Each summer since 2013, UNC-Chapel Hill has hosted the Jane Austen Summer Program, a four-day symposium dedicated to all things Austen. Based on The Dickens Universe hosted by UC Santa Cruz, JASP has developed its own tone. Each year focuses on a separate novel; since it has now covered each of Austen’s major novels, JASP has expanded to her juvenalia, short fictions, influences, and afterlives. Neither a scholarly conference nor a fan club, JASP is a unique event that brings together scholars, enthusiasts, graduate students, undergraduates, and high school teachers.
The graduate students’ roles vary in JASP: we are in charge of everything from organizing registration, transportation, and meals to leading discussion groups, presenting “context corners”, leading small discussion groups, participating in panels – and even acting in original theatricals!
In the June 2018 JASP focusing on Northanger Abbey and Frankenstein, I presented a 10-minute “Context Corner”, meant to introduce participants to some historical event or idea associated with the year’s novel(s). My Context Corner was entitled, “‘Remember the … age in which we live’: Science, Technology, and Regency Society.” You may view and share both the handout, including discussion questions, that I developed, along with the video content of the actual talk.