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JASP 2023 Speakers

This page will be continually updated.


Find books by our speakers at our JASP 2023 Virtual Bookstore via Jane Austen Books. Visit the bookstore here. Use the code JASP23pickup at checkout, and your order will be waiting for you at event registration (no shipping fees!). 

Katie Childs

Katie Childs is chief executive of Chawton House. She is a graduate of Girton College, University of Cambridge, and a Trustee of Ely Museum and the Collections Trust. When not working, Katie is usually found watching Manchester United or the cricket, walking, cooking, clearing her overgrown garden, or on the train to her home town of Bolton.

Sayantani DasGupta

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Sayantani DasGupta is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed, Bengali folktale and string theory-inspired Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond books, the first of which  -- The Serpent's Secret -- was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Best Middle Grade Novel of the 21st Century, and an E. B. White Read Aloud Honor Book. She is also the author of Debating Darcy and Rosewood: A Midsummer Meet Cute, contemporary young adult reimaginings of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Sayantani is a pediatrician by training, and teaches at Columbia University.

Lori Mulligan Davis

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Lori Mulligan Davis was a plenary speaker for the 2022 JASP. A book coach, editor, and writer, she is president of the Chicago chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. Lori serves on JASNA’s Jane Austen Book Box grant committee, helping educators introduce Austen’s works to K-12 students. She coordinates tablescapes for ASNA-Greater Chicago Region. Our altered book craft workshop features her centerpiece for a gala on Austen’s Juvenilia.

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Maria Grace

Six time BRAG Medallion Honoree, #1 Best-selling Historical Fantasy author Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16-year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/
managerial studies/behavior sciences. She pretends to be a mild-mannered writer/cat-lady, but most of her vacations require helmets and waivers or historical costumes, usually not at the same time. 

She writes gaslamp fantasy, historical romance and non-fiction to help justify her research addiction.

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Adam McCune

Adam McCune has taught at Baylor University and served digital humanities projects such as the William Blake Archive and Jane Austen’s Desk. In addition to writing academic articles, he has co-authored The Rats of Hamelin (a young adult fantasy novel), reads classic poems aloud on YouTube, and adapts Jane Austen for the stage each year for the Jane Austen Summer Program.

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Juliet McMaster

Juliet McMaster is a founding member and frequent speaker at JASNA, and the founder of the Juvenilia Press; but at JASP she is a rookie! Born of British parents and bred in Kenya, she took her first degree at Oxford, and her graduate degrees at the University of Alberta in Canada, and then became a Professor of English there, teaching the novel and children’s literature, until her retirement. The author of books on Thackeray, Trollope, Dickens, and of Jane Austen, Young Author, and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, her latest book, due out hits fall, is a biography of the Victorian painter James Clarke Hook. “Intimations of Maturity: The Beautifull Cassandra, The Three Sisters, and Lesley Castle.”

Kimiyo Ogawa

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Kimiyo Ogawa is a professor in the Department of English Studies at Sophia University, Japan. She is interested in how advances in medical and physiological science informed representations of mind and human behavior in a range of 18th-century novels. She co-hosted Jane Austen & Co.’s 2021-2022 “Asia and the Regency” series with Inger Brodey and Anne Fertig. Ogawa is the editor of the upcoming volume, Austen and Asia, with Tristanne Connolly. 

Lesley Peterson

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Lesley Peterson recently retired as a professor of English at the University of North Alabama. Before that, she taught high school English and creative writing in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Today she is the editor of the Journal of Juvenilia Studies and teaches Shakespeare to children. Lesley has presented creative writing workshops based on Jane Austen’s work, including at JASP (2022), and she has published several articles on Jane Austen’s juvenilia, besides co-editing Jane Austen’s three juvenile mini-dramas and her "Sir Charles Grandison" for the Juvenilia Press.

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Sarah Hurley

Sarah Hurley is currently working towards her bachelor's degree in English at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and recently completed her undergraduate Honors thesis titled "'Let Other Pens Dwell': On Austen, Authorship, and the Janeite-Centric Narrative." In 2022, she interned with Arcturus Publishing in London and earlier this year she was awarded a Wentworth Fellowship to research Shirley Jackson's life and legacy in North Bennington, Vermont. When Sarah is not working late into the night to submit her classwork on time, you will likely find her reading, writing, or pretending to be the heroine of her very own Austen novel. 

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Heather King

Heather King is a professor of English at the University of Redlands in Southern California.  Her courses include classes on both Austen and Shakespeare in Adaptation, as well as Eighteenth-Century Literature. Heather has been coordinating the social media and blog content this year, and will be facilitating the Austen's Afterlives panel Sunday morning.

Madison Storrs

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Madison Storrs is an incoming Literature Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the presence of botanical study and the fine arts in the literature of the long 19th century in Britain. Her master's thesis traced the therapeutic benefits of botany in Charlotte Smith's work. She is presenting a Context Corner discussion on children's literature at JASP 2023.

Whit Stillman

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Whit Stillman is an acclaimed writer and film director. His films include "Metropolitan," a loose adaptation of Mansfield Park (for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay), and "Love & Friendship" (2016), adapted from Jane Austen's Lady Susan. He is also the author of the 2016 book Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen's Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated.

Knuth Klenck

Deborah Knuth Klenck

A veteran of many JASPs, Deborah Knuth Klenck recently retired as Professor of English at Colgate University. Her most recent writing is about Jane Austen: the Juvenilia feature in the forthcoming MLA volume "Teaching Comedy" and the novels' use of dancing and/or sex appears in   "Jane Austen, Sex, and Romance," from the University of Rochester Press (2022). She’s very relieved to be invited back to JASP despite the severely limited popularity of her contribution to last year's  ice-breaker activities: “Write your own Epitaph!” She promises something more fun this year.

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Laurie Langbauer

Laurie Langbauer's research is in the long 19th century in Britain.  Her most recent book was on Romantic-era poetry: The Juvenile Tradition: Young Writers and Prolepsis, 1750-1835  (Oxford University Press).  She is a charter member of the International Society of Literary Juvenilia and serves on the advisory board of the Journal of Juvenilia Studies. Her next project, building on her work on Romanticism as a youth movement, looks at youth in the Pre-Raphaelites.

Olivia Levin

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Olivia Levin will be a Context Corner speaker at JASP 2023. She holds a Bachelor's degree in English from the College of William & Mary and completed a term's coursework in Jane Austen studies at the University of Oxford. She is an incoming Master's of Library Science student at UNC Chapel Hill with a particular interest in library instruction and special collections.

Frans and Ruth Verbunt

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The Verbunts are longtime supporters of the Jane Austen Summer Program. You can find the husband and wife -- avid dancers -- at historical events and balls around the area and beyond.

Ann Wass

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Ann Wass has a Ph.D. in clothing and textile history. She is retired from Riversdale, a Federal-era house museum in Maryland. In addition to dress of Jane Austen’s England, her research interests include Federal-era American women’s connections to European fashion, the clothing of enslaved African Americans, and War of 1812 privateers. She recently collaborated on a chapter on clothing of two British sisters in India in the forthcoming Women, Environment, and Networks of Empire, Elizabeth Gwillim and Mary Symonds in Madras, 1801-1807 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2023). Ann is delighted to be a plenary speaker this year, where she plans to wear her own Regency creations.

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Breckyn Wood

Breckyn Wood has been a freelance writer and editor for ten years, mainly working in higher education. She has also authored several children’s books, including Maria’s Many Colors and Peter the Persnickety, both published by The Good & the Beautiful. More books in the Maria series are forthcoming in 2024. Breckyn is also an independent Jane Austen scholar. Her paper, “Austen Reworking Smith: Sympathy, Objectivity, and Moral Passivity in Mansfield Park” was published in the spring 2023 issue of Persuasions, a peer-reviewed journal produced by the Jane Austen Society of North America.

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