Would you like to study Jane Austen’s novels at Cambridge? Well, here’s your chance – and it’s all online!
Jane Austen Season at Cambridge Description: “Join us for a season of lectures devoted to the novels of Jane Austen. Each session focuses on a single novel, with a live online lecture and seminar with a leading Cambridge scholar. Sessions take place once a month, on a Sunday at 6.00 pm British Time, January to April 2022.”
Sunday 9 January 2022: Emma
Sunday 13 February 2022: Sense and Sensibility
Sunday 20 March 2022: Persuasion
Sunday 24 April 2022: Pride and Prejudice
Match-making in Emma
Course Description: Guessing who is or might be in love with whom is a favourite activity in Highbury, and Emma, the great ‘imaginist’ in that community, is its supreme practitioner. This fondness for making up stories that end in marriage is something that she shares with Austen: Austen’s readers are themselves drawn into match-making.
We shall explore the difficulty in reading the signs of love in social exchanges, why story-telling might be crucial to this, and what it suggests about the psychology of feeling if the reader or the story-teller can be well ahead of the person who turns out to have always been in love.
Live online lecture and seminar with Fred Parker, Senior Lecturer in English and Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge. Date: Sunday 9 January 2022, 6.00 pm.
Money in Sense and Sensibility
Course Description: While Elinor’s sense and Marianne’s sensibility shape the trajectory of Austen’s first published novel, other factors are at play: the Dashwood sisters’ fates are determined by the oblique movements of money.
This lecture will explore how Austen satirises money in Sense and Sensibility. We will consider the context of Georgian law, how language describing money permeates the text, and finally, Austen’s persuasive destabilisation of her characters’ — and her readers’ — expectations.
Live online lecture and seminar with Claire Wilkinson, University of Cambridge. Date: Sunday 13 February 2022, 6.00 pm.
The Art of Influencing in Persuasion
Course Description: This lecture will explore how acts of persuasion become the main driving force of the narrative in Persuasion.
In his Dictionary of the English Language (1755), Samuel Johnson defined persuasion as ‘the act of influencing by expostulation; the act of gaining or attempting the passions’. Such instances of influencing and rhetoric operate on multiple levels in the novel. They affect the power dynamic between characters but also determine their inner worlds in the form of intricate acts of self-persuasion.
These acts manifest themselves through the novel’s narrative technique of free indirect discourse, revealing the complex psychologies of thought and feeling that operate behind the façade of Jane Austen’s world of polite manners.
Live online lecture and seminar with Ildiko Csengei, author of Sympathy, Sensibility and the Literature of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century. Date: Sunday 20 March 2022, 6.00 pm.
Home in Pride and Prejudice (1813)
Course Description: When is a house a home? Dwellings abound in Pride and Prejudice, but how many of them are Homes in today’s usual – often rather cosy and sentimental – sense? Is Lady Catherine de Burgh’s pretentious, rather arriviste Rosings a home, and what of the altogether more established grandeur of Mr. Darcy’s Pemberly?
This lecture considers Pride and Prejudice in the light of one of the biggest cultural shifts of the nineteenth century – the invention of ‘Home’, and some of its consequences.
Live online lecture and seminar with Alison Hennegan, Retired Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. Date: Sunday 24 April 2022, 6.00 pm.
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Which of these classes interests you most? They all sounds good to me, but I think Money in Sense and Sensibility would be particularly fascinating!
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