Fall 2021 Metro-NY JASNA Events

On June 26, the JASNA NY Metro Region welcomed Patricia Matthews, Associate Professor of English at Montclair University, for a live Zoom talk entitled “Attendant with Pearls”: Race, Portraiture, and Abolition”.  The presentation discussed how the opulence seen in 18th- and early 19th-century British painting was often the result of wealth accumulated from the slave trade. Prof. Matthews also delved into the representation of Blackness in pre-abolitionist painting in Britain.

Professor Matthews’s work has appeared in The Atlantic and the Los Angeles Review of Books (“Shondaland’s Regency: On Bridgerton”), among others. She is currently writing a monograph about sugar, gender, and British abolitionist culture.

On September 18, we visited with Canadian novelist Uzma Jalaluddin, who discussed Ayesha at Last, her lively take on Pride and Prejudice set in a close-knit Muslim community.  Ms. Jalaluddin shared her early love of Austen, parallels with the South Asian diaspora, and insights into her writing process.

On September 25th, British Austen scholar and writer Janet Todd and novelist Gill Hornby discussed their latest works.  Professor Todd’s new novel, Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden: A Novel with Pictures It is a meditation on literature, friendship, aging, and new experiences as three women bond over their love of books. Gill Hornby’s latest, Miss Austen, sees an older Cassandra looking back on her life and offers insights into what exactly may have been contained in those missing letters from her sister Jane.

-Michele Kling and Patricia Maniscalo