Tuesday, March 2nd

Pride and Prejudice (Finish the novel for today’s discussion)

Weekly Writing Prompt:

Critics have tended to read Pride and Prejudice as a novel about Elizabeth Bennet, and Elizabeth as a representative nineteenth-century woman. In Becoming a Heroine, Rachel Brownstein argues that Austen’s novel represents the successful “quest” of Elizabeth to achieve a “fully realized self” on her own terms.

But other critics have argued that over the course of the novel Elizabeth is “tamed” because she is made to realize her errors in perception and behavior.

Choose one of the following positions, formulate a thesis, and construct a brief argument employing textual evidence.

Thursday, March 4th

Complete discussion of Pride and Prejudice

Alistair Duckworth, from The Improvement of the Estate.1971. Pride and Prejudice : An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism, edited by Donald Gray, W.W. Norton, 3rd ed., 2001, pp. 306-331.

Online Austen: Alex Woloch, from “Narrative Asymmetry in Pride and Prejudice” [from The One vs. the Many]

The Great Estate: what did Pemberley look like? / Theresa Morse

Clips from Pride and Prejudice adaptations
Fiction into Film Guide
Darcy on Film

Tuesday, March 9th

Jane Austen and Popular Culture: Readings in Fan Fiction

newredshoes. “Sif and Sensibility.” Archive of Our Own. Organization for Transformative Works. 29 Aug 2011. Web. 28 Mar 2014. <http://archiveofourown.org/works/246793> Can be downloaded as a PDF and printed; please add page numbers.

Hannah Pelham. “until the stars fall from the sky.” Archive of Our Own. Organization for Transformative Works. 21 January 2021. Web. 26 February 2021 . <https://archiveofourown.org/series/2106540>. There is a second part if you want to read it.

Highsmith (quimtessence). “When Spring Marches In.” Archive of Our Own Fanfiction. 13 July 2019. Web. 26 February 2021.  <https://archiveofourown.org/works/19463233>

DanceToThisBeat. “Lullaby of an Angel” Archive of Our Own. Fanfiction. 01 July 2007. Web. 26 February 2021. <https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3575597/1/Lullaby-of-an-Angel>
This story is quite long, you don’t have to read all of it, just the prologue and the first chapter.

Critical Reading

Lev Grossman, “How Harry Potter Became the Boy Who Lived Forever. TIME. 7 July 2011. 

Veerle Van Steenhuyse,  “”Jane Austen fan fiction and the situated fantext.” From English Text Construction 4.2 (2011): 1-11. (The article is quite long; you only need to read the first 11 pages).

Fan Fiction Vocabulary

From Grossman:  fan fiction (1/8); fandom (2/8); slash (3/8); canon (4/8); Alternate Universe (AU) (5/8); crossover stories (5/8); RPF (real-person fiction) (5/8); transformative fiction (6/8)

From Van Steenhuyse: another definition of fan fiction canon (1); fan fiction “negative capability” (4-5); fantext vs. fanon (6); Janeitism (11)

Weekly Writing Prompt:

  1. Analyze one of the assigned pieces of fan fiction employing the vocabulary and theory introduced in the essays of Grossman and Van Steenhuyse. 
  2. Your assignment: 2-5 sentences of fan fiction in response to Pride and Prejudice.

1995: Film Clips

Initial rejection at first ball, Episode 1, 18:43-20.40

Teasing Scene at Netherfield, Episode 1, 1.47-50.42

Piano Scene and First Proposal to end of Episode 3,  36.2. continues into Episode 4 for about 9 minutes. 

We began watching the approach to Pemberley, viewing Episode from  but I believe that it is Episode 5, beginning around the 33:44-35:57.

For Thursday, we’ll watch from 37:08 through the end of the episode

2005: Film Clips [To be watched on Thursday]

Entrance and 1st ballroom scene

Netherfield Ballroom

Ballroom Scene and confrontation with Charlotte 38.18-45

Spinning       54:37-56:36

Rejection of Mr. Darcy and the Letter 1:08-1:15; 

Pemberley Scenes 1.18.20-1.27.54

Conclusion 1.39-1.47.31 and 1:49-2:01

Thursday, March 11th

Essay Writing and Research workshop: Please read: Writing Presentation

In addition to the Purdue Owl and the  MLA Handbook, the following texts were used in preparing this handout: Langdon Elsbree, et. al. The Heath Handbook of Composition and John Trimble, Writing with style: Conversations on the art of writing

Sample Essays: Essay 1 and Essay 2

Finding your voice: Academic Prose

Jane Austen and Contemporary Literature for children and young adults / Brooklyn Moore
Austen Sequels and Retellings: a publishing industry / Georgia Kate Kent

<Instructional Break Friday, March 12th>

Tuesday, March 16th

Jo Baker, Longbourn (pp. 1-214)

I think of Longbourn — if this is not too much of an aspiration — as being in the same tradition as Wide Sargasso Sea or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. It’s a book that engages with Austen’s novel in a similar way to Jean Rhys’s response to Jane Eyre and Tom Stoppard’s to Hamlet. I found something in the existing text that niggled me, that felt unresolved, and wanted to explore it further. That was the pull for me, that sense of unresolvedness* — I can’t really speculate on what it was for other writers: I’m afraid I don’t know the other fictions around Austen’s work terribly well at all.

The unresolvedness for me was to do with being a lifelong fan of Austen’s work, but knowing that recent ancestors of mine had been in service. I loved her work, but I didn’t quite belong in it — and I felt the need to explore that further. (NPR Interview with Jo Baker)

Weekly Writing Assignment: Please post a paragraph description of your first essay. Link to Assignment Description.

Thursday, March 18th

Finish reading Longbourn, and these excerpts from Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s DiaryPenguin Books, 1996: Scene just after Bridget and Mark’s first conversation (12); two passages associated with the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice(215-216)


First seven minutes of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Directed by Sharon Maguire, screenplay by Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, and Richard Curtis, performances by Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant, Miramax and Universal Pictures, 2001. Two other clips are also online: the next eight minutes or so that introduce the Wickham character, played by Edward Ferrars and the final seven minutes.

Trailer for Pride and Prejudice: a Latter Day Comedy. Directed by Andrew Black, screenplay by Jane Austen (novel) and Anne K. Black, performances by Kam Heskin and Orlando Seale, Bestboy Pictures, 2003.

British Trailer for Bride and Prejudice. Directed by Gurinder Chadha, screenplay by Jane Austen (novel) and Paul Mayeda Berges, performances by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Martin Henderson, Pathé Pictures International and the UK Film Council, 2004. The first dance scene and the Netherfield Ball scene.

Trailer for Lost in Austen. Directed by Dan Zeff, series writing by Guy Andrews and Jane Austen,  performances by Jemima Rooper and Elliot Cowan, Mammoth Screen, 2008.

Book Trailer for Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance — Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!, Quirk Books, 2009.

First episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Directed by Bernie Su and Margaret Dunlap, performances by Ashley Clements and Julia Cho, Agreeable Entertainment and Pemberley Digital, 2012.

Trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Directed by Burr Steers, screenplay by Burr Steers (screenplay), Jane Austen (Quirk Books novel), performances by Lily James and Sam Riley, Cross Creek Pictures, 2016.

Working-class women and their labor / Maggie Hill’s notes

Saturday, March 20th

Essay #1 Due by 9:00pm via electronic submission

Tuesday, March 23rd

Mansfield Park (Volume I)

Weekly Writing Prompt:

Mansfield Park opens up with the history of a family, although it is often considered to be Austen’s only bildungsroman. Indeed, the novel focuses almost entirely upon the education, thoughts, and actions of Fanny Price. What is the significance of beginning Fanny’s story with that of her mother and aunts? 

Landscape Gardening, the Picturesque, and the fad for “Improvements” / Mallory Mason

What is a ha-ha?


Petworth House, West Sussex

Petworth House, West Sussex


Burghley House, Lincolnshire

Burghley House, Lincolnshire


Ha-ha with gate, Titsey Place, Surrey

Ha-ha with gate, Titsey Place, Surrey

Thursday, March 25th

Mansfield Park (Volume II, Chapters 19-24, pp. 193-249)

Excerpts from Elizabeth Inchbald’s Lover’s Vows  pp. 469-475

Slavery and the British West Indies / Ritwika Chakrabarti
Fashion in 1814: Fanny Price’s dress and Mary Crawford’s / Alex Sausa

Tuesday, March 30th

Mansfield Park (Finish Novel)

Choose one passage of between two to four paragraphs from either volume two or volume three that represents Fanny Price’s subjectivity as developed through the novel’s narrative point of view. Offer a close reading of the passage, before arguing for its significance to the novel as a whole.

Fanny Price’s Portsmouth / Leah Grace Wiggins

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