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Jane Austen Society of North America
2005 Annual General Meeting

October 7-9, 2005
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Plenary Speakers

The Grandeur of the Meeting was beyond my hopes.
                                            —Jane to Cassandra, January 24, 1809

Eminent speakers will develop the conference theme in plenary sessions. Members who arrive early will be treated to a pre-AGM talk on Thursday evening by British scholar Irene Collins. Deirdre Le Faye, renowned Austen scholar, will join us through a videotaped interview. Jan Fergus will focus on humor in Austen’s letters; Juliet McMaster, in the Joan Philosophos Lecture, will talk about Austen and her characters as self-conscious letter writers; and JASNA President Joan Klingel Ray will give an illustrated lecture on the houses and estates that figure in Austen’s correspondence. A weekend of multifaceted breakout sessions will conclude with Sunday brunch and a lecture by JASNA’s favorite scholarly team, Devoney Looser and George Justice.

Deirdre Le Faye
An Hour with Deirdre Le Faye

Deirdre Le Fay
Deirdre Le Faye will join the 2005 AGM through an interview videotaped in England and conducted by JASNA President Joan Ray. Ms. Le Faye, one of the world’s leading authorities on Jane Austen, discusses her research for the third edition of Jane Austen’s Letters. Her many books include Jane Austen: The World of her Novels, Jane Austen’s ‘Outlandish Cousin’: The Life and Letters of Eliza de Feuillide, The Jane Austen Cookbook (with Maggie Black), and Jane Austen, a Family Record.  Ms. Le Faye’s current project is A Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family, to be published by Cambridge University Press later this year.

Chawton House Library and its founder, Sandy Lerner, sponsored and produced this extraordinary hour with Ms. Le Faye. The interview was recorded at Chawton House Library, the Elizabethan manor house owned by Austen’s wealthy brother Edward, now home to The Centre for the Study of Early English Women’s Writing: 1600-1830.

Jan Fergus
  “The Whinnying of Harpies”? Humor in Jane Austen’s Letters
Published in Persuasions 27 (2005).  “‘The Whinnying of Harpies’: Humor in Jane Austenís Letters.” Persuasions 27 (2005): 130-141.
Jan Fergus
Austen scholar Jan Fergus will deliver the Carol Medine Moss Keynote Lecture, focusing on humor in Jane Austen’s letters. A graduate of Stanford and the City University of New York, Dr. Fergus is Professor of English at Lehigh University. Her many publications include Jane Austen: A Literary Life and Jane Austen and the Didactic Novel: Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice. Dr. Fergus has made a name for herself within JASNA for her amusing lectures and articles on whining: “’My sore throats, you know, are always worse than anybody’s’: Mary Musgrove and Jane Austen’s Art of Whining” (Persuasions 15), and “Male Whiners in Jane Austen’s Novels” (Persuasions 18). In addition to articles in numerous scholarly journals and collections, she contributed “The Professional Writer” to The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen and edited and wrote the introduction to Austen’s Lesley Castle and A History of England for Juvenilia Press.

Juliet McMaster
Your Sincere Freind, the Author

Juliet McMaster
Juliet McMaster, Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, will give the Joan Philosophos Lecture. It was Joan who chose the conference theme and Dr. McMaster who suggested to her the title. Dr. McMaster’s speech, “Your Sincere Freind, The Author,” will examine Austen and her characters as self-conscious letter writers. Dr. McMaster is well known to JASNA members as founder of Juvenilia Press, AGM speaker, contributor to and former editor of Persuasions, and coordinator of JASNA conferences, including Lake Louise and Jasper. She is the author of Jane Austen the Novelist: Essays Past and Present, and she co-edited The Child Writer from Austen to Woolf, The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen and Jane Austen’s Business: Her World and her Profession. Her writing appears in many journals and collections, including, The Talk in Jane Austen and The Jane Austen Companion.

Joan Klingel Ray
The Woman who Came to Dinner: Jane Austen and Country Houses in Visits and Letters

Joan Ray
The 2005 AGM North American Scholar will be Joan Klingel Ray, President of JASNA. The title of her lecture is “The Woman Who Came to Dinner: Jane Austen and Country Houses in Visits and Letters.” She will provide an illustrated tour of houses that figure in Austen’s correspondence, bringing to life Goodnestone, Ibthrope, Godmersham Park, Ashe and Deane, to name a few. Dr. Ray teaches at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where she is University President's Teaching Scholar, a lifetime title awarded to outstanding faculty.  She is editing the Dictionary of Literary Biography volume on Jane Austen. Her papers on Austen include "In Defense of Lady Russell: The Godmother Knew Best” (Persuasions 15) and “Jane Austen’s Case Study in Child Abuse,” about Mansfield Park (Persuasions 13). Dr. Ray has published in numerous scholarly journals, including Studies in Philology, The George Herbert Journal, The Explicator, Dickens Quarterly, and Studies in Short Fiction.

Devoney Looser and George Justice
Burn this Letter: Personal Correspondence and the Secrets of the Soul

Devoney Looser and George Justice, JASNA’s favorite wife-husband scholarly team, will deliver the concluding AGM lecture, entitled “Burn this Letter: Personal Correspondence and the Secrets of the Soul.” They are Associate Professors at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dr. Looser is the author of British Women Writers and the Writing of History, 1670-1820, the editor of Jane Austen and Discourses of Feminism, and the co-editor of Generations: Feminist Academics in Dialogue.  She is co-editor of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Huntington Library, and King's College-London's Special Collections, among others.  Dr. Looser is a former member of the JASNA board of directors and currently serves on the executive committee of the Midwest Modern Language Association, as well as the Late Eighteenth-Century Division of the Modern Language Association.  Her work-in-progress is a book on British women writers and old age, 1750-1850.  With Dr. Justice, she is editing a volume of the correspondence of Samuel Richardson.

Dr. Justice is the author of The Manufacturers of Literature: Writing and the Literary Marketplace in Eighteenth-Century England and the co-editor of Women’s Writing and the Circulation of Ideas: Manuscript Publication in England, 1550-1800. He is working on a project on educational institutions, the book trade, and the English novel in the eighteenth century, as well as a chapter on Frances Burney and the literary marketplace for the Cambridge Companion to Burney. He is book review editor for JASNA News, and he and his wife are the JASNA Midwest Traveling Lecturers. Dr. Justice counts as his proudest teaching achievement a course on Jane Austen: Life and Works, for which his students read biographies, letters, and novels and created their own Austen web logs.

Irene Collins
 How to Write a Begging Letter: Hints and Examples from Jane Austen's Letters and Novels

Irene Collins
Members who arrive in Milwaukee early will enjoy a Thursday evening lecture by British scholar Irene Collins. During the 2003 AGM, Ms. Collins delighted JASNA with her plenary speech and moving recitations from Austen’s work at the memorial service in Winchester Cathedral. Ms. Collins taught for many years at Liverpool University and is an international authority on the history of Napoleon. Her publications include Jane Austen and the Clergy and Jane Austen, the Parson’s Daughter. Joan Philosophos once remarked that she would listen to Ms. Collins read from the London phone book, though for the 2005 meeting Ms. Collins promises much more.

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