Tag Archives: JASP 2018

Introducing our 2018 Jane Austen Summer Program teacher scholars

Each year we offer scholarships to  North Carolina teachers who express a desire to learn more about Jane Austen and aim to incorporate her works into their classroom. We’re happy to announce this year’s winners. Plus: This year, thanks to a partnership with Oxford University Press, we’ve expanded our scholarship program to include two out-of-state educators. Congratulations to our 2018 JASP scholars!

Brittany Bishop

School: North Rowan Middle School, Spencer
Subject: 6th- and 7th-grade English/language arts
Favorite book:  “White Oleander” by Janet Fitch
What are you hoping to get out of JASP? I expect to get chance to delve deeper into previously unknown to me aspects of Jane Austen’s writing and its connection to Gothic literature. I relish the thought of interacting with fellow enthusiasts, and more than that,  I expect to find new and innovative ways to bring my knowledge back to my classroom. I appreciate so much the chance to study and interact with my colleagues on an academic level.

Caitlin Donovan

School: Durham School of the Arts, Durham
Subject: 9th- and 10th-grade English I and II
Favorite book: “The Princess Bride” by William Goldman
What are you hoping to get out of JASP? I desire to grow as an educator with experiential learning I can emulate in my classroom; ultimately, I hope to kindle an authentic love of lady writers and prove that Goth(ic) is not a phase!

Evette Hagan

School: West Caldwell High School, Lenoir
Subject: English IV (British literature), AP English Literature, and Composition
Favorite book: I don’t think I can choose an absolute favorite book, but one that has meant a lot to me, and to which I return frequently, is “The Little Prince,” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
What are you hoping to get out of JASP? I am excited to attend JASP and have the opportunity to meet other teachers, readers, and scholars who share a love for great literature. I hope to come away from the program with renewed energy and lesson ideas for my classroom and my lessons. I am especially excited that the program focuses on works which I can teach in my senior classes.

Anita M. Rubino-Thomas

School: Currituck County High School, Barco
Subject: 9th- through 12th-grade visual arts
Favorite book: My favorite book from Jane Austen would be “Persuasion.” A couple of other favorites would be Salman Rushdie’s “Haroun and the Sea of Stories” and Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.”
What are you hoping to get out of JASP? My hopes for the summer program are that I am able to dig deeper into “Northanger Abbey,” incorporating ideas, concepts and themes into unit work I currently do on “Frankenstein.” I love that this year’s program is making connections between the two literary works and I believe the connections will not only reinforce current objectives, but also allow me to look at the work through another lens and create new connections with the objectives.

Kelsey Shea

School: Enloe High School, Raleigh
Subject: 11th- and 12th-grade social studies/history
Favorite book: “Pride and Prejudice”
What are you hoping to get out of JASP? I’m hoping to develop a stronger understanding of the novels and their history. I’m also looking forward to having time to develop cross-curricular lessons with the other teachers and seeing some examples of projects they’ve done in the past.

Oxford University Press scholars

Carissa Bussard

School: Happy Camp High School, Happy Camp, Calif.
Subject: 9th- through 12th-grade English/Spanish
Favorite book: “Wuthering Heights,” but my favorite Austen novel is “Sense and Sensibility” or “Persuasion.”
What are you hoping to get out of JASP? I am hoping to learn how to incorporate these texts into a modern high school setting. I love reading classic novels (well, reading as a whole), and I teach in a school that is extremely low socioeconomically. Last year I began taking students to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., and they absolutely love the experience. They are growing a love of literature, but it definitely is a struggle getting through the language and rhetoric at times. I would like to learn how I might be able to bring 200 years of horror into a modern context that they will enjoy.

Elaine Dasher

School: Sequoyah High School, Canton, Ga.
Subject: 12th-grade AP English Literature and Composition, and British Literature and Composition
Favorite book: One of my favorite books is “Anagrams” by Lorrie Moore. I also love “Written on the Body” by Jeanette Winterson.
What are you hoping to get out of JASP? I’m looking forward to encountering Jane Austen and Mary Shelley together and finding places they intersect. I’m particularly interested in how what they read impacted what they wrote.

Sew cool: Catching up with the ‘Couture Courtesan’

Samantha Bullat in an 1807 ensemble (Courtesy of Samantha Bullat/The Couture Courtesan)

One of our most popular presentations each year is our talk on Regency fashion, and this year should be no different. Samantha Bullat, a tailor for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in Williamsburg, Va., will discuss Gothic fashion. We chatted with her about historical costuming.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I research and create historical clothing from the 17th and 18th centuries for our historical interpreters [for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation]. I also do freelance work for other museums or historic sites that need historic clothing. When I’m not sewing for others, I make historical clothing for myself for living history and educational events, anywhere from the 16th to early 20th centuries. In summer of 2012 I served an internship at the Margaret Hunter millinery shop at Colonial Williamsburg, which I feel was instrumental in shaping how I approach researching and making historic clothing. I also have an online presence, The Couture Courtesan, and have had so many wonderful opportunities and connections come from it.

What made you get into historical costuming?
As a child, I adored American Girl dolls and “Little House on the Prairie,” and begged my parents to take me to Renaissance fairs and historical sites. My grandmother taught me the basics of sewing, but I started getting into historical costuming on my own when I realized it would be much more affordable to make all of the beautiful clothing I wanted than buy it (especially on a young teen’s allowance!).

Bullat in an American Girls-inspired Felicity Christmas grown (Courtesy of Samantha Bullat/The Couture Courtesan)

Which historical period is the most challenging to create a piece or outfit for?
So far I have found that the most challenging period that I have done is the one I spend the most time working with: the early 17th century. Part of what makes it so challenging is the lack of surviving garments, especially women’s garments, and those of us who try to re-create historical clothing as accurately as possible rely on surviving garments, art, and written records to inform the decisions we make. Without a wealth of documentation, it’s harder to confidently say, This is how it was done, so you have to be able to move forward with what is available at the time, knowing that new research may come along in a few years and completely change your understanding of something.

At JASP you’ll be discussing Gothic fashion. Can you talk a little about what makes Gothic fashion different from general fashion of the time?
The Gothic period is just beginning at the time of “Northanger Abbey” and “Frankenstein,” but its influence can be seen in fashions of the period. Gothic art and literature took inspiration from the past, particularly the medieval period, and these elements appear in fashionable dress. In the 19th century, Gothic influence in fashion does not necessarily mean wearing all black like it does today, but the death of the beloved Princess Charlotte in 1817 plunged the nation of Britain into mourning, and magazines featured many suggestions for mourning dress.

Do you have a go-to resource that you consult whenever you have a question about historical fashion or a project you’re working on?
That really depends on what period I’m working on! Recently, I’ve been consulting “17th-Century Dress Patterns for Women, Vol. 1 and 2,” and “17th-Century Dress Patterns for Men.” These books are very recently published and an absolute godsend for those re-creating early-17th-century clothing. Original garments were carefully studied and re-created, with the whole process documented in the books, including patterns and sometimes X-rays of the garments.

What advice do you have for participants attending our ball for the first time?
Ladies should try to be unencumbered when they are dancing, for their sake as well as the sake of their partner. That means leave your shawl, fan or reticule with a friend or at your table. It’s also quite difficult for everyone involved if you are trying to dance in a gown with a train. Gowns for dancing usually have quite short skirts for ease and lightness of movement.

Psst. You, yes, you! We’ve got good news …


If you were on the fence about signing up for the Jane Austen Summer Program and missed our early-bird rate, consider this blog post fate. We’re extending our discount rate for ONE. MORE. WEEK. So don’t wait — register today! This rate disappears April 11. Plus: The next five registrants will receive a copy of John Kessel’s mashup novel “Pride and Prometheus.” CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.