FAQs

About the Jane Austen Summer Program

What is the Jane Austen Summer Program (JASP)?

Untitled designThe Jane Austen Summer Program is a four-day symposium exploring Jane Austen through lectures, workshops, small-group discussions and a Regency ball. Each year we focus on one of Jane Austen’s works. Past programs have centered on “Pride and Prejudice” (2013 and 2019), “Sense and Sensibility” (2014), “Emma” (2015), “Mansfield Park” (2016), “Persuasion” (2017), and “Northanger Abbey” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” (2018). Our 2020 program, “Jane Austen’s World,” has been rescheduled for 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 JASP will center on “Jane Austen’s World” and we will read Austen’s letters and Claire Tomalin’s biography “Jane Austen: A Life.” Click here for info on specific editions.

Who can go to JASP?

JASP is open to anyone. Our programs have attracted scholars and non-scholars alike from all walks of life and any age; we have had participants as young as 11. 

About the 2021 program

When and where is this year’s JASP?

The next JASP will be June 17-20, 2021, in the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, N.C., near the campus of the University of North Carolina.

How much is JASP?

Registration will reopen later in 2020; please check back for updated prices and details. Registration fees cover all seminars, panels, lectures, and small-group discussions, a tote bag, dance lessons, a rare book tour at UNC’s Wilson Library, a special exhibit and tour at the Ackland Museum, one ticket to the Regency theatricals, and one ticket to the Regency Ball, as well as a daily warm buffet breakfast, elevenses, a welcome banquet and light refreshments at the Ball. 

Are there discounts for teachers?

Yes, for teachers: K-12 teachers receive a discounted early-bird tuition of $300 per person before Feb. 14; $350 after Feb. 14. The program offers 30 contact hours for 3 CEU credits.

We also offer full scholarships for teachers to attend.

What is the cancellation policy for JASP? What about for the hotel?

Check back later in the year for details.

General questions about JASP

What does JASP offer?

JASP includes plenaries and panels with academics, plus short lectures — called “context corners” — that shed light on the historical aspects of Austen’s works. In addition, we offer small-group discussions on Austen’s works and themes, exhibits, theatricals, hands-on workshops, dance lessons and a Regency ball. 

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Photo by Kristen Chavez/UNC College of Arts & Sciences

What is the ball like?

Our ball, held on Saturday night, celebrates the Regency era with live music and period dancing. Before the ball, a dance master leads three optional dance lessons for attendees and their companions, during which we’ll go over each dance we’ll perform at the ball. Past venues have included Gerrard Hall, a period-appropriate building on UNC’s campus; Graham Memorial Hall, also on campus; and the nearby Carolina Inn. Wear comfy flat shoes — you will be moving — and bring a fan (and not just for looks).

Do you have to dress up for the ball?

While some participants enjoy wearing Regency garb to the ball and throughout JASP, it is not required or expected. Attendees not in Regency dresses tend to wear sundresses (or pants/shirts) — or whatever is comfortable that allows you to dance easily. We also offer low-cost rentals of costumes at JASP.

Can I bring a guest to the ball?

Participants may purchase up to one “companion” ball ticket. If you have more than one guest, or if you wish to attend only the ball and not the rest of the program, we offer a limited number of stand-alone ball tickets. Ball tickets include admission to the dance lessons offered during JASP.

What other entertainment is there during JASP?

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Photo by Garland Rieman/Jane Austen Summer Program

During lunch hour, we offer screenings of films for those who would like to stay in the hotel. On Friday nights we offer a theatrical staged by former and current graduate students, as well as a bar crawl of local bars in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. We also offer an optional afternoon tea on the last day. The hotel is  in a lovely walkable area of Carrboro with many boutiques and restaurants nearby.

What happens during the pub crawl?

Participants can sign up for one, two or three bars, with a specially themed cocktail at each establishment. Most bars are within short walking distance.

What’s the weather like?

It being June in North Carolina, expect it to be hot and humid, with an average of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes it can feel much warmer, however. And you can expect a stray rain shower or thunderstorm in the afternoons.

Is everything in one hotel?

Most events are in the conference hotel with a few exceptions. We have a rare-book exhibit, museum tour and exhibit on the UNC campus, about one or two miles from the hotel. Sometimes our ball is also held on campus. Participants can sign up in advance for shuttles or take a Lyft or Uber to campus. An optional bar crawl takes participants to three bars within walking distance of the hotel. The optional afternoon tea on Sunday is at the Carolina Inn near the UNC campus.

Are you expected to stay in the hotel?

You are free to make other accommodations in the area. Participants can park for free in the hotel lot with a parking permit that JASP can provide (information to come later).

How far is it from the airport?

The hotel is about 20 miles from the airport. Participants are responsible for transportation between the airport and hotel.

Is there food around the hotel?

Breakfast is provided each day for participants, as are elevenses (around 11 a.m.), and we’ll have a welcome dinner. For other meals, there are plenty of restaurants within a few minutes’ walk from the hotel. We also sometimes offer box lunches. 

Can I shop?

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Photo by Kristen Chavez/UNC College of Arts & Sciences

Our emporium features Jane Austen Books, with a wide selection of nonfiction and fiction as well as gifts and clothing; Timely Tresses, offering bonnets and trimmings; and Cassandra’s Closet, offering clothing. We also hold a silent auction to benefit our teacher scholarship fund. The auction often includes jewelry, DVDs, books, shawls and more. We do accept donations for our silent auction; see information here.