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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.

Katie Childs

Katie Childes 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


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


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.


Maria Grace

Six time BRAG Medallion Honoree, No. 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.

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.


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


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


Lesley Peterson has taught high school English and creative writing and was a professor of English at the University of North Alabama before retiring to Winnipeg, Canada. She is presently the editor of the Journal of Juvenilia Studies and also teaches Shakespeare to children (or did, before the pandemic). Besides Jane Austen, she has published on Elizabeth Tanfield Cary, Margaret Cavendish, and Virginia Cary Hudson, among others. 

Whit Stillman


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.

Frans and Ruth Verbunt


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


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.

Breckyn Wood


Adam McCune

Adam McCune’s research focuses on representations of childhood and youth in 19th-century British literature. He teaches at Baylor University, and has served the William Blake Archive as Project Director of the digital archive of the journal Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly. He also enjoys adapting and performing 19th-century literature—from co-authoring a novel based on Browning’s “Pied Piper of Hamelin” to playing parts from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado, Braddon’sLady Audley’s Secret, and Jane Austen’s juvenilia. In his spare time he is a software engineer.

Independent scholar.

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