Austen Mondays co-hosts and special guests

The first half hour of every episode is a segment called, A Turn about the Room, in which special guests join us to talk about a variety of Austenian topics.  The final hour of each episode consists of a conversational annotation of a few chapters of Pride and Prejudice with one of our cohosts.

Co-hosts for Chapter Annotations

Dr. Lauren Nixon is an Early Career Researcher specialising in representations of nation, war and masculinity in the late eighteenth century, exploring the interconnections between conflict, gender, and nationality during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. She is currently the Events Fellow for the Gothic Women Project, and creates spooky edutainment content as one half of the Ghoul Guides with her partner in crime, Mary Going. For The Rosenbach, Lauren was a cohost for the Sundays with Dracula,Frankenstein and Jane Eyre. Although her primary focus is Gothic literature, Jane Austen has long been a personal and professional passion: in addition to a published works on Austen, she worked for a number of years at the Jane Austen Centre and with the Jane Austen Festival. And yes, she does own a bonnet. She may even own two.    

Kathleen Hudson earned her postgraduate degree from the University of Sheffield. She is the author of Servants and the Gothic: 1764-1831, A half-told tale and editor of the edited collection Women’s Authorship and the Early Gothic: Legacies and Innovations, and has published widely on Gothic literature, class narratives, and women’s writing in the 18th and 19th centuries. She currently works as an adjunct professor at the United States Naval Academy and Anne Arundel Community College and has a close relationship with The Rosenbach, where she was an instructor for the “Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility” course in 2021/2022 and a featured cohost on Sundays with Jane Eyre.  


Kathryn MacMillan (cohost) is the Artistic Director of Philadelphia theater Tiny Dynamite, where she premiered the smash hit The Complete Works of Jane Austen, Abridged in 2019. The show’s director as well as co-writer, KC was nominated for a Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theater, for Outstanding Direction of a Play. KC is the director of more than 50 productions in regional theater and off-Broadway, including NYC’s Theatre Row; Lantern Theater and InterAct Theater (Philadelphia), Delaware Theatre Company (Wilmington, DE), Dram Tree Shakespeare (Wilmington, NC), and Theatre Horizon in Norristown, PA, where her production of The Revolutionists was nominated in 2018 for six Barrymore Awards, including Best Production & Director. Philadelphia Weekly named her Beauty Queen ofLeenane the Best of the Year, and the Daily News named Doubt one of the Best Plays of 2015. In 2015, she was named one of Billy Penn’s Who’s Next: 16 Young Philadelphians Shaping the Arts Scene. Upcoming: KC is the lead artist on the upcoming The Vampire’s Mystery: Notes on a Monster program at the Rosenbach on Oct 28-30, and is director/co-writer of a new adaptation of Jane Eyre.  


A Turn about the Room special guests

September 19: The Making of Jane Austen (and will also stay on as cohost for the chapter annotations) 

Devoney Looser, Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University and Guggenheim Fellow, is the author or editor of ten books, including the forthcoming Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës (out from Bloomsbury on October 25, 2022), The Making of Jane Austen, and The Daily Jane Austen: A Year of Quotes. Her essays have appeared in the Atlantic, New York Times,Salon, Slate, TLS, Entertainment Weekly, and the Washington Post, and her series of 24 30-minute lectures on Austen is available through The Great Courses. In addition to being a quirky Janeite book nerd, she’s played roller derby under the name Stone Cold Jane Austen. 

 September 26: The Lost Books of Jane Austen

Janine Barchas holds the Chancellor’s Council Centennial Chair in the Book Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is a professor in the English Department. Her recent award-winning book, entitled The Lost Books of Jane Austen, tracks Austen’s popular reception by means of the unsung, cheap editions that scholarly libraries have not bothered to collect. She describes it as “hardcore bibliography meets the Antiques Roadshow.”  Her earlier book, Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity, described Austen as a consummate name dropper who invokes both national celebrity and local history with the choices of names and settings for her fictions.  In addition to authoring books, Barchas is the creator behind the digital project What Jane Saw (, which reconstructs two Georgian blockbusters as witnessed by Jane Austen. She has also curated museum exhibitions and written essays for the Washington Post, New York Times, Lit Hub, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.  

October 3: Natalie Jenner on how Austen works her magic 

Natalie Jenner is the internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls, which were both instant national bestsellers, Amazon Best Books of the Month, Indie Next Picks and People Magazine Books of the Week. The runner-up for best historical fiction in the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards, The Jane Austen Society has been sold for translation in over twenty countries and has been optioned for film and television. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer and career coach and once owned an independent bookstore in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

November 2: What Jane Read

Professor emerita Jocelyn Harris took her MA at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and her PhD at the University of London. Always, she tries to catch Jane Austen in the act of creation. Editing Samuel Richardson’s Sir Charles Grandison (1972)  made her realize just how often Austen turned to her favorite book, and in Jane Austen’s Art of Memory (2003), she argued that Austen took whatever she wanted from Richardson, Shakespeare and a host of other authors. In A Revolution Almost Beyond Expression: Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” (2007), Jocelyn looked closely into Austen’s mind by comparing the cancelled chapters with the published ones and enquiring into the social, political, historical and satirical contexts of that novel. More discoveries followed in Satire. Celebrity, and Politics in Jane Austen (2017), where she identified historical moments and actual people in Austen’s fiction. Jocelyn is a frequent speaker JASNA and elsewhere––and now Zoom! 


October 24: Among the Janeites

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, ; and drop by the Among the Janeites Facebook page 

November 14: Dr. Emily C. Friedman on Playing Games with Jane Austen

Dr. Emily C. Friedman is Associate Professor of English at Auburn University, where she teaches and writes on connections between the 18th century and today’s new media phenomena. Her work can be found at academic & pop venues including Polygon, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Persuasions, and more. She also serves as the Director of and the Manuscript Fiction Project, and with Emily M.N. Kugler is the project lead on Playing the Eighteenth Century, which explores representations of eighteenth-century culture in modern board, video, and roleplaying games. She is at work on two books, Before Fanfiction: Alternative Circulation in the Age of Print, and Actual Play: Improvisational Storytelling in the Digital Age.

John Mullan at the Hay Festival 2017

November 21: John Mullan on Marriage and Proposals in Austen 

John Mullan is Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London. He has published widely on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature. His most recent book is The Artful Dickens (Bloomsbury, 2020). His other books include What Matters in Jane Austen? (Bloomsbury, 2012) and Anonymity. A Secret History of English Literature (Faber and Faber, 2007). He is also a broadcaster and journalist, writing on contemporary fiction for the Guardian. He is the author of How Novels Work (OUP, 2006) and in 2009 was one of the judges for the Man Booker Prize. He published a new edition of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility for Oxford World’s Classics in 2017 and has just completed a new World’s Classics edition of Emma. 


December 5, KC MacMillan and Jessica Bedford on adapting Austen for the Stage

Kathryn MacMillan (cohost) is the Artistic Director of Philadelphia theater Tiny Dynamite, where she premiered the smash hit The Complete Works of Jane Austen, Abridged in 2019. The show’s director as well as co-writer, KC was nominated for a Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theater, for Outstanding Direction of a Play. KC is the director of more than 50 productions in regional theater and off-Broadway, including NYC’s Theatre Row; Lantern Theater and InterAct Theater (Philadelphia), Delaware Theatre Company (Wilmington, DE), Dram Tree Shakespeare (Wilmington, NC), and Theatre Horizon in Norristown, PA, where her production of The Revolutionists was nominated in 2018 for six Barrymore Awards, including Best Production & Director. Philadelphia Weekly named her Beauty Queen ofLeenane the Best of the Year, and the Daily News named Doubt one of the Best Plays of 2015. In 2015, she was named one of Billy Penn’s Who’s Next: 16 Young Philadelphians Shaping the Arts Scene. Upcoming: KC is the lead artist on the upcoming The Vampire’s Mystery: Notes on a Monster program at the Rosenbach on Oct 28-30, and is director/co-writer of a new adaptation of Jane Eyre.  

Jessica Bedford is a Philadelphia based actor, director, dramaturg, playwright and teacher. She has been seen onstage at McCarter Theatre, Walnut Street Theater, Lantern Theatre Co, Montgomery Theatre, Act II Playhouse, Tiny Dynamite, Theatre Horizon, People’s Light and Theatre Co. and other stages in the Philadelphia area. Recent directing credits include Delaware Shakespeare, the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, Act II Playhouse, DeSales University, the McCarter and the PA Shakespeare Festival. As a writer, her works have been produced with Passage Theatre, 1812 Productions, Recognize Theatre, Act II Playhouse, Tiny Dynamite, Villanova University Theatre, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, and Juniper Productions. Jessica has taught at Villanova University, Temple University, and University of the Arts. She was a finalist for the 2018 F Otto Haas Emerging Artist Award from Theatre Philadelphia and a 2012 finalist for NY Stage & Film’s Founder Award. She recently completed an MFA in Stage & Screen Writing at Queens University of Charlotte. Currently, she is an assistant professor of theatre at DeSales University.

December 12, Patricia Matthew on Reimagining Pride and Prejudice for the 21st Century

Patricia A. Matthew is an associate professor of English at Montclair State University where she teaches courses on British Romanticism, the history of the novel, and British abolitionist literature. She is the co-editor of a special issue of Romantic Pedagogy Commons and a cluster issue in European Romantic Review, and a special of Studies in Romanticism.  She has published essays and reviews in Women’s Writing, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, the Keats-Shelley Journal, and Texas Studies in Literature and Language and written about race, portraiture, and British abolitionist material culture for The Atlantic and Lapham’s Quarterly. Matthew is the editor of Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure (University of North Carolina Press, 2016) and has published essays and book reviews on diversity in higher education in PMLA, The College Language Association Journal, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and The New Inquiry. Her work on diversity and equity has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education and  Inside Higher Education. She has written television reviews for The Los Angeles Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement.  She is co-editor of Oxford University Press’s new series Race in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture and will edit Mansfield Park for W.W. Norton.  Her monograph about sugar, gender, and British abolitionist culture is under advance contract with Princeton University Press. A 2020-2021 Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University at Buffalo she currently holds the Anthony E. Kaye Fellowship at the National Humanities Center.

December 19, Elizabeth Steele, One Janeite’s Journey

Elizabeth Steele has been reading anything by or about Jane Austen since the age of 16.  She has been the “Voice of JASNA,” acting as JASNA’s 800 number operator, and has been a featured speaker at local colleges, libraries and museums, most notably at Winterthur Museum’s Jane Austen Day.  She has published two articles in Persuasions, a journal dedicated to the study of Jane Austen.  She served on the JASNA board of directors from 2006 to 2016 and has also held a number of offices for both the local and national organizations since 2004.  Elizabeth is most proud of her role as Annual General Meeting Coordinator for the 2009 Philadelphia AGM, which played host to over 600 guests from all over the world.

January 2, Juliette Wells

Juliette Wells is Professor of Literary Studies in the Department of Visual, Literary, and Material Culture at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. The author of three histories of Austen’s readers, all published by Bloomsbury Academic, and the editor of two Penguin Classics editions of Austen, she will guest co-curate a major, international Austen exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York in 2025. Forthcoming in 2023 is A New Jane Austen: How Americans Brought Us the World’s Greatest Novelist, which centers on visionary writers and collectors who, from the 1880s to the 1980s, advocated for Austen’s literary significance, broadened her readership, and preserved artifacts vital to her legacy. Reading Austen in America (2017) offers a vivid account of how an appreciative audience for Austen’s novels originated and developed in America, and how American readers contributed to the rise of Austen’s international fame. Everybody’s Jane: Austen in the Popular Imagination (2011) explores the importance of Austen to readers and fans today. All these books highlight Goucher’s exceptional Jane Austen collection and its creator, alumna Alberta H. Burke. For Penguin Classics, Dr. Wells created reader-friendly 200th-anniversary editions of Austen’s novels Persuasion (2017) and Emma (2015). Her more than thirty-five articles and book chapters include examinations of Austen’s novels and adaptations, as well as essays on Austen pedagogy. An acclaimed speaker to popular and scholarly audiences, she was a guest on Jane Austen & Co.’s spring 2021 “Race and the Regency” series and regularly gives lectures to national and regional meetings of the Jane Austen Society of North America.

January 16, Stephanie Barron, author of the Jane Austen Mystery series

Stephanie Barron, who also writes as Francine Mathews, is the author of 30 novels of suspense, espionage, and historical fiction, including the Jane Austen Mystery Series. A graduate of Princeton, Barron received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship in the Humanities and earned a Masters in History from Stanford University. Stephanie has also worked as a journalist and as an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, where she briefly served on the investigation into the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Raised in Potomac, MD, she lives and works in Denver, Colorado.


January 23, Collins Hemingway on how Austen developed as a writer

Collins Hemingway writes and lectures on Jane Austen and the Regency period. He is the author of historical fiction based on the life of Austen as well as five books of nonfiction. He is currently working on a collection of essays on Austen’s development as a writer. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Phi Beta Kappa, Hemingway has a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Oregon, including a concentration on eighteenth-century literature. His career has combined the humanities with technology, and intellectual analysis with operational skills.


Jan 30, Dr. Alexander L. Ames at the Tea Table with Jane Austen

Dr. Alexander L. Ames is Associate Curator of the Rosenbach Museum & Library, where he curates exhibitions, designs collections-based public programs, co-facilitates The Ladies of the House of Love: A Feminist & Queer Gothic Literature Book Club, and works with colleagues to preserve the Rosenbach’s diverse holdings for future generations. A scholar of religion and society in the eighteenth and nineteenth-century Atlantic world, Ames is also a lifelong Jane Austen fan and an avid tea drinker.  His favorite Jane Austen novel is Persuasion, though his favorite Austen character is Georgiana Darcy. When not at the Rosenbach, Ames is likely to be found playing his Celtic harp, or hosting tea parties in his drawing room.

To join us for a tea-themed tour of the Rosenbach’s collections with Dr. Ames on March 30, register here

Find the recipe for Georgiana’s Delight: A Fancy Tea Scone Created for Austen Mondays by Dr. Ames here

February 6, Clara Tuite on Class in Austen’s Life and Novels

Clara Tuite is Professor of English at the University of Melbourne, where she teaches and researches literary Romanticism and the history of the novel. Her work focuses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature and its social and cultural contexts, ongoing reception and afterlives. She is the author of Romantic Austen: Sexual Politics and the Literary Canon (Cambridge University Press, 2002), which was shortlisted for the MLA Prize for a First Book. With Claudia L. Johnson, she is the co-editor of A Companion to Jane Austen (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). Her second monograph, Lord Byron and Scandalous Celebrity (Cambridge University Press, 2015), was awarded the Elma Dangerfield Prize. Her most recent book is 30 Great Myths About Jane Austen (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020), co-authored with Claudia L. Johnson. Forthcoming work includes an article titled ‘Precarious Austen: A Shabby-Genteel Story’, in a special issue of Romanticism, edited by Eric Parisot and Gillian Dooley.

February 13, Susannah Fullerton, President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia

Susannah Fullerton has been President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia for over 25 years. She is the author of Jane Austen and Crime, A Dance with Jane Austen, Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Jane & I: A Tale of Austen Addiction. She speaks about Austen’s life and works at conferences, libraries, schools and for Jane Austen societies around the world.

Susannah is one of Australia’s most popular literary lecturers, she leads literary tours for Australians Studying Abroad, and she is the author of a popular monthly blog, ‘Notes from a Book Addict’. She lives in Sydney, Australia, but was born in Canada, grew up in New Zealand, was educated in Scotland and married a South African. Reading Jane Austen has changed her life!


February 20, Bridget Draxler and Danielle Spratt Engaging the Age of Austen

Danielle Spratt is professor and associate chair of English at California State University Northridge in Los Angeles, California. Bridget Draxler teaches writing at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Danielle and Bridget met at Chawton House Library in 2011, and both participated in a 2012 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar to study Jane Austen and her contemporary women writers. Bridget and Danielle contributed essays to a special issue of Persuasions On-Line (published by JASNA) in 2014 on “Teaching Austen and Her Contemporaries.” They are co-authors of a book from the University of Iowa Press, Engaging the Age of Jane Austen: Humanities in Practice (2018).

February 27, Emily Davis-Hale and Lauren Wethers of the Reclaiming Jane podcast

Reclaiming Jane is a Jane Austen podcast for fans on the margins, co-hosted by Emily Davis-Hale and Lauren Wethers. The podcast was created to provide fans of color, queer fans, or other readers who may feel as though Jane Austen is ‘not for them’ with a space to experience the works of Jane Austen freely and without judgment. Each episode covers a section of a Jane Austen novel, which Emily and Lauren connect to both relevant historical context and pop culture. Whether you’ve been a devoted Janeite for years or have never read a word of Austen, Reclaiming Jane provides new ways of interpreting old texts. 

Emily Davis-Hale is a consummate word nerd. With a BA, MA, and in-progress PhD in linguistic anthropology, they try to read Austen from a perspective beyond literary analysis. Their contributions to Reclaiming Jane stem from a lifelong interest in the histories of ordinary people as well as a desire to bring light to fans who are currently underrepresented in conversations about Austen. You can find their stream of consciousness on Twitter (@e_davishale).

Lauren Wethers is a writer with a lifelong love of literature. She completed a B.A. in English and Spanish, an M.A. in English, and a minor in film studies at Tulane University. She applies her academic background to discussions and analyses of all things pop culture, from books to reality television. Her freelance writing has appeared in outlets like HuffPost, Screen Rant, and USA Today, and she is currently revising a full-length fiction manuscript for publication. You can follow her unsolicited hot takes on Twitter (@laurenwethers) or visit her website to learn about her career coaching and writing.

March 13, Claudia L. Johnson 

Claudia L. Johnson joined the faculty at Princeton in 1994 and was Chair of the English Department from 2004-2012.  Johnson’s Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures (Chicago, 2012) won the Christian Gauss Award in 2013.  More recently she has published a deluxe edition of Jane Austen’s The Beautifull Cassandra (Princeton, 2018) in collaboration with artist Leon Steinmetz, and 30 Great Myths about Jane Austen (Blackwell, 2020) in collaboration with Clara Tuite. Her other books include The Blackwell Companion to Jane Austen, ed. with Clara Tuite (Blackwell, 2005), The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft (Cambridge, 2002), Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender and Sentimentality in the 1790s (Chicago, 1995), which won an Honorable Mention for the MLA Lowell Prize, and Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel (Chicago, 1988).  In addition she is keenly interested in textual scholarship, and has prepared editions of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey and (with Susan Wolfson) Pride and Prejudice. Her research has been supported by major fellowships such as the NEH and the Guggenheim.