference-goers.  Only among JASNA members can the merits of not only the novel but its steadfast heroine Fanny Price be extolled, for which Society members are most grateful.


1994

Jane Austen and the Three R’s: Rebellion, Revolution and the Regency

Nov 4 - 6 | New Orleans, LA

(No detailed description available.)

Once again, JASNA members found themselves in a beautiful city, spending time discussing their favorite author among the best company.  Talk of the three R's led attendees to remark on the resplendence of the conference and be grateful to be part of it.


1993

Persuasion

Oct 8 - 10 | Lake Louise, AB

In an exquisite setting that many called Shangri-La, JASNA members considered themselves lucky just to be together in such an environment.  To add to all this many fine speakers and the best company made it almost difficult "to bear such happiness."


1992

The Letters, Focusing on Travel and the Sea

Oct 16 - 18 | Santa Monica, CA

When members met in Santa Monica to focus on Jane Austen's Letter on Travel and the Sea, who could have supposed that Saturday evening would be brought to a close by their singing sea shanties?  Regency costumes, banquet food that reflected a Regency menu, and speakers who shared details of Regency life helped attendees feel as if they had experienced Austen's time period.


1991

Emma

Oct 11 - 13 | Ottawa, ON

JASNA members arrived in Ottawa to be presented with a splendid variety of speakers and events, as well as banners made just for the occasion by all the Regions.  The number and rich diversity of workshops and other activities made choices attractively difficult for all. 


1990

Sense and Sensibility

Oct 5 - 7 | Washington, DC

Wryly and often noted during the conference that focused on Sense and Sensibility was that the government, in the process of shutting down,  lacked both sense and sensibility.   A wide array of speakers, a view of the Burke collection and, as usual, the best company kept JASNA members entertained.


1989

Pride and Prejudice

Oct 13 - 15 | Santa Fe, NM

Surely at no other JASNA meeting has one been asked to check one’s guns at the door.  JASNA members knew then they were in the west and in a beautiful locale.  How could attendees bear such happiness?  To discuss a favorite novel in such an exquisite location was one of the best blessings of existence.


1988

Jane Austen’s England

Oct 14 - 16 | Chicago, IL

JASNA's tenth AGM was the time to take stock of the Society growth and the excellence of AGMs in general and in particular.  Jane Austen's England for a weekend at least was present in Chicago.


1987

Lady Susan and The Juvenilia

Oct 9 - 11 | New York, NY

In an opening plenary session, Professor A. Walton Litz was careful to attach the Juvenilia to the rest of Jane’s oeuvre, as material in which the seeds of all her later work, her authentic voice, are to be found, and he also made a plea for their intrinsic wit and energy.  Many attendees freely shared their dislike of the Juvenilia, but on the whole, Jane’s advice to Anna Lefroy as quoted by Walton Litz seemed to sum up the response: “Till the heroine grows up, the fun must be imperfect.”


1986

The Watsons

Sep 26 - 28 | Vancouver, BC

Discussing relations such as the Watsons brought about the lively discussion one is wont to find and enjoy at AGMs.  Vancouver was not only a beautiful and appreciated setting for JASNA members, but Saturday was proclaimed "Jane Austen Day" by the mayor, making Vancouver a "universal favorite" among attendees.


1985

Northanger Abbey

Oct 11 - 13 | Savannah, GA

Discussing Northanger Abbey in such a beautiful city, one that Jane Austen surely would have admired, was great enjoyment for JASNA members who became convinced during the weekend that Northanger Abbey itself could benefit from Spanish moss. 


1984

Persuasion

Oct 12 - 14 | St. Louis, MO

The theme of Persuasion brought members to St. Louis to discuss not only a favorite novel but to talk about Anne Elliot, a heroine, as Jane Austen once said, "almost too good for me." 


1983

Emma

Oct 7 - 9 | Philadelphia, PA

JASNA members gathered in the City of Brotherly Love to celebrate the sesquicentennial publication of the Philadelphia edition of Emma, the only novel published in the United States during Jane Austen's lifetime.  Excellent plenary and breakout speakers made the event highly popular.


1982

The Settings of the Novels

Oct 8 - 10 | Toronto, ON

Toronto hosted the first AGM to focus on not one particular novel, but all of them.  Settings of the novels and how they influenced and foreshadowed the plots was the topic for the weekend, one clearly enjoyed by all who attended.


1981

Sense and Sensibility

Oct 9 - 11 | San Francisco, CA

Eager attendees gathered in San Francisco to discuss Sense and Sensibility and to participate in what became a lively event: “A Great Debate on the Virtues of Marianne versus Elinor.”  Excellent speakers, the best company and charming events rounded out the weekend.


1980

Mansfield Park

Oct 10 - 12 | Baltimore, MD

(No detailed description available.)

Those who attended the second Annual General Meeting discussed Mansfield Park and its heroine Fanny Price.  If  this were not enough to keep members happy and entertained, they were able to see the extensive Jane Austen collection that Alberta Hirshheimer Burke, wife of one of JASNA's founders, Henry Burke, donated to Goucher College.


1979

Pride and Prejudice

Oct 5 - 7 | New York, NY

On October 5th, 1979, "some people who like Jane Austen" held their first Annual General Meeting.  While hopeful that the Society would grow, little could they imagine that the banquet for 100 would become a weekend conference for over 700 in the years to come.