Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vanderbilt's Dean Dever Leads Outstanding Discussion of "Persuasion" at Dec. Meeting

Dean Carolyn Dever and JASNA member Phil Staples at the December meeting.
The Nashville chapter of JASNA-Middle Tennessee gathered on December 11, 2011, at the Abbotsford home of Roberta Maguire to enjoy their final meeting of the year.  Following an elegant and varied tea, members settled in to listen to and exchange views with Dean Carolyn Dever, a professor of English at Vanderbilt University and dean of the College of Arts & Science.  Dean Dever, a Victorian specialist who has taught a first-year writing seminar for Vanderbilt on Austen adaptations, spoke about her favorite Austen novel, Persuasion, and the resistance of her college students to its heroine.  Dean Dever speculated that Austen’s famous formulation of Anne Elliott—“She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older”—explained her female students’ reluctance to identify with the reverse aging of Austen’s “most experimental” narration.  A spirited discussion followed Dean Dever’s remarks about what she called Austen’s “sexiest” novel.  The conversation was stimulating, the company was convivial, the food was excellent, and the weather was mild—a lovely way to conclude a year of local JASNA gatherings and welcome the holiday season! --by Andrea Hearn

No comments:

Post a Comment