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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2006

T C 301 • Jane Austen on Page & Screen-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
42585 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
CRD 007A

Course Description

This interdisciplinary single-author course is devoted to the six major novels of Jane Austen and also considers the manner in which Austen's work has recently been refashioned into major motion pictures and popular BBC television series. While this class concerns literature, history, and film, the primary emphasis will be on the study of Austen in her historical context. Thus, the class will ask how Austen fits into the novel genre's development and how her stories touch upon issues of gender, economics, art, and the law of her time. In order to augment our investigations into Austen's original context, the class will include a few sessions in the HRC where we will look at original editions of the novels (including sister Cassandra Austen's copy of Mansfield Park) and ask questions about the impact of her books' original printed presentation. From our attempts to reconstruct Austen's "original reader" we will then proceed into discussion of the recent re-workings of the novels for the screen, including "adaptations such as Clueless, Bridget Jones's Diary, and Bride & Prejudice, which recast Emma and Pride and Prejudice into a modern mold. We thus will find ourselves asking why a novelist who was, for quite some time, thought of as a parochial 18th-century throwback has won so much acclaim at the turn of the 21st-century. All the films offer specific interpretations of Austen's books. Students will be asked to come up with their own interpretations of the texts and react to the films in essays that will train them in the research methodologies and writing skills needed for their required Plan II thesis.

About the Professor Born in The Hague, The Netherlands, Professor Barchas did her undergraduate work at Stanford University (1989) and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1995). She joined UT in 2002 after teaching for five years in Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests focus on eighteenth-century literature and culture and include the British novel, book history, textual studies, modernism, and early fiction by women. Her book Graphic Design, Print Culture, and the Eighteenth-Century Novel, published by Cambridge University Press, won the SHARP Book History Prize for 2003. In 2004 Pickering & Chatto published her edited volume of 18th-century British erotica for its ECBE Part II series. In 2005, Professor Barchas won UT's Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award. Non-work time is devoted to family, especially her daughter Madison, who is the proud owner of a cat named Black Paw.

Grading Policy

This course contains a substantial writing component. Three close-reading essays (3 pages each; 1 rewrite): 10% each One research essay (7-8 pages): 30% Participation: 20% Class presentation: 20%


Literature: Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility (1811) Pride and Prejudice (1813) Mansfield Park (1814) Emma (1815) Northanger Abbey (1817) Persuasion (1817).
Films: Sense & Sensibility: film directed by Ang Lee (1995) Pride & Prejudice: excerpts from the film directed by Robert Leonard (1940) Pride & Prejudice: BBC mini-series directed by Simon Langton (1996) Pride & Prejudice: film directed by Joe Wright (2005) Clueless: film directed by Amy Heckerling (1995) Bridget Jones's Diary: film directed by Sharon Maguire (2001) Bride & Prejudice: film directed by Gurinder Chadha (2004) Mansfield Park: film directed by Patricia Rozema (1999) Emma: film directed by Douglas McGrath (1996) Emma: excerpts from the BBC mini-series directed by Diarmuid Lawrence (1997) Northanger Abbey: BBC telefilm directed by Giles Foster (1987) Persuasion: BBC Film directed by Roger Mitchell (1995)


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