'The Locations of Austen' Interdisciplinary Conference : 11-13 July, 2013

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University of Hertfordshire

To celebrate the bicentenary of the publication of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, set in Hertfordshire, the University of Hertfordshire is hosting an interdisciplinary conference to consider the 'locations of Austen'.

Jane Austen's fiction is situated in a landscape both familiar and unknowable. It manages to evoke a strikingly detailed portrait of contemporary English geography and culture even while it remains, under closer scrutiny, fabricated. The questions that concern us include how Austen's work is located in its historical moment, and the implications of mapping Austen's fictional settings onto real topographies of the English landscape.

Scholars interested in the cultural, literary, and historical contexts of Austen's oeuvre are particularly invited to give a paper, and to attend this important event. Proposals for 20-minute papers or three-paper panels are warmly welcomed, and multidisciplinary/multi-platform academic approaches are particularly encouraged.
Paper and panel proposals could consider (but are not limited to):
• how Austen's works represent social change during the French wars, especially in agricultural communities;
• how they seek to reposition the landed elite;
• how they use romance as a genre of intervention in the construction of women;
• how her work is located in different global and national cultures in the twenty-first century.
Invited speakers attending this conference include
Robert Clark (University of East Anglia)
Elizabeth Kowaleski-Wallace (Boston College)
James Thompson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Emma Clery (University of Southampton)

The University of Hertfordshire offers a state-of-the-art campus readily accessible by train, car, and London's three airports. Excursions to Hertfordshire locations of interest to Austen scholars, in particular places which might have provided models for Pemberley, will form part of the conference itinerary. Publication of the conference's proceedings, both in book form and in a special edition of Critical Survey, is also anticipated. Interested scholars are invited to submit a proposal of no more than 200 words for 20-minute papers, or send an email outlining a possible panel subject, to Dr Penny Pritchard at the University of Hertfordshire (Email : p.1.pritchard@herts.ac.uk) by the deadline of 31 January 2013.