Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions are included in the Attendee (not Companion) registration fee. During AGM registration, you will be asked to select one talk from each of the five sessions.

Breakout Session A—Friday, October 4, 2:45-3:35 pm

A1. “Real, Solemn History” and Cassandra Leigh Cooke’s Battleridge
Susan Allen Ford, Delta State University

In 1799, Mrs. Austen’s cousin, Cassandra Leigh Cooke, published Battleridge: An Historical Tale, Founded on Facts, by A Lady of Quality, a gothic novel set during the last days of Cromwell’s Commonwealth, with a long, inset tale of ninth-century Scotland. What might Jane Austen have learned from this literary relation at a significant point in her writing life?

Susan Allen Ford is Editor of Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line and Professor of English Emerita at Delta State University. She has published essays on Jane Austen and her contemporaries, detective fiction, and the Gothic and is slowly working on a book on what Austen’s characters are reading.

A2. Roses, Hyacinths, and Pineapples: Historical and Ecocritical Concerns in Northanger Abbey
Tomoko Nakagawa, University of the Sacred Heart

Is Northanger Abbey, like Jane Austen’s other novels as Jonathan Bate discussed, “bound up with the rhythm of nature,” in spite of its few references to nature? This session will demonstrate how Austen’s ecocritical concern is intertwined with her historical one, comparing the novel with Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho.

Tomoko Nakagawa is Professor of English Literature at the University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, Japan. She has published Aspects of Daily Lives: Reading British Novels (in Japanese) and has written articles and book chapters on Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Kazuo Ishiguro and others. Tomoko was awarded the Chawton House Fellowship in May 2017, during which time she was engaged in the research on representations of female anger in Jane Austen’s time. She is currently working on a book project on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, focusing on its first Japanese translation and illustrations published in 1889- 1890. Her research interests also include cultural exchanges between Britain and Japan and ecocriticism.

A3. “Learning to Love”: Friendship and Education in Northanger Abbey
Emily Wells, Southeastern Virginia Region

Before Catherine Morland can achieve “perfect happiness” she must learn to direct her love towards those worthy of receiving it. This presentation will examine the friendships that shape Catherine’s romantic education and examine nineteenth-century debates over the connection between female friendship and the success of a young woman’s education.

Emily is a PhD student in History at the College of William and Mary. She studies the social and cultural history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America with a focus on women's education and material culture. For her master’s portfolio, she examined the relationship between novels and women's education, particularly the gothic and seduction genres. She is currently researching women’s geography education in America from 1760 to 1860.

A4. Play Ball! Team Austen and the History of Baseball and Cricket
Lisa Brown, Central & Western NY Region

Was baseball really created in Cooperstown, New York? Or was it invented by Jane Austen’s novel-writing aunt? Or perhaps Austen herself? Did Austen’s nephew save cricket from obscurity or was it her niece? We’ll explore the involvement of the Leigh, Austen, and Knight families in the history of these sports.

Lisa Brown may be the only person to join JASNA in order to talk about the Royal Navy! She is a JASNA Life Member and past Regional Coordinator of the JASNA Central & Western NY Region. She is the current president of the Country Dancers of Rochester and director of the Meryton Assembly Dancers, an English country dancing performance group. She also gives presentations on British history of the long eighteenth century.

A5. The Gothic Key to Northanger Abbey
Marsha Huff, Wisconsin Region

In Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen parodies the gothic genre and specific gothic novels that were best sellers in their day. Modern readers unfamiliar with those works cannot fully appreciate Austen’s humor and satire. This lecture identifies and explains the gothic novels and conventions that appear in Northanger Abbey.

Marsha Huff has lectured extensively in North America and England on Jane Austen’s fiction. She writes book reviews for JASNA News and contributes articles to Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine. Marsha served as President of JASNA and editor of the JASNA website, 2006-2010, and was co-coordinator of the 2005 AGM in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “Jane Austen’s Letters in Fact and Fiction.” She practices law part-time in Milwaukee, specializing in tax-exempt organizations.

A6. Lovable Heroine, Complicated Hero: Implied Meanings in the Conversations of Northanger Abbey
Marcia McClintock Folsom, Wheelock College

Most critics judge Austen’s presentation of Catherine Morland at seventeen—her openness and curiosity, her eagerness to learn, her modesty—as consistent and successful. But some think that Henry Tilney “got away from his creator.” Close reading of their conversations can uncover the meanings implied by the young writer.

Marcia McClintock Folsom is Professor Emeritus of Literature at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the editor of Approaches to Teaching Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; Approaches to Teaching Austen’s Emma; and with John Wiltshire, she is co-editor of Approaches to Teaching Austen’s Mansfield Park. Again with John Wiltshire, she is editing a new MLA volume, Approaches to Teaching Austen’s Persuasion. She has published many essays in the JASNA journals, Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line. Marcia is a member of the Steering Committee of the JASNA Massachusetts Region and was Coordinator of the 2000 AGM in Boston, “Pride and Prejudice: Past, Present, Future.” She is a Life Member of JASNA.

A7. Jane Austen, Netley Abbey and Gothic Tourism
Cheryl Butler, Jane Austen Society (UK)

At seventeen Catherine Morland discovered her Gothic adventure on a trip to Bath; when Jane Austen was seventeen she visited the spa town of Southampton. Why is this pertinent to Northanger Abbey? Because the top attraction of the spa was Netley Abbey, an inspiration to Horace Walpole, enthusiasts for the Gothic, and aspiring novelists.

Dr Cheryl Butler is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Honorary Fellow of the University of Winchester. She also serves as trustee of the Hampshire Archives Trust and on the editorial board for the Southampton Records Series. Publications include three Southampton Records Series volumes on the Southampton Mayors Book of Fines; the oral history of Itchen Ferry Village We only wore shoes on Sunday; Tudor Southampton: Rioters, Revellers & Reformers; and Jane Austen & Southampton Spa. She was awarded the British Association of Local History personal achievement award in 2014 and the City of Southampton award in 2018 for service to heritage. She has spoken at numerous international conferences and organized a major Jane Austen Festival in 2017. A published author, her novel, The Theatre of the World, is set in Elizabethan England and in “The New World.”

Breakout Session B—Friday, October 4, 3:50-4:40 pm

B1. “This is Just Like A Book!” Northanger Abbey and Austen’s Literary Tourism
Elizabeth Gilliland, Alabama Region

Though Austen’s fans often pay tribute by visiting locations important to her life, literary tourism remains controversial. Some argue that fan pilgrimage denigrates studies of her work and caters to low culture. Often overlooked is how Austen includes literary tourism in Northanger Abbey. This session will investigate the novel’s use of literary tourism to explore Austen’s connection to fan culture.

Dr. Elizabeth Gilliland is a recent graduate of Louisiana State University, specializing in 19 th century British Literature, adaptations and media, and women and gender studies. She recently completed and defended her dissertation, “Jane Austen’s Hidden Bodies: Adaptation as Critical Commentary,” in spring 2018. She has presented on Jane Austen previously at the Audiences, Fandom, and Reception conference at Wayne State University (2017), and has taught Austen’s works in seminars and guest lectures at Louisiana State University and the University of Mobile. Her essay, “Austen University: Accessing Austen Through Alternate Universes” won the 2017 JASNA Essay Contest, Graduate Division.

B2. Catherine of Washington Square: Henry James and Northanger Abbey
Juliet McMaster, University of Alberta

Notwithstanding Henry James’s often patronizing comments on Jane Austen, James’s own novel Washington Square and its heroine Catherine Sloper owe much to Northanger Abbey and Catherine Morland.

Juliet McMaster, retired Distinguished University Professor at the University of Alberta, is a founding member of JASNA and a frequent speaker at AGMs. She is the author of Jane Austen on Love, Jane Austen the Novelist, and Jane Austen, Young Author, and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen. She has also published books on Thackeray, Trollope, Dickens, and the eighteenth- century novel. The founder of the Juvenilia Press, she has edited and illustrated a number of Austen’s juvenilia, including The Beautifull Cassandra, which she turned into a picture-book for children. She is working on a biography of the Victorian painter James Clarke Hook, and also an edition for the Juvenilia Press of Austen’s Edgar and Emma and Amelia Webster, which she plans to illustrate.

B3. Horrid Tropics? Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey’s Reception and Perception in Brazil
Maria Biajoli, Federal University of Alfenas

This session will explore the arrival of the Gothic genre in Brazil in the 19 th century and the rise of the “Tropical Gothic.” Then, it will address Jane Austen’s reception in Brazil, the first translations to Portuguese, and, more specifically, how Northanger Abbey was and is perceived by Brazilian readers.

Maria Clara Pivato Biajoli is Professor of English Literature and English Language at Federal University of Alfenas, Brazil. She has two majors in History and English and wrote a PhD dissertation about Jane Austen's current popularity and the Jane Austen Fan Fiction phenomenon. She has presented her work at two previous AGMs and in conferences in Cambridge, New Orleans, Bogota, Lisbon, and around Brazil. She also published two essays in Persuasions On-Line.

B4. Northanger Abbey and the History of the Fictional Female Detective
Elizabeth Veisz, Bridgewater State University

Building on work by Susan Zlotnick, Veisz will argue that Catherine Morland and her beloved Gothic heroines should be understood collectively as early fictional detectives and, relatedly, amateur historians. Rather than passively accepting inherited histories, these female protagonists seek tangible evidence and primary sources to establish past truths and alleviate present suffering.

Elizabeth Veisz is an Associate Professor of English at Bridgewater State University and a member of the JASNA Massachusetts Region. Her essay on Pride and Prejudice, “Lydia’s Prospect: Scandal, Sequels, and Second Chances,” was published in Persuasions (2013). She has published on Northanger Abbey, “Writing the Eighteenth-Century Household: Leapor, Austen, and the Old Feudal Spirits,” in Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, (2011). She has also presented papers on Austen at conferences in the US and the UK, such as the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference and the “Locations of Austen” conference at the University of Hertfordshire.

B5. Tensions at the Table: Dining Room Dynamics in Castles and Abbeys
Hazel Jones, Jane Austen Society (UK)

Among the strategies Austen deploys to undercut tyranny in the Gothic novel is the very specific tyranny of the table. At Northanger Abbey the all-powerful head of the family gratifies his appetite for fine dining and for power over family and guests, but this is not Udolpho and the General is no Montoni.

Hazel Jones developed a passion for Henry Tilney on first reading Northanger Abbey at the age of eleven, but has since been unfaithful to him with Mr. Knightley and Captain Wentworth. She is the author of Jane Austen & Marriage (Bloomsbury Continuum 2009, paperback edition Uppercross Press 2017), Celebrating Pride & Prejudice (co-authored with Maggie Lane, Lansdown 2012), and Jane Austen's Journeys (Hale 2014) and has almost completed a book on Jane Austen’s Knight nephews, The Other Knight Boys. She was a tutor in the Department of Lifelong Learning at Exeter University until 2005 and continues to teach residential courses on aspects of Jane Austen's writing, life and times. She is the membership secretary and a co-founder of the UK Jane Austen Society, South West Branch.

B6. The Words and Wisdom of Northanger Abbey
Devoney Looser, Arizona State University

Northanger Abbey was famously first titled Susan, but did you know it was labeled romance? Or that it and Persuasion were mistaken for one long work? Learn more about Austen’s genius by single word and witty sentence with this image-filled presentation, plus “nice” discussion of women, history, romance, and reading.

Devoney Looser is Foundation Professor of English at Arizona State University. Her most recent books are The Making of Jane Austen (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017), named a Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book (Nonfiction), and the Penguin Deluxe Classics edition of Sense and Sensibility (2019). Her selection of genuine Austen quotations, The Daily Jane Austen: A Year in Quotes (University of Chicago Press), is scheduled for publication in October 2019. Her essays on Austen have appeared in The AtlanticThe New York TimesSalon, The TLS, and Entertainment Weekly, and she’s spoken about Austen on CNN. Looser, who has played roller derby as Stone Cold Jane Austen, was named a Guggenheim Fellow and National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar in support of her next book, on the sister novelists Jane and Anna Maria Porter.

B7. Edward Austen Knight’s Godmersham Library and Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey
Alice Villaseñor, Medaille College

The Knight Collection at Chawton House Library invites us to consider what sorts of books Austen’s Northanger Abbey characters—and Austen herself—might have read. For example, annotated volumes of novels and sermons from Edward Austen Knight’s Godmersham Park Library can provide insight into the Morland family’s reading habits.

Alice Villaseñor is an Associate Professor of English at Medaille College in Buffalo, NY. Her articles and chapters on Jane Austen’s work and the Austen family have appeared in the Jane Austen Society Reports, Persuasions, Persuasions On-Line, the Journal of Victorian Culture Online, and Pride and Prejudice: A Bicentennial Bricolage. A lifetime member of JASNA, she has served as a board member of JASNA and JASNA-Southwest. She was the 2006 JASNA International Visitor and a 2011 Chawton House Library Fellow and has served as a past chair of the JASNA IVP Committee. She has spoken at several AGMs and Regional Meetings.

Breakout Session C—Saturday, October 5, 10:45-11:35 am

C1. Eleanor Tilney and Women’s Practices of Cultural History
Natasha Duquette, Tynedale University College

Eleanor Tilney highlights the role architectural, familial, and even ecological spaces play in constructing cultural history. This breakout session will consider Eleanor’s function as cultural guide. Duquette unveils multiple layers of associative memory and historical meaning for Catherine Morland.

Natasha Duquette is Professor of English at Tyndale University College and co- editor of Jane Austen and the Arts (2013). She has contributed chapters to Jane Austen and Masculinity (2017) and Art and Artifact in Jane Austen’s Novels and Early Works (forthcoming in 2019). She is currently compiling a selection of curated passages from Austen with accompanying meditations titled A 30-Day Journey with Jane Austen (forthcoming in 2019) and is editor-in-chief for the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Romantic-Era Women Writers. She has presented at AGMs in Chicago, Portland, Montreal, and Huntington Beach.

C2. Jane as Janus: Modernity and Antiquity in Northanger Abbey
Linda Troost (Jefferson College) & Sayre Greenfield (University of Pittsburgh)

When writing Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen became the Roman deity Janus. She looked both backward and forward in order to capture a modern world on the move. But how does a screenwriter or film director show cultural transformation? How does one capture modernity that is two hundred years old?

Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield edited Jane Austen in Hollywood, the first book about the film adaptations, and are frequent speakers at JASNA AGMs. Linda is professor of English at Washington & Jefferson College, and Sayre is professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. They both hold PhDs from the University of Pennsylvania and have been visiting fellows at the Chawton House Library. Life members of JASNA for over twenty years, they have been married to each other for over thirty.

C3. “Some Handsome Warrior” and “Ladies in Blue Satin”: Gothic Portraits and Austen’s Novels
Kristen Miller Zohn, Atlanta Region

This slide lecture explores how and why family portraits were amassed and displayed in English country homes and the ways in which they were utilized by Gothic novelists and Jane Austen. Images will include painted portraits, satirical prints, and illustrations.

Kristen Miller Zohn lives and works in Columbus, Georgia, where is she is the Executive Director of the Costume Society of America, a network of members who study the past, examine the present, and anticipate the future of clothing and fashion. She also serves as Curator of Collections and Exhibitions for the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi. She has published articles about Jane Austen and the visual arts in Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line. She served as the JASNA Eastern Traveling Lecturer for 2018-2019, and is a current Regional Coordinator, a Board Member, and a Life Member. Her most recent publication is The Currency of Taste: The Gibbons Georgian Silver Collection of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. Ms. Miller Zohn is a frequent lecturer on portraiture and decorative arts.

C4. Publishing Northanger Abbey: A History in Documents
Juliette Wells, Goucher College

Of all Austen’s novels, Northanger Abbey had the most complex journey from composition to publication. Enliven your understanding of this novel’s origins via a guided tour of pertinent primary sources (in digital facsimile), including letters between Austen and her publishers. Bonus: stories of the American collectors who owned important documents.

Juliette Wells is Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Professor of English at Goucher College in Maryland, home of the world-renowned Henry G. and Alberta H. Burke Jane Austen Collection. A frequent AGM breakout presenter, she was a plenary speaker at the 2016 AGM and will serve as JASNA’s East Coast Traveling Lecturer in 2019-2020. In addition to many articles for Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line, she is the author of two histories of Jane Austen’s readers: Reading Austen in America (2017) and Everybody’s Jane: Austen in the Popular Imagination (2011). For Penguin Classics, she created 200 th -anniversary annotated editions of Persuasion (2017) and Emma (2015). Her most recent essay about Austen’s influence, which appears in the collection After Austen (Palgrave, 2018), investigates Agatha Christie’s “dear Aunt Jane,” Miss Marple. She serves on the editorial board of Persuasions and is finishing her second term on the JASNA board.

C5. Churches, Chapels, Abbeys, and Cathedrals in Northanger Abbey
Brenda Cox, Atlanta Region

Catherine and Isabella “say their prayers in the same chapel” in Bath. What was the difference between chapels, churches, abbeys, and cathedrals, and why does it matter? We’ll see pictures of all four, in Bath and elsewhere, and talk about church livings, worship, Dissenters, bishops, and more.

Brenda S. Cox has spent several years researching and writing Fashionable Goodness: Christianity in Jane Austen’s England. The book will explore connections between Austen’s life and writing, her Church of England, and prominent events and people in English churches at that time. Brenda posts at on “Faith, Science, Joy, . . . and Jane Austen!” Her article “Marianne Dashwood’s Repentance, Willoughby’s ‘Repentance,’ and the Book of Common Prayer” appeared in Persuasions On-Line in December 2018.

C6. Jane Austen: Gothic Novelist?
Kim Wheatley, College of William and Mary

This session will build on Claudia Johnson’s question in her introduction to Northanger Abbey: “Is Austen possibly a gothic novelist herself?” Examining Austen’s reworkings of Gothic themes, character stereotypes, motifs, and vocabulary, Kim will consider to what extent Austen’s later novels can be seen to include traces of the Gothic.

Kim Wheatley, a native of Bath, England, received her BA in English from Cambridge University, an MA in Romantic Studies from York University, and a PhD in English from the Johns Hopkins University. Since 1992 she has taught English at William & Mary, specializing in early 19 th -century British literature. She teaches Romantic poetry, Jane Austen, and the Gothic. She is the author of Shelley and His Readers: Beyond Paranoid Politics (1999) and a book on Romantic-era periodicals, Romantic Feuds: Transcending the “Age of Personality” (2013).

C7. Comic Gothic Meets Pastoral: Austen’s Satire of Unreliable Readers
Mary Jane Curry, Alabama Region

Confusing Gothic or simplistic pastoral fiction with reality causes mischief. Catherine’s error is soon mended. Henry’s flaw is apparent only to Austen’s readers. A serious pastoral heroine grounded in good will, Catherine discerns not only real beauty in landscape but also real evil in the General, Capt. Tilney, and the Thorpes.

Mary Jane Curry, PhD English (1994), founded the JASNA-Alabama Region, which presented her with a JASNA Life Membership in 2002. She was among the first judges for the JASNA Essay Contest. Retired since 2014, she last taught at Zayed University, Dubai, UAE, where Austen is the favorite author of women university students. She lives in a pastoral setting surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina. Her book on serious pastoral motifs in Austen’s fiction is completed, and she hopes to have a publisher before the 2019 AGM.

Breakout Session D—Saturday, October 5, 1:35-2:25 pm

D1. Lessons Learned: Domestic Landscape Under Threat in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey
Rebecca Posusta, University of Colorado

Austen laments the increasingly secular and parsimonious snobbery in young women destined to only see the world through gothic-tinted glasses. She weighs in on the debate about education and novel reading in Northanger Abbey through the ironic, misleading, and sometimes paradoxical language of her physical and psychological spaces.

Rebecca Posusta received degrees in English Literature from Georgia State University in Atlanta. At the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, she teaches a variety of courses in literature, including British literature, Postcolonial literature, sustainability in literature as well as courses on Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. She has twice led a travel study course to Jane Austen’s England. She has presented papers at the Montréal and Washington, DC, AGMs and also at the 2013 “Locations of Austen” conference at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. She has published “Architecture of the Mind and Place in Persuasion” (Critical Surveys 2014) and “Organizing Bodies: Teaching Metaphors of Space in Austen’s Persuasion,” which is forthcoming in MLA’s Approaches to Teaching Austen’s Persuasion.

D2. “Books universally read and Admired”: Mrs. Smith in Northanger Abbey
Elaine Bander, Montréal-Québec Region

Austen’s first work of realistic fiction and last completed novel both refer to “Mrs. Smith”: one a novelist, the other a novel character. This session will revisit the influence of novelist Charlotte Smith on Northanger Abbey, a novel about reading novels, in order to explore porous distinctions between novel genres in the novel.

Elaine Bander has been a JASNA member since 1993. She has served as Regional Coordinator (Montréal), VP (Publications), Coordinator of the 2014 AGM, and (currently) on the Editorial Board of Persuasions. Elaine has spoken and published numerous articles on Austen and related topics (e.g. Frances Burney). She is retired from teaching English at Dawson College (Montréal).

D3. American Gothic: Architecture, Design, and Teenage Fangirls in Federal America
Alden O’Brien, Washington, DC, Metropolitan Region

Catherine Morland’s favorite genre was also popular with American audiences, and the Gothic style took root in American architecture and decorative arts. We’ll examine American teens’ diaries; gothic style ceramics, textiles, and jewelry; schoolgirl needlework; and other evidence of Americans’ participation in the trend that captivated Catherine.

Alden O’Brien is curator of costume and textiles at the DAR Museum in Washington DC. She holds a BA in Art History from Barnard College and a MA in Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles from FIT. She recently curated “An Agreeable Tyrant: Fashion after the Revolution” (, which exhibited over 50 garments documenting Americans’ response to European fashions 1780-1830. Alden specializes in linking fashion and textile history to other decorative arts and cultural trends. Her current exhibit “A Piece of Her Mind: Culture and Technology in American Quilts” includes a quilt with a Gothic-themed textile. She presented at JASNA AGMs in 2015 and 2016.

D4. The Brothers of Northanger Abbey: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous
Sue Scott, North Carolina Region

As the sister of six brothers, Jane Austen must have considered that sibling relationship important. Instead of looking at her male characters as romantic heroes or villains, we'll explore the role of these men as brothers, asking ourselves, "Would I want him for MY brother?"

Sue Scott is recently retired from a career as a public librarian in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a longtime member of the JASNA North Carolina region, where she frequently presents programs directly related to Austen’s novels. Most recently, Sue led a discussion entitled “Mothers in Jane Austen’s Novels: Dead, Distant, or Dysfunctional.”

D5. The British Army: Its Importance to Regency England and to Jane Austen
James Nagle, Puget Sound Region

Soldiers, in the forms of General and Captain Tilney, figure centrally in the plot of Northanger Abbey, and this is a reflection of daily life in Austen’s England. While the Napoleonic and other wars raged, the army permeated Britain’s society and economy, impacting not only the nation, but Austen’s own family.

James F. Nagle, a member of the Puget Sound Region, is a former secretary of JASNA. A semi-retired lawyer, Jim has spoken at numerous AGM’s and to various regions regarding various aspects of Jane’s life and times.

D6. Don’t Know Much About History: History and Histrionics, Posing and Passion in Northanger Abbey
Theresa Kenney, University of Dallas

Catherine complains of the dullness of “real, solemn history,” but would find it hard to name any history book or newspaper that reported incidents without incorporating the language of drama, novels, and the invented speeches of classical history. We will see how entertaining history was in Catherine’s day.

Theresa Kenney is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Dallas and has presented at AGMs in Los Angeles, Tucson, Philadelphia, Chicago, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Fort Worth, Washington, DC, and Kansas City. She earned a BA in English and Classics from Penn State, a Masters in English from Notre Dame, and a PhD in English from Stanford. She has published two books, Women Are not Human: An Anonymous Treatise and Responses, and, as editor and contributor, The Christ Child in Medieval Culture: Alpha es et O! She has published several essays on Austen in Persuasions and in the Ignatius Press critical editions series. Her most recent publication on Austen is her essay on “Benevolence and Sympathy in Emma” for Persuasions.

D7. Henry and Catherine: Toxic Masculinity or a New Paradigm for Relationships?
Cristina Pineda, Southwest Region

Join a professional matchmaker as she reveals Jane Austen’s wisdom about courtship and relationship dynamics in Northanger Abbey. This session will demonstrate how, through their understanding of masculinity and femininity, Austen’s men and women either edify or sabotage one another…all in the name of love.

Cristina (Conti) Pineda is Co-Founder and Executive at Matchmakers in the City, a personal matchmaking firm based in LA with other locations in NYC, SF, and DC. After studying Jane Austen and the Regency period at Oxford University, Conti obtained a Master's degree. Now, Conti combines her enthusiasm for relationships and Austen’s novels to date coach her clients on courtship, chivalry, and romance. Conti has also published feature articles that intersect modern dating with Austen’s classic values on Elite Daily,, and Entity Magazine among others. A frequent keynote speaker at venues like the Guggenheim Museum NYC and the Peninsula Hotel Beverly Hills, Cristina has seven years of professional matchmaking experience.

Breakout Session E—Saturday, October 5, 2:35-3:25 pm

E1. Better Living Through Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey
Michelle Vachris, Virginia Weslayan University

Learn how Austen’s “Guide to Life,” as presented in Northanger Abbey, is inspired by Enlightenment principles: (1) developing self-command; (2) being prudent without being miserly; (3) showing justice to everyone; (4) being proud of our accomplishments without vanity; (5) respecting others’ accomplishments; (6) thinking for ourselves; (7) tolerating others; (8) always striving to improve.

Michelle Albert Vachris is Professor of Management, Business, and Economics at Virginia Wesleyan University and Professor Emerita at Christopher Newport University. She began her career as an economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and has served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund. She is past-president and Distinguished Fellow of the Virginia Association of Economists and co-editor of the Virginia Economic Journal. Her publications include articles and book chapters on public choice economics, teaching pedagogy, and economics in literature. She co-authored Pride and Profit: the Intersection of Jane Austen and Adam Smith (Lexington, 2015) with Cecil E. Bohanon. Her most recent book is the co-edited volume Dystopia and Economics: A Guide to Surviving Everything from the Apocalypse to Zombies (Routledge, 2018).

E2. Gothic Gallivanting: The Austen Family as Tourists and How Their Travels Influenced Jane Austen’s Novels
Victoria Hinshaw & Kim Wilson, Wisconsin Region

The Austens were avid readers about and travelers to popular landscapes, crumbling castles, and abandoned abbeys. All these experiences nourished and informed Jane Austen’s novels. Wilson will discuss picturesque tourism and Austen’s encounters with the picturesque. Hinshaw will discuss abbeys and their transformations into tourist destinations popular even today.

Victoria Hinshaw is the author of a dozen novels set in the Regency era. She has presented at previous AGMs in Toronto, Tucson, Portland, Fort Worth, Minneapolis, Montreal, and Louisville. She often speaks to various JASNA regions, civic groups, continuing education programs, and for Road Scholar. She holds a BS from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, and an MA from The American University, Washington DC. Kim Wilson is Regional Coordinator for Wisconsin and previously served as editor of the Region’s publication, the Wire. She holds a degree in Economics from the University of Washington-Seattle. The author of At Home with Jane Austen, Tea with Jane Austen, and In the Garden with Jane Austen, she presented at JASNA AGMs in Milwaukee, Chicago, Portland, Fort Worth, Montreal, and Washington, DC. She lectures for Road Scholar and was a featured speaker for the Royal Oak Foundation’s Autumn 2014 series.

E3. Stormy Sisterhood: Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre
Amanda Beverly and Mary Landrum, Greater Louisville Region

Jane Austen’s humor, looks at small town life, and quotable characters have stood the test of time; yet, the same can be said for Brontë’s dark interiors and passionate lovers. Who is the better writer? This session hopes to answer that question with an analysis of Northanger Abbey and Jane Eyre.

Amanda Beverly grew up surrounded by female family members who taught her the importance of reading, ensuring her destiny as a bibliophile. After graduating from Centre College, she went on to work for ten years at her local bookstore. During her tenure there she became a Lifetime Member of JASNA, Program Coordinator for JASNA-GL, and still hosts the Jane Austen Book Club she founded eight years ago. Mary Landrum obtained degrees in English and French literature from Earlham College. From there she taught in France, and upon her return worked at her local bookstore, where she met Ms. Beverly. Earning her Masters in Library & Information Sciences from the University of Kentucky, she is a Children’s Librarian for the Lexington Public Library system as well as a member and regular presenter at JASNA-GL.

E4. Epistolary Machinations in the Female Gothic: Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and the ‘Horrid’ Novels
Carrie Wright, University of Southern Indiana

Letters and epistolary relationships operate on female characters’ agency in Northanger Abbey and the “horrid” novels mentioned by Isabella Thorpe. Austen’s novel replicates, subverts and complicates the gothic novel’s epistolary exploitation of heroines by employing letters to uncover insidious societal dangers for women, more realistic than terrifying castles or banditos.

In addition to being an avid reader and scholar of Jane Austen and her time period, Carrie Wright is also a teacher, a geologist, a gemologist, and a prolific letter-writer. She earned BA and MS degrees in Geology from Miami University of Ohio, a MS of Teaching degree from Wright State University, and a MA in English from the University of Southern Indiana where she has taught geology for twelve years. During her studies for her English degree, she focused much of her research and writing on Jane Austen, the gothic novel, and letter writing.

E5. “A Country Dance as an Emblem of Marriage” in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey
Nora Foster Stovel, University of Alberta

Henry Tilney comments to Catherine Morland at the Bath Assembly, “I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage.” His desire to dance suggests his inclination towards matrimony. Regency country dance patterns and steps prophesy courtship and marriage, as video clips from Andrew Davies’s 2007 film adaptation will illustrate.

Nora Foster Stovel is Professor Emerita at the University of Alberta. She has published on Jane Austen, D.H. Lawrence, Margaret Drabble, Carol Shields, and Margaret Laurence, including Divining Margaret Laurence: A Study of Her Complete Writings. She has edited Margaret Laurence’s Heart of a Stranger and Long Drums and Cannons: Nigerian Dramatists and Novelists, plus Jane Austen Sings the Blues and Jane Austen and Company. She is composing “Sparkling Subversion”: Carol Shields’s Vision and Voice and Women with Wings: The Romantic and Classical Ballerina. She has edited The Creation of iGiselle: 19 th - Century Ballet Meets 21 st -Century Video Games (2019). She is editing “Recognition and Revelation”: Margaret Laurence’s Non-Fiction Writings, “My Miniature Art”: The Poetry of Carol Shields, and “Fresh News from Another Country”: Carol Shields’s Essays and Fiction. Nora has given a dozen papers at JASNA AGMs and published a dozen essays in Persuasions and festschriften.

E6. “Northanger Abbey: The Bridge to Jane Austen’s Mature Works”
Collins Hemingway, Oregon & Southwest Washington Region

This talk illustrates how Jane Austen develops her craft as a fiction writer in Northanger Abbey. It shows, through a careful analysis of her text, the fictional techniques she developed that shifted her juvenile parody to the insightful characterizations of relationships that mark her novels.

Collins Hemingway is a modern technologist and a student of history who lectures and writes about the life and times of Jane Austen. He has published articles in Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line, and is a regular contributor to Jane Austen’s Regency World. With degrees in English literature and a background in science, he has had a career in which the two fields constantly intersect. He is the co-author of five nonfiction books on business, technology, ethics, and the brain. This work includes the top-selling book, Business @ the Speed of Thought, with Bill Gates. He has written literary fiction based on the life of Jane Austen and is at work on a collection of critical essays on her development as a writer.

E7. “Pretty Fairly Divided Between the Sexes”: Jane Austen on Gender
Jenny Rytting, Northwest Missouri State University

Be prepared to judge Henry Tilney’s comments about women and men! Are they misogynist, feminist, or facetious? We’ll also contrast sibling pairs as we discuss gender in Northanger Abbey—and in Austen’s other novels—and play a trivia game that can contribute to Austen research, if you so choose.

Jenny Rebecca Rytting studied Jane Austen for her Honors BA at Brigham Young University, young adult fantasy for her MA at Acadia University, and medieval literature (with a focus on female visionaries) for her PhD at Arizona State. She is now an Associate Professor of English at Northwest Missouri State University, where she continues to pursue an eclectic mix of interests. She has published a pair of articles on Pride and Prejudice in Persuasions On-Line; collaborated with her father on a study of psychological type in Emma; and led her Region’s 2017 discussion of Northanger Abbey. She also teaches Austen-themed special-topics courses (most recently “Jane Austen and Politics”) and organizes an annual evening of English Country Dancing.