Dr. Alice Villaseñor recently traveled to California to give a talk at the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) Annual General Meeting. The talk—“Evidence from the Archives: Relating Jane Austen’s Novels to Austen Family Politics”— explored the Austen family’s connections to the 1806 and 1807 Hampshire Elections by investigating news items from the Hampshire Chronicle alongside images of political artifacts from Hampshire archives. After reviewing the archival material, Dr. Villaseñor discussed the ways in which Jane Austen’s novels allude to local political debates. Before traveling to California, Dr. Villaseñor gave a similar talk to the local JASNA-Central and Western New York Region, which meets in Rochester, NY.

In addition to delivering a paper, Dr. Villaseñor once again participated in a special panel featuring the JASNA International Visitor Program. Panelists provided advice to potential applicants regarding how to prepare strong applications for this competitive fellowship program. The program selects one Canadian or United States member of JASNA to travel to England during the summer to work on an “Austen Project” in partnership with the Jane Austen House Museum, the Chawton House Library for British Women Writers, and the UK Jane Austen Society. Dr. Villaseñor has a long history with this program. She served as the second JASNA International Visitor in 2006. And since 2011, she has served on the committee that chooses each year’s fellowship recipient. She also chaired the committee from 2012-2015.

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