North Texas Region

June with Jane Austen Seminar
Saturday, June 7, 2014

The North Texas Region will hold its annual June with Jane Austen seminar on Saturday, June 7, 2014 – “Constancy and Controversy in Mansfield Park” at the Highland Park United Methodist Church.

Program Overview

8:30 AM Registration

8:55 AM Welcome - Rosalie Sternberg, RC, North Texas Region

9:00 AM Professor Theresa Kenney - University of Dallas - “Why Tom Bertram Cannot Die”

9:40 AM Professor Michael Holahan - Southern Methodist University - “An Evening Meal at Portsmouth: Bringing forward stains and dirt in Mansfield Park

10:20 AM Coffee and tea

10:40 AM Professor Joyce Kerr Tarpley - Mountain View College - “Constancy in Mansfield Park

11:30 AM Luncheon

12:30 pm until 1:00 PM Regency Fashion Show

Program Details

Professor Theresa Kenney - “Why Tom Bertram Cannot Die”

James Purefoy as Tom Bertram in
Patricia Rozema’s Mansfield Park (1999)

Tom Bertram does not seem to be a central character in the novel; yet at the end of the story Jane Austen tells us “he became what he ought to be…”  In her presentation “Why Tom Bertram Cannot Die” Professor Kenney will enlighten us on the significance of Tom’s survival and explain Jane Austen’s thematic use of his moral transformation.

Professor Theresa Kenney teaches undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Dallas.  In addition to Jane Austen she also specializes in Metaphysical poets, Medieval Romance and Lyric Dante and Myth.  She also teaches Shakespeare, John Donne, the Arthurian Romances and is an internationally recognized Charles Dickens and Jane Austen scholar with multiple publications.

Professor Michael Holahan - “An Evening Meal at Portsmouth: Bringing forward stains and dirt in Mansfield Park

We are delighted to welcome back Professor Michael Holahan who will “clean up” the novel in his presentation “An Evening Meal at Portsmouth: Bringing forward stains and dirt in Mansfield Park.”  His topic is realism in the novel, and Fanny Price as the character whose perspective focuses certain kinds of realism in a way not often considered in discussions of Jane Austen.

Professor Holahan studies the literature of the English Renaissance and its affiliations with the classical past at Southern Methodist University.  While his principal concern now is the drama of Shakespeare, he also extends his interests to include the development of the novel from Jane Austen to Henry James and L. P. Hartley.  His publications list is as lengthy as War and Peace.

Professor Joyce Kerr Tarpley - “Constancy in Mansfield Park

Frances O’Connor as Fanny Price in
Patricia Rozema’s Mansfield Park (1999)

Mansfield Park explores important moral themes woven into a seeming Cinderella story but is considered by most Jane Austen scholars and fans to be her most divisive book.  Professor Joyce Tarpley’s presentation will show us why Fanny Price is the true “Austen heroine” and why the novel is a masterpiece.  Professor Tarpley defines constancy and delineates its role in guiding ethical thinking and while acknowledging the influences of classical thinkers, Tarpley argues that constancy relies primarily on a Christian philosophical framework.

Professor Tarpley teaches literature and composition at Mountain View College including a survey of British literature (beginning with Beowulf and ending with Austen).  Dr. Tarpley”s highly praised book Constancy & the Ethics of Jane Austen”s Mansfield Park begins with an introduction that provides a background for reading Austen’s ethics, noting her genius for synthesis, in particular her synthesis of ethical contexts.

Regency Fashion Show

Why travel to Milan or New York for Fashion Week?  Vanessa Welch presents a Georgian and Regency Fashion show during our June with Jane Austen luncheon staring the members of JASNA North Texas.  Come see period dress from day wear to riding outfits to ball gowns.


The cost of the program is $30/person for members and guests which includes lunch.  Click here for the registration form.  There will be no on-site registration for this event.

—Cheryl Kinney