Call for Papers

At the 2021 JASNA Board Meeting in October, the Board approved the annual selection of one first-time AGM speaker as JASNA’s New Voices Breakout Speaker. Please read more about the selection process and how to apply in the box at the bottom of this page. The deadline for breakout session proposals (with or without the optional personal statement for New Voices applicants) has been extended to December 15, 2021.

Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s first published novel, has captivated readers and intrigued critics for over 200 years. JASNA’s Victoria, British Columbia Region invites proposals for breakout sessions at the 2022 Annual General Meeting.

While proposals on any aspect of the novel are welcome, the conference’s location suggests some potential areas you may wish to explore. As the City of Gardens is both the capital of British Columbia and possesses a small-town feel, you may be inspired to consider the concept of home and the contrasts between city and country in Sense and Sensibility.

Victoria lies on unceded traditional First Nations territories. Displacement, dispossession, empire, and colonialism have shaped the island’s history, and the conference organizers invite you to explore how Austen addressed these themes in the novel. Potential breakout presenters may also wish to address Austen’s writing technique, historical and cultural contexts, and creative and critical responses to the novel.

Other themes worthy of consideration include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

JASNA Victoria welcomes traditional lecture formats but also encourages presentations that incorporate audience participation. Breakout sessions will be 40 minutes in length, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Submission Instructions

We select intriguing speakers from academia and a wide variety of other professional 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.

The following submission materials are required:

  1. A cover letter including your name, JASNA Region, any college or university affiliation you may have, your mailing and e-mail addresses, phone number(s), and a brief description of your background (100 words max.) as it pertains to your ability to speak authoritatively on your chosen topic. Please let us know if you have been a speaker at a previous AGM, JASNA regional meetings, or other conferences.
  2. A one-page abstract of your breakout session. Describe your presentation, noting what about it will be new or different to a JASNA audience. AV equipment will be available, and the use of visuals, where appropriate, is encouraged. Please specify whether you will use AV equipment.

Proposals will be considered from JASNA members and non-members alike; however, speakers must be members at the time of conference registration. Information about membership is available at, and information on past and upcoming AGMs is available at JASNA’s journals, which contain essay versions of many talks originally presented at AGMs, can be found at (many, but not all, articles are accessible online).

Please submit proposals with the information described above to Alison Dacia Brown at The deadline for submittals is December 15, 2021.

Selections will be announced in early 2022.

How to Apply to Be JASNA’s 2022 New Voices Breakout Speaker

JASNA AGM teams have always sought to include new voices and fresh perspectives in our speaker lineups. To formalize this process, beginning this year, one first-time AGM speaker will be recognized as the JASNA New Voices Breakout Speaker. Selection will be based on the strength of the breakout session proposal, with additional consideration of a short personal statement. The selected speaker will receive complimentary conference registration, a travel grant of $300, and recognition in the conference program and website.

Application instructions: Anyone who has not spoken previously at an AGM may apply. If you would like to be considered, please prepare and submit your breakout session proposal and cover letter as noted in the Submission Instructions in the 2022 AGM Call for Papers. Additionally, please provide a brief personal statement (100-word maximum) describing how your participation, or your topic, would support JASNA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion at its conferences. For this purpose, we are using a broad, multidimensional definition of diversity and inclusion and are encouraging applicants to frame their personal statements in any way they wish. Age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, disability, language, and other factors may be included; applicants who have occupations or hobbies that provide a distinctive insight into Austen’s work may discuss them; or, in cases where the topic of a presentation addresses diversity and inclusion directly, that may be highlighted. (Any one of these factors is sufficient; applicants do not need to try to address them all.) The most important thing is to prepare a top-notch proposal on a fresh topic that aligns with the conference theme, as selection committees will evaluate abstracts in a blind process before personal statements are reviewed.

Eligibility: Applicants may have attended past AGMs but must not have served as an AGM speaker previously. All breakout speakers must be members of JASNA in good standing at the time of AGM registration, but JASNA membership is not required to submit a proposal.

Selection Process: JASNA will evaluate applications alongside breakout session proposals in December 2021 and announce a selection by February 2022. Strength of the breakout session proposal and its contribution to the conference theme (Sense and Sensibility) is the primary consideration, with the personal statement considered next.