Winning Essays for 2010

2010 Essay Topic: Mayhem in Northanger Abbey

The 2010 Essay Contest topic aligned with the JASNA Annual General Meeting theme, “Jane Austen and the Abbey: Mystery, Mayhem and Muslin” in Portland:

Northanger Abbey, while short, is full of mayhem of one sort or another. (Note: “mayhem” can refer to conflict, destruction, chaos, disorder, or confusion.) Discuss how Jane Austen uses mayhem as a plot element in Northanger Abbey to increase our understanding of one or more of the characters.

High School Division

First Prize Winner: Kirsten A. Hall, Shorewood High School, Shorewood, WI
Essay: Mrs. Radcliffe’s Imitator: When Catherine Creates her own Mysteries
Mentor: Sheila Mooney, Shorewood High School, Shorewood, WI
Second Prize Winner: Samantha L. Payne, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA
Essay: The Heart, the Mind, and the Streets: Mayhem in Northanger Abbey
Mentor: Roger Green, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA

College/University Division

First Prize Winner: Megan C. Webber, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
Essay: Positively Medieval!: Historical Mayhem in Northanger Abbey
Mentor: Friend, Jessica Noelle Knight, Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia
Second Prize Winner: Lise M. Gaston, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
Essay: Writing Chaos: The Mayhem of Language in Northanger Abbey
Mentor: Dr. Robert Miles, Dept of English, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
Third Prize Winner: Hannah M. Allen, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC
Essay: Making Fun of Mayhem

Graduate Division

First Prize Winner: Joanna L. Thaler, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Essay: ‘Oh! D--it’: The Mayhem of John Thorpe and the Villain Template
Mentor: Professor Lance Bertelsen, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX