The Business of Her Life: JASNA NYM Spring Meeting

Sat May 11 2024 at 02:00 pm to 04:30 pm

Marymount Manhattan College | New York

NY Metro Region of The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA)
Publisher/HostNY Metro Region of The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA)
The Business of Her Life: JASNA NYM Spring Meeting
Spring Meeting of the JASNA New York Metropolitan Region, featuring Dr. Catherine Keohane and Dr. Elizabeth Porter.
About this Event

Please join us on the afternoon of Saturday, May 11, 2024 for the spring meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) New York Metropolitan Region.

We'll be gathering in the elegant and accessible Regina Peruggi room at Marymount Manhattan College (221 East 71st Street) for a pair of presentations on Jane Austen's world, given by Dr. Catherine Keohane and Dr. Elizabeth Porter. Coffee, tea, and light snacks will be served.

Registration starts at $35, and we look forward to connecting with fellow Janeites from around our community! You are not required to be a member of JASNA in order to attend.

The afternoon's agenda is as follows:

  • Part 1 — Late 18th-Century Models of Women's Charity: Presentation by Dr. Catherine Keohane
  • Part 2 — Austen's London: Presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Porter

More information about the speakers and topics is provided below. We look forward to seeing you very soon!

Catherine Keohane (she/her) is the Associate Director for Teaching and Learning in the Office for Faculty Excellence at Montclair State University. A specialist in eighteenth-century literature with a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, she has published articles in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, ELH, WPA, and Studies in the Novel. Her current book project examines eighteenth-century depictions of charity in didactic and imaginative literature. She is also the President of the Burney Society (North America), a group of scholars and lay readers interested in the study of Frances Burney and her family.

Her presentation discusses charity in the long 18th century, a source of British pride and anxiety. Didactic literature promoted competing models of women’s charitableness, positioning charity as an activity that could empower or restrict. While some conduct writers cited women’s “natural” affinity for charity to enlarge polite women’s scope of action, others cast charity as a check on polite women’s consumer spending or misuse of their time. This talk seeks to contextualize Austen’s depiction of charitable women, such as Emma, Anne Elliott, and Mrs. Smith, by detailing contemporary models of charity. It will also point to the ways Austen draws on and challenges popular ideas about women and charity. In Austen’s novels, charity serves as a marker of character and also grants permission to assist or interfere.

Elizabeth Porter (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of English at Hostos Community College, City University of New York, where she also currently serves as the Coordinator of the Women's and Gender Studies program. She received her Ph.D from Fordham University, where her dissertation research focused on novelistic representations of literary heroines in London during the eighteenth century and Regency era. Her scholarship appears in Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Digital Defoe, ABO, and Pedagogy. A forthcoming article on the topic of London and the marriage plot in Frances Burney’s Cecilia, will appear in The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation.

Her presentation on "Austen's London" analyzes Jane Austen’s representation of London in her letters and major novels to argue that the metropolitan setting is key to understanding her life and literature. While her literary predecessors Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Charlotte Lennox depicted the sensory overload of the London season, Austen’s engagement with London tends to be subtle and pragmatic. An author and a single woman, Austen ventured to London to publish her novels, make purchases, and visit notable cultural sites. This talk will discuss details from the letters alongside London-based scenes in Sense and Sensibility, where the Dashwood sisters spend a few months negotiating possibilities for mobility amid constraints. It will also briefly reflect on the ways that perceptions of London circulate in Austen’s other major novels.


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Marymount Manhattan College, 221 East 71st Street, New York, United States


USD 35.00 to USD 70.00

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