Tag Archives: jane austen

Regency paper dolls

Last week, we took a look at the evolving fashion during Jane Austen’s lifetime. This week, we have a special treat for you. Here are some original paper dolls that showcase some of the typical looks that we envision Austen’s characters wearing. They have been left mostly blank so that you may add your own details and colors before cutting and playing with them. Featured is a man, a woman, a young girl, a young boy, a cat and a pug. Also included are a few accessories from scarves to hats to a teacup to a book. There is even a turban — you can learn to make your own at our turban-making workshop, led by historical costume maker Samantha Bullat. Enjoy!

For a downloadable version, click here: paperdolls. (For best results, print in landscape mode.)

JASP & ENGL 235– A sneak peek for summer students

Are you trying to think of ways to fill your summer? UNC’s ENGL 235 is the perfect opportunity to attend JASP and study Jane Austen’s work in depth!

With spring break still weeks away, it seems much too early to be thinking about summer plans … unless you’re a UNC undergraduate and are trying to fit the Jane Austen Summer Program into your Summer Session I schedule. If that’s the case (and even if it’s not), here’s everything you need to know about attending JASP as a student for class credit (and loads of Regency fun!).

The closest a student can get to living and breathing in Jane Austen’s world, ENGL 235: Studies in Jane Austen is a course offered during UNC’s Summer Session I in which students undertake an intensive and immersive exploration of Jane Austen’s world and writings. Taught by JASP co-founder and Director Dr. Inger Brodey, ENGL 235 Is a hybrid course (in which instruction occurs online— meaning it can be completed anywhere you have access to WiFi) invites students to investigate Austen’s life and work in their various iterations from publication to adaptation while also conducting a small research project culminating in a presentation at JASP in June. In preparation, students will meet with a graduate research coordinator, long-time JASP staff member and PhD student, Anne Fertig, throughout the research process.

ENGL 340 student Brett Harris had the opportunity to discuss his research on the novel “Unmarriagable” with author Soniah Kamal.

Though the course load might sound a little daunting, have no fear— the work is more than worth it. First, for English & Comparative Literature majors, ENGL 235 satisfies the core depth course requirement for the major. For non-majors, it satisfies the literary arts requirement in only five  weeks, as opposed to a 15-week semester of slogging through Greek tragedy. Additionally, students who present at JASP can apply to have their research count toward a Carolina Research Scholar Program (CRSP) designation through the UNC Office of Undergraduate Research. In addition, it turns out that ENGL 235 is a great resume booster when you are applying to be a social media intern for JASP (speaking from personal experience here)!

And then, of course, there is the actual experience of attending JASP. Marvelous scones, music, and dancing aside, the Jane Austen Summer Program truly brings readers into Jane Austen’s world. Carefully crafted keynotes and sessions combine with recreational activities to form a unique and wonderful experience. From discussing research with eminent scholars and authors, to debating the merits of an adaptation with a Janeite, JASP provides many opportunities to build networks and create lasting relationships, all while learning more about the beloved author and her work. 

“Studies in Jane Austen was one of the most fun and enriching classes I’ve had at UNC.”

Nicole Arch, UNC Class of ‘22

As a student entering ENGL 340 (last year’s version of 235), I had absolutely no prior knowledge of Jane Austen, and had never presented my research at a conference. By the end of the course, I’d learned Regency ballroom dances, presented my research on the adaptation “Unmarriageable” to its author, Soniah Kamal, and been exposed to the truly global community that Austen’s works have created. For one of my classmates, Nicole Arch, Class of ‘22, JASP was “an incredibly immersive experience, which brought all the fashion, balls, and teatime snacks we read about to life.  Studies in Jane Austen was one of the most fun and enriching classes I’ve had at UNC.” Likewise, Ashanti Sebastien, Class of ‘19, found that “as an avid consumer of original books by Jane Austen and many later adaptations of her work, participating in the Jane Austen Summer Program was an incredibly enriching experience. The variety of presentations, workshops, and small group discussions offered lively discourse and opportunities to connect with others who share a passion for all things Jane.” 

In short, JASP offers many opportunities for students to develop not only as readers of Jane Austen, but as globally minded scholars and professionals. Summer registration begins on March 16, and JASP begins on June 18th— we can’t wait to see you there!

For more information on the registration process for ENGL 235, visit summer.unc.edu.

Panel preview: A Q&A with historical costume builder Samantha Bullat

Samantha Bullat/The Couture CourtesanRegency Era fashion is a popular topic among Jane Austen fans, and this year we’re offering two turban-making workshops led by Samantha Bullat, known online as the Couture Courtesan. She is a professional tailor and historical costume builder for the Jamestown/Yorktown Foundation in Williamsburg, VA. Attendees of the 2018 Jane Austen Summer Program on “Northanger Abbey” and “Frankenstein” might remember Bullat’s presentation on gothic elements in Regency clothing. We wanted to catch up with her to see what she has been up to since then.

This will be your second JASP. We’re so happy to have you back! What are you most excited about doing this year at JASP?

I am most excited about attending the ball! I was unable to last time and was very sorry to have missed it. I love English country dancing, and it’s such an important part of socialization in Jane Austen’s world. 

[Read our 2018 interview with Samantha Bullat here.]

This year, you’ll be talking about global and Ottoman influences in Regency fashion. What are some examples of those influences — visual cues people should look for to spot these influences? How do you even go about researching such a topic?

The turban is undoubtedly the most iconic fashion element to come from Ottoman influence. I’m looking forward to sharing about the origins of such a quintessential look. The paisley shawl also has Eastern origins, even though we so strongly associate it with 19th-century England. There actually is quite a large body of scholarly work on the subject of “Turquerie”, “Egyptimania,” and European appropriation of Eastern style because it was such a phenomenon during the 18th and 19th centuries. 

You also will be leading our turban-making workshops. What should we expect from those?

My workshop[s] will focus on how to use pashmina shawls to create beautiful turbans to finish your Regency look, ornamented with feathers and jewels. While turbans of the period were also made by sewing fabric together, I wanted to teach something that anyone could do, even if they didn’t know how to sew. 

What advice do you have for a first-time attendee of JASP?

I was so heartened by how friendly and welcoming everyone was to me as a newcomer. It helps to know that everyone in attendance shares your interest in Jane Austen, so there is always something to talk about!

Samantha Bullat as Isabella Thorpe and Trey Heath as James Morland from the Northanger Abbey Musical (Courtesy of Samantha Bullat/The Couture Courtesan)

Tell us about a recent costuming project you have worked on that you really enjoyed.

Last year I made a Tudor lady’s ensemble from the skin out, which fulfilled a childhood dream of having a gown like Anne Boleyn! I spent a few years sourcing the materials and doing research, and I’m very happy with the finished product. 

What advice do you have for others who would like to get into historical costuming?

I think it’s important when getting started to remember that everyone was a novice once and not to get discouraged! It is okay to make mistakes. The next time you try something, it will only get better. It’s so easy to compare yourself to more experienced costumers and feel discouraged. But everyone is on their own journey. Just make what brings you joy!

Do you have a favorite Jane Austen novel? If so, which one and why?

I don’t think I do! But I have always felt most kindred with Marianne Dashwood…

Samantha Bullat as Isabella Thorpe and Trey Heath as James Morland from the “Northanger Abbey” musical (Courtesy of Samantha Bullat/The Couture Courtesan)

You performed in the “Northanger Abbey” musical as Isabella in Williamsburg last fall during the annual general meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America. What can you tell us about that experience? 

It was such an honor to be a part of bringing a friend’s lifelong dream to life on stage and with so many other dear friends as part of the cast. It was a lot of hard work but also made us like a family. I developed such a soft spot for Isabella Thorpe and have a lot of sympathy for her! But it was also terribly fun to play the “bad girl”!

Did you help with or have input into the costumes? And how did the costumes give actors insight into their characters?

There were a fair number of us in the cast who could sew, so we were in charge of our own costumes. I was grateful that Amy [Stallings, writer of the production] agreed with the direction I went with Isabella’s costume, which was a very pink and ostentatious gown. Emma Cross, who portrays Eleanor, chose to wear a lot of white to reflect Eleanor’s innate goodness.

Bullat is scheduled to give her plenary talk Friday, June 19, at 9 a.m. Her workshops (which require additional fees) are scheduled for 12:30 to 2 p.m. June 19 and 12:45 to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 20. REGISTER HERE. (If you have already registered for JASP and wish to add on the workshops, you do not need to re-register for the program; you may sign up for only the turban-making workshops.)