Helen Burch – In Memorandum

JASNA – We are saddened by the loss of a longtime member, Helen Burtch, of St. Louis. Thoughts and condolences go to her family and friends from all the members of the Metropolitan St. Louis Region of JASNA.

Helen was a lively and generous member of our organization and a devoted student and appreciator of Jane Austen’s writing. For the past ten years, she was the resident sponsor of our annual Jane Austen Birthday Luncheon at the Gatesworth.

JASNA–St. Louis has made a memorial donation to the Jane Austen House Museum in her honor. You can view Helen Burtch’s obituary on Legacy.com.

2017 – JASNA Summer Program

Jane Austen Summer Program Presents

“200 Years of Persuasion”

June 15 to 18, 2017

Hosted by the University of North Carolina, CH and JASNA-NC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — This summer more than 100 people, including Austen fans, established scholars, graduate students, K-12 teachers, and aspiring authors, will have the opportunity to hear expert speakers and participate in discussion groups on Austen’s last completed novel, Persuasion. Attendees will also partake in an English tea, dance at a Regency-style ball, attend Austen-inspired theatricals, and visit special exhibits tailored to the conference.

They will be attending the fifth-annual Jane Austen Summer Program from June 15 to 18, 2017 to explore this year’s chosen theme: “200 Years of Persuasion.” The events will take place at the Hampton Inn in Carrboro and at various locations on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill, NC.

The discussions will consider Austen’s last completed novel Persuasion in its historical context as well as its afterlives in fiction and film. “This year we are so pleased that Jocelyn Harris, a Persuasion expert and a delightful individual, is coming from New Zealand to join us as a key note speaker,” says Inger Brodey, co-director of the program with James Thompson. “We will also have a naval historian guide us through the mostly off-stage military dimension of the novel.”

Participants old and new praise the program’s accessibility, innovation, and community-building. “Last year’s conference on Mansfield Park was my first experience of JASP—and now I’m hooked!,” says Vicky Brandt. “It’s a wonderful idea to open up an academic conference to the interested public: everyone should be able to experience the loving inquiry that is the heart of scholarship. All the presentations were enlightening; the small group discussions lively and insightful; the Saturday evening Regency ball almost as beautiful to watch as the ones we see on film. In short, I can think of no better way to describe it than with Austen’s own words: ‘the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation.’” Attendees express special appreciation for the cultural and historical knowledge exchanged at the program. Patrick McGraw says, “Over four days, I learned more about Austen’s novel than I ever imagined I could. I cannot wait to return to UNC Chapel Hill this coming summer to explore Persuasion.”

For more program information, to see comments and photos from previous programs, or to register, please visit the program’s website janeaustensummer.org or follow the program at facebook.com/janeaustensummer or via twitter, @JASPhotline. You may also contact us at janeaustensummer@unc.edu.


**** The 2017 Summer Program wants teachers*****

Persuasion Teacher Flyer


2017 JASNA Essay Contest

Dear Essay Writers,

As you know, JASNA (National level) sponsors an essay contest every year, with three categories: high school, undergraduate and graduate. The topic is usually tied to the theme of the upcoming AGM, in this case, it is the “afterlife” of Jane Austen’s novels. Our 2017 Essay Contest is now open — the deadline is May 21, 2017.  We have no budget for publicity and so we are asking you to help us get the word out.

Attached is a color poster for the contest, suitable for downloading and posting to a physical bulletin board. The link is: http://jasna.org/essaycontest/poster-2017.pdf  We would ask you to feature it on your school’s bulletin board, newspaper, or other popular venue.  Also note that the details about prizes, eligibility, style and submission, as well as links to previous winning essays, are available at  http://jasna.org/essaycontest/

We look forward to your submissions.  If you have any questions about this contest please contact our Regional Coordinators at HERE.


Essay Contest Topic:

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, JASNA is looking for short essays that address the following questions: Let us have lights, camera and action. “Imagine that you are adapting an Austen novel for stage or film. What elements might you be tempted to change – especially for a modern audience – that should not be tampered with if the integrity of the work is to be preserved? These elements could be scenes, characters, dialogue or something else. Explain why they are so crucial to the novel. How does what can and cannot be changed shed light on Austen’s popularity and influence?

Who Is Eligible: Students at the high school, college and graduate levels.

Awards: Judges select first-, second-, and third-place winners in each of the three divisions.

Winners will receive:

  • • Cash scholarships ranging from $250 to $1,000
  • • Paid registration and two-nights’ lodging for the JASNA Annual General Meeting in Huntington Beach CA, October 6-8 (first place only)
  • • One-year free membership in JASNA
  • • Publication of the winning essays on the JASNA website.

Entry Deadline: May 21, 2017

For Details/How to Enter: Visit the Essay Contest page at www.jasna.org



9th Annual Jane Austen Festival – Louisville

The Jane Austen Society of North America- Greater Louisville Region is already hard at work on the 9th Annual Jane Austen Festival, which will be held at 1790’s Locust Grove in Louisville, Kentucky.

This year, we will be celebrating “Jane Austen’s Legacy, 1775-1817,” and commemorating 200 years since her passing.  Join us on Friday, July 14th, Saturday, July 15th, and Sunday, July 16th!

On Friday, July 14th, the hours are 6-9 p.m. and we will have two special people in attendance: Emperor Napoleon and Admiral Lord Nelson! What will they say to each other? Watch our website for more details and scheduling.

How fortunate that July 14th is Bastille Day! Come dressed in your Costume Parisienne finery and enjoy foods from a food truck that makes crepes! All of our Vendor shoppes will be open for business for Twilight Shopping- come for early deals!

On Saturday & Sunday, July 15th & 16th, the hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. Our featured speaker is Dr. Cheryl Kinney and she will be presenting, “The Eulogy Jane Austen Should Have Had.” We will also have the ever popular Regency Style Show by Betsy Bashore, the Regency Fashion Display by Gayle Simmons, and a NEW Punch & Judy Show. The Acasta Naval Encampment will be back and more!

The Vendor shoppes will be open for business each day. We will have food available for purchase at the Earl of Sandwich Shoppe, which will be in a new location this year. Plus our Four-Course Afternoon Tea sittings with a special Children’s Tea on Sunday afternoon!

Our 2017 Workshops include making Tussie Mussies, String your own strand of Pearls, Regency Letter Writing, and Netting.

The Grand Ball will be on Saturday, July 15th, 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Spalding University.



On Saturday, July 15th, we will have a Regency Mourning Procession in honor of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s passing. More details on proper female and male dress to come later.  In the meantime, check out this Pinterest Board on Mourning Attire. 

Need a place to stay? Go to our website for information about hotels, B&B’s and more. There is a huge music festival the same weekend, we suggest making reservationssooner rather than later.


Online advance registration will begin on or about June 5th. Advance registration is highly recommended for the

Afternoon Tea, Workshops and the Grand Ball

as they sell-out before the festival opens.

Festival Admission is $6 per person for Friday Night-Twilight Shopping and $12 per person for one-day admission on Saturday or Sunday. Children under 12 admitted free with an adult.

NOTE: A two-day admission pass for $20 per person will be available ONLINE ONLY.

The Four-Course Afternoon Tea is $25 (plus Festival admission) per person and Children’s Tea is $20 per child (plus Festival admission if over 12 years of age). The Grand Ball is $25 per person. Workshop prices will be available April 2017.

We hope to see you at Locust Grove this July!

To Forgive is Divine – and Practical, Too

JaneAustenSilhouetteRobert Mai, a local member of the Metropolitan St. Louis Region of the Jane Austen Society of America, has written an article that is published on Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-Line.

Robert Mai is a principal in Stakeholder Insights, an opinion research firm in St. Louis.  He teaches courses in managing people at the Brown School at Washington University, and is the author of The Leader as Communicator (AMACOM).  He has earned degrees in English from Columbia and the University of Rochester.


Bob has recently published an article in Persuasions On-Line (Winter 2014) titled “To Forgive is Divine – and Practical, Too.”  It’s about a special skill exhibited by Jane Austen’s heroines (mostly), and can be summarized by this quote from the article:

The real accomplishment of Austen heroines is not just securing a husband but also strengthening the goodwill embodied in those communities where they will live as married couples.  The strategy that accomplishes these positive ends is forgiveness,  which is also the subject of some compelling new research emanating from the fields of evolutionary psychology and behavioral economics.

Bob has been reading Jane Austen with pleasure since undergraduate days at Columbia.  He is currently musing over other examples of how Austen heroines exhibit highly regarded contemporary character traits like resilience, action-orientation, empathy, and speaking truth to power.  He is thinking about how to write a Jane Austen management book that might be read by more than his immediate family.