In coordination with our current exhibition Ever Austen: Literary Timelessness in the Regency Period, Rare Books and Special Collections is delighted to host a special Austen-themed panel discussion. We’re delighted to be joined by scholars from both UBC and SFU for this fascinating discussion on and celebration of Jane Austen, in honour of the 200th anniversary of her death.

Jane Austen’s Print Trouble

Michelle Levy
Professor and Graduate Program Chair, Department of English, SFU
Kandice Sharren
Ph.D. candidate, Department of English, SFU

Although today regarded as one of the world’s great novelists, Austen’s success in print did not come during her lifetime. She had trouble finding publishers for her work; several of her works sold poorly; she earned little from them; and received only one major review. Our talk will explore this surprising publishing and printing history, offering insight into the challenges Austen faced in the difficult print marketplace of early nineteenth-century Britain.

Gothic Influences

Scott MacKenzie
Associate Professor, Department of English, UBC

It is tempting to see, in Northanger Abbey, a rejection of the values and conventions that we associate with gothic fiction, but Austen’s investment in gothic fiction is considerably more complex than simply as something to poke fun at. The novels of Ann Radcliffe in particular are among the most important precursors to Austen’s literary triumphs.

Jane Austen as Popular Culture: Then and Now

Tiffany Potter
Senior Instructor, Associate Head (Curriculum & Planning), and First-Year English Coordinator, Department of English, UBC

Jane Austen’s novels are widely read as Important Literature in university curricula, but she was a non-elite, popular writer in her own day, and her place in popular culture has expanded wildly in recent decades. This talk will engage current theories of popular culture to consider Austen’s work in the Regency and in recent popular culture, including film and television versions and novel adaptations that re-tell her stories for new audiences.

The panel will be moderated by UBC’s Professor Emeritus of English Herbert Rosengarten.


Event Details

Date: Thursday March 2, 2017
Time: 1:00-3:00 PM
Where: Lillooet Room (301), Irving K. Barber Learning Centre


The event is free and open to the public. We hope you can join us! For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

 

 

ever-austin-image

2017 marks the bicentennial of Jane Austen’s death, an author who has left an ever-lasting literary legacy that continually influences popular culture across time. In celebration of this legacy, Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to present “Ever Austen: Literary Timelessness in the Regency Period.” This exhibition not only honours Austen, but also illuminates the social and material history of her works in the context of the Regency era.
Featuring RBSC’s newly-acquired first editions of Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, as well as thematically-diverse displays, “Ever Austen” invites Austen fans old and new to experience a literary journey through the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In addition to RBSC’s new Austen acquisitions, first editions of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility will also be displayed and accompanied by several lavish illustrated editions. Austen’s juvenilia, as well as some titles that she kept on her personal shelves, will likewise provide insights into Austen’s formative years. Conduct books and Fordyce’s sermons will be shown as the prescriptions of female virtue, morality, and accomplishment, which Austen instilled in her heroines.

The Exhibition:

Illustrating the rise of a new literary genre, the exhibition will also feature an early Gothic section, a style which prominently impacted characterizations in Austen’s Northanger Abbey. This section’s haunts will loom in the newly-acquired first edition prints of Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho, as well as in her romance The Italian. Juxtaposed with volumes of Horace Walpole’s complete literary works, a model of the Gothic villa Strawberry Hill will present an authentic view of these stories’ architectural descriptions. The sly caricatures in George Cruikshank’s illustrations will provide a comic relief for these darker pages, charming the viewer with their implicit social commentary and political satire.
Delicate articles of clothing from the early nineteenth century, kindly on loan from the Vancouver-based Society for the Museum of Original Costume (SMOC), will also be on display.


Finally, the breadth of Austen’s legacy will be exhibited in the many remediations that her narratives have taken in recent decades, ranging from graphic novels to the big screen. In the exhibition’s multimedia display, pop culture will meet period texts with an array of transmutations into diverse forms of media, languages, and images.


As a means to offer further information and insights about the period, a panel discussion organized in conjunction with the exhibition will take place on February 3rd. The discussion will feature talks from professors Tiffany Potter, Miranda Burgess, and Scott MacKenzie of UBC’s Department of English, and will be moderated by SFU’s Professor Michelle Levy, an authority on print culture during Austen’s era.


The exhibition, “Ever Austen: Literary Timelessness in the Regency Period “, will be displayed in the IKBLC’s main foyer from January 4 to February 28, 2017.

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