A Will, an Opportunity for Study, and a Proposal

 

Last week, Linda Dennery and Meg Levin, our faithful New York Region correspondents, passed along three Austen-related items. The first is a story about, and a link to, Austen’s will; the second, an announcement of a summer course on Mansfield Park and Persuasion at Cornell University; and the third, a real-life marriage proposal with an Austen theme.

While Dennery and Levin caution that you might need a subscription to the Mail Online’s website to read the newspaper story, we had no trouble accessing the link without said subscription. Your experience may differ, of course. As an alternate source, Dennery and Levin have provided a link to the UK’s National Archive, which posted Austen’s will online on Epiphany (Jan. 6).

Of interest in the story is the note by the Mail’s reporter that Austen’s estate, valued at some £800 at her death, would be worth about £27,000, or approx. $45,000, today.

At Cornell, senior lecturer David Faulkner’s July 6–12 adult-education course, “Half Agony Half Hope: Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Persuasion,” explores the “radically vulnerable” positions in which Fanny and Anne find themselves, not only bereft of parental care and protection, but also, essentially, homeless and in search of identity in a hostile world.

Of the third item supplied by Dennery and Levin, we will say … well, we’ll let you peruse it yourself.

 

UNC-Chapel Hill offers summer Austen program June 27-30

Eve M. Duffy, director of the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill Program in the Humanities, recently informed us that UNC–Chapel Hill is partnering with the English and Comparative Literature Department at UNC to offer a Jane Austen Summer Program June 27-30. The four-day program celebrates the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice. Designed, not only for scholars, but also for high-school teachers, and graduate and undergraduate students, the program is open to anyone with a passion for all things Austen. Tuition is $499 and includes parking on campus, breakfast, break food, a buffet dinner, dance lessons, and a regency ball. Current K -12 teachers are eligible for scholarships that cover approximately half the tuition cost. For more information, including the program agenda, visit http://humanities.unc.edu/programs/jasp.

Austen and Game Theory? She was ahead of her time says UCLA Professor

 

Our New York region colleague Kerri Spennicchia regularly passes along links that readers of Jane Austen might find interesting. This past week, a new book by Michael Chwe, a political-science professor at UCLA, has been garnering headlines. Here, courtesy of  Spennicchia, are three links that highlight Chwe’s  Jane Austen, Game Theorist.

 

The first is from UCLA. It includes both a five-minute video summary as well as a full lecture presentation of Chwe’s thesis.  The second is from Slate, and the third is a tongue-in-cheek response to Chwe’s observations by Ferris Jabr.

 

Pride, prejudice and strategic thinking: Jane Austen wrote the book ..

Professor Chwe’s Lecture Presentation:

Pride, prejudice and strategic thinking: Jane Austen wrote the book on game theory

“Austen’s novels are game theory textbooks,” Michael Suk-Young Chwe writes in “Jane Austen, Game Theorist,” which Princeton University Press published April 21. “She’s trying to get readers to use their higher thinking skills and to think strategically.”

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Political Scientist Realizes Jane Austen Knew Something About Human Relationships

[Slate]
Readers of Jane Austen had reason to rejoice this morning. According to an article in today’s New York Times, we haven’t just been wasting our time on frivolous little stories. Austen, it seems, has something to tell us. And not only us English majors. Mathematicians. Game theorists. Serious thinkers. Even Henry Kissinger.

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Jane Austen Responds: Game Theory? Sir, You Flatter Me

[Scientific American (blog)]
It is with a mix of delight, embarrassment and confusion that I have watched people analyze and adapt my novels all these years. Cassandra often hears of the latest developments before I do and takes great pleasure in bringing me tidbits of gossip

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