Syllabus for OLLI at American University, Spring 2014

Study Group: Jane Austen, the First Half or Steventon, Bath and Southampton

Spring 2014

Description of Course

This study group will read will Austen's first three published novels in the order they were published. Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park. We will contextualize them through her artistic development and life, and what today's popular films make visible about the way film-makers think readers understand them. We will read Love and Freindship written when she was teenager at Steventon as prologue and discuss letter novels as part of our reading of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice The class will watch select excerpts from the Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice films from the Austen film canon. We will move to her time in Bath and The Watsons, a fragment written during the Bath years, as prologue to Mansfield Park, the first full version written while she was in Southampton. During the three weeks of reading this third novel we'll read an excerpt from Inchbald's Lovers Vows (which the characters in the book act out) and from Clarkson's Essay on Slavery (Mansfield Park depends on profits made in Antigua). The class concludes by watching an excerpt from Whit Stillman's indie Metropolitan (1990).

Format: Study group meetings will be a mix of informal lecture and group discussion.


Page Last Updated: February 21 2014