With spring break still weeks away, it seems much too early to be thinking about summer plans … unless you’re a UNC undergraduate and are trying to fit the Jane Austen Summer Program into your Summer Session I schedule. If that’s the case (and even if it’s not), here’s everything you need to know about attending JASP as a student for class credit (and loads of Regency fun!).
The closest a student can get to living and breathing in Jane Austen’s world, ENGL 235: Studies in Jane Austen is a course offered during UNC’s Summer Session I in which students undertake an intensive and immersive exploration of Jane Austen’s world and writings. Taught by JASP co-founder and Director Dr. Inger Brodey, ENGL 235 Is a hybrid course (in which instruction occurs online— meaning it can be completed anywhere you have access to WiFi) invites students to investigate Austen’s life and work in their various iterations from publication to adaptation while also conducting a small research project culminating in a presentation at JASP in June. In preparation, students will meet with a graduate research coordinator, long-time JASP staff member and PhD student, Anne Fertig, throughout the research process.
Though the course load might sound a little daunting, have no fear— the work is more than worth it. First, for English & Comparative Literature majors, ENGL 235 satisfies the core depth course requirement for the major. For non-majors, it satisfies the literary arts requirement in only five weeks, as opposed to a 15-week semester of slogging through Greek tragedy. Additionally, students who present at JASP can apply to have their research count toward a Carolina Research Scholar Program (CRSP) designation through the UNC Office of Undergraduate Research. In addition, it turns out that ENGL 235 is a great resume booster when you are applying to be a social media intern for JASP (speaking from personal experience here)!
And then, of course, there is the actual experience of attending JASP. Marvelous scones, music, and dancing aside, the Jane Austen Summer Program truly brings readers into Jane Austen’s world. Carefully crafted keynotes and sessions combine with recreational activities to form a unique and wonderful experience. From discussing research with eminent scholars and authors, to debating the merits of an adaptation with a Janeite, JASP provides many opportunities to build networks and create lasting relationships, all while learning more about the beloved author and her work.
As a student entering ENGL 340 (last year’s version of 235), I had absolutely no prior knowledge of Jane Austen, and had never presented my research at a conference. By the end of the course, I’d learned Regency ballroom dances, presented my research on the adaptation “Unmarriageable” to its author, Soniah Kamal, and been exposed to the truly global community that Austen’s works have created.
“Studies in Jane Austen was one of the most fun and enriching classes I’ve had at UNC.” Nicole Arch, UNC Class of ‘22
For one of my classmates, Nicole Arch, Class of ‘22, JASP was “an incredibly immersive experience, which brought all the fashion, balls, and teatime snacks we read about to life. Studies in Jane Austen was one of the most fun and enriching classes I’ve had at UNC.” Likewise, Ashanti Sebastien, Class of ‘19, found that “as an avid consumer of original books by Jane Austen and many later adaptations of her work, participating in the Jane Austen Summer Program was an incredibly enriching experience. The variety of presentations, workshops, and small group discussions offered lively discourse and opportunities to connect with others who share a passion for all things Jane.”
In short, JASP offers many opportunities for students to develop not only as readers of Jane Austen, but as globally minded scholars and professionals. Summer registration begins on March 16, and JASP begins on June 18th— we can’t wait to see you there!
For more information on the registration process for ENGL 235, visit summer.unc.edu.