Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries

June 18-July 20, 2012

Group shot

“It is a truth universally acknowledged” that the NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers on Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries (University of Missouri: June 18-July 20, 2012) was an enriching experience for all involved, and has continued to inspire engaging scholarship.

This seminar sought to stimulate new insights about Austen by reading her closely alongside British women writers of her own time, using both digital and traditional archival research techniques.

Over the course of our five weeks together, sixteen participants and I sought significant new insights about Jane Austen by reading her closely alongside now understudied (but once well-known) writers of her own day. The seminar had a dual emphasis. First, it fostered collective close reading and discussion of four Austen novels in tandem with works of fiction by her once-celebrated contemporaries. Second, it provided tools for pursuing the advanced study of Austen among other British women writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, using both emerging digital and traditional archival research methods.

We welcome you to visit our outcomes page and explore some of the many exciting projects prompted by this seminar.

In conjunction with our studies, we held several public events relating to research in literary and textual history and college instruction, including presentations by Laura Mandell, Laura Mooneyham-White, and Steve Ramsay

Professor Devoney Looser
NEH Summer Seminar Director 2012

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.