Call for Papers
The Greater Chicago Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America cordially invites the submission of proposals for breakout sessions that will celebrate Jane Austen’s influence and legacy in the visual arts (whether “fine” or “decorative”), performing arts (music, theater, dance), and Austen adaptations on stage, screen, or other electronic/broadcast media. After having celebrated the social and cultural facets of Austen’s novels during their bicentenaries in the past decade, the JASNA AGM returns to Chicago to examine the strong artistic connections between Austen’s life, work, and heritage and the various branches of the visual and performing arts. These art forms would include creative work, by either amateurs or professionals, from Austen’s own time or works subsequently inspired or influenced by her work.
The committee welcomes proposals for presentations on a wide range of topics that explore the relationship between Jane Austen and the arts, through works of visual art and performances mentioned by Austen, of Austen’s time, or inspired by Austen. Ideas for development may include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
- How did the performing arts of her time influence Austen?
- How much knowledge of the arts of her time could and did Austen assume about her readers?
- How do Austen’s novels reflect the larger artistic context of her time and place?
- How did the theater influence Austen’s novels, and how have the novels influenced the theater?
- How does Austen’s work adapt to such art forms as music, opera, and dance?
- Does it matter how close adaptations are to the Austen original? Why or why not? What advantages and challenges does each art form present to an adaptation? What do different adaptations of Austen’s novels say about the larger artistic context in which they were produced?
- How did work created and performed by amateurs in Austen’s time, such as the Austen family theatricals at Steventon or the visual art created by Cassandra Austen, influence her writing?
- How might aspects of public and private performance in Austen’s time have influenced her literary presentation of life as a kind of performance?
- How has the work of visual artists since Austen’s time reflected her influence?
- Metaphorically, how or what does performance itself reveal about Austen to today’s consumer of the arts?
- How do visual and performing arts inspired by Austen influence our reading of the novels, or inspire readers to ask new questions about the novels?
We encourage lively breakout presentations that reflect the richness of the conference theme. We are happy to accept presentations in a traditional lecture format, but please feel free to think creatively by engaging in participatory styles, presenting debates, or using multi-media. A presentation could incorporate one or more speakers. Compelling content and a dynamic and engaging presentation style are both important.
Breakout presentations should be 50 minutes in length, including time for a question and answer period.
We select intriguing speakers from academia and a wide variety of other backgrounds. As the AGM is JASNA’s premier event, we seek speakers who not only have demonstrated expertise in their subject areas, but have experience presenting their findings in a lively and engaging manner. AV equipment will be available, and the use of visuals is encouraged. The following submission materials are required:
- A cover letter including your name, JASNA region, any institutional or professional affiliation you wish to mention, your mailing and e-mail addresses, phone number(s), and a brief biography (100 words max.). Also, please let us know if you have been a speaker at a previous AGM, at JASNA regional meetings, or other conferences.
- A one-page abstract of your breakout session. Describe your presentation, noting what about it will be new or different to a JASNA audience.
- In keeping with the conference theme, presentations could include some form of theatrical, music, dance and/or visual arts components.
- Proposals with a performance component must include a video or audio sample of the performer(s).
- Production requirements should be kept relatively modest, as elaborate settings and special lighting will not be feasible.
- Musical performers should be prepared to provide portable instruments, as a piano may not be available. In many instances a pre-recorded performance would be preferred.
- If you wish to submit a proposal on a cultural topic not usually thought of as being part of the traditional “fine arts” listed above (domestic arts, folk arts, architecture, fashion design, or another topic one might argue has aspects of artistic expression), please send a message to the Breakout Chairs with the Subject Line—CHICAGO BREAKOUT QUESTION.
- The conference theme is designed to highlight the relationship between Austen studies and the visual and performing arts. We feel that Austen’s relationship to literary art forms has been richly explored throughout the world of Austen studies. Again, if you contemplate a proposal relating Austen to the literary arts, please send a message to the Breakout Chairs with the Subject Line—CHICAGO BREAKOUT QUESTION.
The submission deadline is November 21, 2020.
Please send proposals to: Jeff Nigro and William Phillips at AustenArts2021agm@gmail.com