DEVONEY LOOSER (pronounced DEV-oh-nee LOE-sir) is the author of The Making of Jane Austen, a Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book (Nonfiction). She is Foundation Professor of English at Arizona State University and author or editor of six other books on literature by women. Her recent writing has appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times, Salon, The TLS, and Entertainment Weekly, and she's had the pleasure of talking about Austen on CNN. (Twice!) She was named a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow and an NEH Public Scholar in support of her next book project, a biography of the once-celebrated, now-forgotten sister novelists, Jane and Anna Maria Porter.
Looser, a Minnesota native, traded in her ice skates for roller skates in middle age and has played roller derby under the name Stone Cold Jane Austen. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, professor and literary scholar George Justice, and their teen sons. She's on Facebook and Twitter @devoneyloooser & @Making_Jane. She posts patterened-legging selfies and super-serious Janeite content on Instagram at @devoneylooser & @makingjaneausten.
ROLLER DERBY Outside of the classroom, she's played roller derby as Stone Cold Jane Austen. (See "Derby" in the site menu.) She wrote about her experiences in the first-ever collegiate roller derby bout in Slate. Believe it or not, she starred as herself in the never-released, low-budget Jane Austen roller derby vampire movie, Vampyras. Poet Cornelius Eady wrote her alter ego a kick-ass theme song, "Stone Cold Jane."
TEACHER Looser is an award-winning teacher who has held posts at Indiana State University, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Louisiana State University, and the University of Missouri, before joining the faculty at Arizona State University in 2013. In 2016, she received the Zebulon Pearce Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities Award in College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU. She regularly teaches Jane Austen to undergrads and graduate students, in-person and online. She co-edited the Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons special issue on "Teaching Jane Austen" (2015).
PUBLIC SPEAKER Devoney has lectured widely, giving keynote lectures at Cambridge University's Pride and Prejudice at 200 conference, the British Association for Romantic Studies, and at the British Women Writers Conference. She has given invited talks at the National Portrait Gallery (London), the Sorbonne (Université de Paris III), the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, and Columbia University. At the 2017 meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America's Annual General Meeting in Huntington Beach, CA, commemorating the bicentenary of Austen's death, Looser was a plenary speaker.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICE Looser is Past President of the Midwest Modern Language Association (M/MLA) and completed three-year terms on the Advisory Committee of PMLA (Publication of the Modern Language Association) and the MLA’s Program Committee. She has served on the MLA's Age Studies Forum Executive Committee and Late Eighteenth-Century Executive Committee. She has served on the Advisory Board of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism; the Nominating Committee of the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies; and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Jane Austen Society of North America, in which she holds a life membership. Looser sits on the advisory boards of seven scholarly journals.
PERSONAL With her husband, George Justice, Professor of English at Arizona State University, Devoney is raising two teen sons, who find Jane Austen tolerable but untempting.