Jane Austen in the Modern Age

The 2020 Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia explores and celebrates Austen’s significant and enduring influence on numerous contemporary disciplines. Our critically acclaimed and esteemed speakers will focus on Austen’s impact on fiction writing and psychology. We also will consider how Austen has become a worldwide phenomenon in the popular and professional imagination.

The JASNA Eastern PA Region is excited to partner with the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia for this event. We are also excited to announce a new two-part format for the event!

The morning session, which will be free and open to the public, will be held in the Parkway Central Branch's Montgomery Auditorium (1st floor). This session will feature a plenary talk and book signing by New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani.

The afternoon session, which will require paid registration (see Registration section below), will be held in the Parkway Central Branch's Skyline Room (4th floor). This session will feature plenary talks by distinguished Jane Austen authors, Wendy Jones and Deborah Yaffe, as well as an author book signing, a boxed lunch, JASNA Eastern PA's Emporium (including Jane Austen bookseller extraordinaire Jane Austen Books), and "The company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation".

Our Speakers

We will have three outstanding speakers to delight us on Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia:

Adriana Trigiani Adriana Trigiani Beloved by millions of readers around the world for her "dazzling" novels, (USA Today) Adriana Trigiani is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen books in fiction and nonfiction. She has been published in 38 countries around the world. The New York Times calls her “a comedy writer with a heart of gold”, her books “tiramisu for the soul”. She wrote the blockbuster The Shoemaker’s Wife, the Big Stone Gap series, the Valentine trilogy and Lucia, Lucia. Trigiani’s themes of love and work, emphasis upon craftsmanship and family life have brought her legions of fans who call themselves Adri-addicts (a term coined by book maven Robin Kall). Their devotion has made Adriana one of “the reigning queens of women’s fiction” (USA Today).

Wendy Jones teaches literature and writing at Cornell and Syracuse University. She is also a practicing psychotherapist. She is the author of Jane on the Brain: Exploring the Science of Social Intelligence with Jane Austen (2017) and Consensual Fictions: Women, Liberalism and the English Novel (2005). She has published widely on the eighteenth and nineteenth-century novel in academic and popular venues and writes a blog, Intersubjective, on literature and psychology for Psychology Today. Wendy Jones

Deborah Yaffe Deborah Yaffe, an award-winning newspaper journalist and author, has been a passionate Jane Austen fan since first reading Pride and Prejudice at age ten. Her second book, Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom, was published in August 2013.

Yaffe holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Yale University and a master’s degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University in England, which she attended on a Marshall Scholarship. She works as a freelance writer, has two grown children, and lives in central New Jersey with her husband and her Jane Austen Action Figure.

Follow her on Twitter (@DeborahYaffe); visit her website and blog, www.deborahyaffe.com; and drop by the Among the Janeites Facebook page (www.facebook.com/amongthejaneites).

Jane Austen Day 2020 Program*

9:15am - 9:45am Doors Open
Montgomery Auditorium (1st floor)
This is free and open to the public
9:45am - 10:00am Opening Remarks
Montgomery Auditorium (1st floor)
This is free and open to the public

Regional Coordinator, Christopher Duda, will open the 2020 Jane Austen Day by welcoming everyone and providing an overview of the day's events.
10:00am - 11:00am Plenary #1 - Adriana Trigiani
Montgomery Auditorium (1st floor)
This is free and open to the public

"Jane Austen and the Modern Writer: Inspirations and Aspirations"

Jane Austen’s literary genius and unfailing dedication to her craft continue to inspire today’s most celebrated authors. New York Times best-selling author Adriana Trigiani (The Shoemaker’s Wife, Tony’s Wife, Big Stone Gap, Very Valentine, Lucia, Lucia, et al.) shares how Austen’s literary achievement and professional perseverance continue to inspire her and many other contemporary writers. Hailed as one of the best voices in women’s literature, Trigiani has sold more than 35 million copies of her books to a global audience. She’ll talk about how focusing on the lives of women and their families transcends time, cultures and space. This conversation will be hosted by Paul Savidge, JASNA Eastern PA Board Member and life-long Austen admirer.
11:00am - 11:45am Adriana Trigiani Signing & Break
Montgomery Auditorium (1st floor)
This is free and open to the public

Adriana Trigiani will be available to sign copies of her books.

Afternoon Session Registration
Skyline Room (4th Floor) - Emporium Open
This is for registered attendees only
11:45am - 12:30pm Box Lunch
Skyline Room (4th Floor) - Emporium Open
This is for pre-registered attendees only. Box lunches will not be available to anyone that registers the day of the event.

There will be a variety of assorted Box Lunches available for you to choose from, as well as water, tea, and coffee. There is a gluten-free/vegetarian lunch option available that you must specifically request during registration.

Please note, that for this event, we are unable to change the box lunch contents to account for any specific food allergies or restrictions you may have, other than the gluten-free/vegetarian option. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
12:30pm - 12:45pm Regional Business Meeting & Giveaways
Skyline Room (4th Floor)
This is for registered attendees only.

In accordance with the Region's by-laws, every 2 years the Regional Coordinator position will be elected by a vote of its membership. This year, the nominee for the position of Regional Coordinator will be Christopher Duda. The nominee is the current incumbent Regional Coordinator for this Board-of-Director role.

After our Regional business meeting has completed, we will be giving away some prized Jane Austen themed goodies as a way of making amends for impinging on your time.
12:45pm - 1:45pm Plenary #2 - Wendy Jones
Skyline Room (4th Floor)
This is for registered attendees only.

Expectations and customs regarding love and marriage have certainly changed since Jane Austen’s time. But have people changed? Are love and the various emotions we feel towards one another actually different? No! Because people are not different. We share basic and innate mind-brain-body systems that orchestrate our feelings and relationships, although their expression can vary greatly from one culture to another, one time to another. Austen’s novels illustrate that relationships of all kinds—romantic, friendly, domestic—possess essential features found in both the eighteenth and the twenty-first centuries. I draw on psychology and neuroscience to illustrate the continuity between Austen’s fictional people and her readers today.
1:45pm - 2:30pm Author Signing & Break
Skyline Room (4th Floor) - Emporium Open
This is for registered attendees only.

Wendy Jones and Deborah Yaffe will be available to sign copies of their books.

Tea, Coffee, and Cookies with be available as a light repast.
2:30pm - 3:30pm Plenary #3 - Deborah Yaffe
Skyline Room (4th Floor)
This is for registered attendees only.

"Which Jane Austen? Fans, Fandom, and Fanfiction in the Age of Austen-Appreciation"

Jane Austen isn’t just a popular writer: she’s a writer whose fans hold widely divergent views of what she cares about, what she stands for, and what she’s asking us to think, and think about. When you buy a Jane Austen scented candle, consult online lists of her lessons for twenty-first century living, or pick up an Austen-inspired romance novel, you’re meeting very different versions of Jane Austen. What do these clashing interpretations tell us about her -- and about ourselves?
3:30pm - 3:45pm Quilt/Basket Raffles & Closing Remarks
Skyline Room (4th Floor)
This is for registered attendees only.

It will be sad to bid you adieu, but all good things must come to an end. Before everyone leaves, the Jane Austen Quilt, that was hand-crafted and generously donated by Cape May, New Jersey regional members, will be raffled off! If you are interested in purchasing raffles chances for the quilt, please see below for more details (you do not have to be present to win). Also, the Region's highly sought-after event-themed Gift Basket will be raffled off (you will be able to purchase gift basket raffle tickets during the event - you must be present to win this item).

*Program subject to change

Please note that all attendees are welcome to explore the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia (including the Rare Books Department), either before the event, during any breaks, or after the event has finished.

As with all JASNA Eastern PA events, Regency attire is admired, but never required!


Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
(this links to Google Maps)
Between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway

Please visit the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia web site for accessibility information, directions, parking, and other venue related details.


The morning session of the 2020 Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia is free and open to the public. You are welcome to come and enjoy this session without registering.

For the afternoon session, we invite JASNA members and the general public to register here to join us. The fee for the afternoon session, which includes a box lunch and afternoon tea/coffee/snack, is $45 for JASNA members, $45 for young Janeites/students (please bring your student ID with you on the day of the event), and $70 for non-members, who are encouraged to join JASNA at JASNA.org to enjoy member benefits.

Your registration must be received by midnight, Sunday, March 22, 2020 or until the event is sold out. Register early to avoid disappointment. Cancellations must be received by Sunday, March 22, 2020 to receive refund of fees. Address cancellations to the meeting registrar at rc@JASNAEastPA.org.

There are two ways to register for the afternoon session:

1. You may use your credit card through PayPal:

JASNA Membership Status
Box Lunch Choice
Attendee Name (First & Last)
Attendee Email Address

2. You may print and return the registration form.

Would you like to sponsor a young Janeite/student to attend the 2020 Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia?

If so, then use the "Donate" button below to make a tax deductible donation to JASNA Eastern PA. Any donation received will go towards helping young Janeites/students attend this day of exploring Jane Austen in the Modern Age.

Jane Austen Quilt Raffle

In 2017, some of our amazing and generous Regional members in Cape May, New Jersey donated a beautiful hand-crafted quilt. In our humble attempt to do justice to their exquisite craftsmanship, the Region has decided to raffle off this one-of-a-kind heirloom. During the 2020 Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia event, we will finally give away this amazing quilt. If you would like a chance to win this quilt, you can either use the "Buy Now" button below to purchase a raffle ticket (or five), or you can purchase a raffle ticket (or five) at the 2020 Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia.

You can click the images below to view this exquisite quilt...or better yet come to the 2020 Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia to see it in-person!

Jane's Quilt #1 Jane's Quilt #2 Jane's Quilt #3 Jane's Quilt #4

You do not need to be present to win this quilt!

Jane Austen Quilt Raffle Tickets
First and Last Name for Entry
Email Address for Entry

Questions about Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia? Email Christopher Duda, the JASNA Eastern PA Regional Coordinator at rc@JASNAEastPA.org.

Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia is supported in part from funds provided by the JASNA Eastern PA Region and the generosity of the Free Library of Philadelphia.