Last updated:
November 18, 2017

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Laura L. Runge
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Phone: 813-974-9496

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Jane Austen: Bits to Bytes

Material Realities and Contexts

Nov 28 Class 14 – Last class - Adaptations

    Reading: Rudyard Kipling, “The Janeites”
    Claudia Johnson, “Austen Cults and Cultures,” in Copeland and McMaster
    Mirmohamadi, Digital Afterlives (e-book USF Library) introduction and one further chapter

    Digital Projects: Ever Jane (MMORP);
    The Lady’s Choice – visual interactive novel
    Wattpad – browse fan fiction:
    Republic of Pemberley: Bits of Ivory section
    Lizzie Bennet Diaries – Youtube:
    Austen blog – a form of adaptation

    DUE: Presentations on Digital Projects

    DUE Post #12

    Read and discuss the 12-page story by Rudyard Kipling, called "The Janeites. (note that you have to click the link to "story".)
    Read essay by Claudia Johnson on Austen Cults and Cultures
    Read introduction plus one chapter in Mirmohamadi
    Review various digital projects that identify with Jane Austen


What is a Janeite and why does it matter to Humberstall? Does Jane Austen mean the same thing to 'Ammick, Mosse and Gander? Macklin?

Why does Macklin only talk about Jane when he is bosko absoluto? What does Macklin mean that 'Enery James is Austen's lawful progeny?

How and why does being a Janeite help Humberstall?

Contrast the value of Jane Austen's fiction to the horrors of the story Humberstall tells about the shelling of his "circus" or battery?

How does the story explain the popularity of reading Austen on the warfront? Knowing that Austen's novels were produced in a series meant explicitly to comfort troops in the war zone, how do you explain the significance of Austen for soldiers?

What similarities can you find in the treatment of Jane Austen by the various "cults" that claim her?

Claudia Johnson reports on Henry James' deep ambivalence over the popularity of "Jane," and she hits on the idea that certain readers feel as though Austen ought to be preserved for those who can truly appreciate her art. To what extent do you side with the preservationists?

"...Austen is a cultural fetish: loving - or hating - her has typically implied meanings well beyond any encoded in her works" (233). Now more than ever, the reputation of Austen seems to be plastic, affording everyone from feminists, young edgy YouTube artists, to the Alt-right a claim. What are the values or meanings attached to Austen-agendas?

Evaluate Johnson's assessment of the Kipling story: less about the courtship plot and more about characters they recognize in the world; a homoerotic bonding.

Johnson: "By contextualizing Austenian commentary, examing the contrast between earlier reading practices and those that prevailed once novel study was professionalized and by insisting that reading Austen is a social practice contingent upon our desires, needs, and historical circumstances, I would like to suggest that it may not be the novel that polices us, but novel criticsm as a discourse that has done so." Comment.

As you examine or play with the digital forms of Austen adaptation, consider some of the points that Mirmohamadi makes about Jane's digital afterlife. What conclusions can you draw?

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