I had the chance recently to write about my experiences of being away from, and working to get rolling again, in the sport of banked-track roller derby. Thanks to Global Sports Matters and to ASU's Global Sport Institute for making me a part of this special issue on "The Power of Women & Girls in Sport."
ICYMI: Last week's live chat conversation about the new Great Courses Jane Austen lessons (DVD, streaming, and Audible) is now available for anytime watching. Thumbs up or thumbs down, I'm still feeling lucky that this counts as work. Thanks to those of you who were able to join us then, and if you watch it now, let me know what you think?
Join me on Friday March 5th to talk about creating your public scholarly identity. This workshop is primarily geared toward ASU graduate students but is open to a limited number of interested others, with registration. Register here. I look forward to seeing you!
Ever tried to show your gratitude in three minutes to those who shaped your intellectual development? I tried! I had the chance this week to recognize formative teachers, as well as the places that educated me: White Bear Lake Public Schools, Hill Murray School, Augsburg University, and Stony Brook University. It was part of a virtual installation ceremony at ASU, at which I was named a Regents Professor. I'm so grateful to ASU for this honor and for videotaping it so that I could share it with friends and family, near and far. I look forward to continuing to work with Sun Devils, Arizonans, and colleagues and students to add to our knowledge and work to fix things that are broken.
Here's a frank, open-hearted confession: I'm excited about this! The Great Courses on Jane Austen has just launched, with 24 30-minute lessons on life and works, via DVD video, streaming, & on Audible. I'd welcome your help in getting the word out to viewers and listeners who might appreciate it.
Need some feel-good news today? Please congratulate Dr. Ruth Wilson. She just received her PhD in English from the University of Sydney—at age 89. Ruth's fine dissertation on Jane Austen, "Milestones in a Reading Life," brilliantly brings together reading memoir, reception studies, and the history of education and pedagogy. Her dissertation committee assembled Austen scholars from three continents! Ruth's mentor/examiner team included Drs. Rebecca Johinke, Olivia Murphy, and Katie Halsey, with whom I had the pleasure of serving as an external examiner. Among other things, Ruth's fascinating work describes seeing the 1940 MGM Pride and Prejudice, when it was first released. She was brought to the theatre by her film-loving parents. It turned out to be an exposure to Austen that lasted a lifetime and ultimately led her to this doctoral degree. Ruth is amazing, and she wants to take her original research on Austen, school curricula, and the history of memoir and memory into the wider world, in book and article form. That's absolutely as it should be. Her work deserves a wider audience.
I'm looking forward to talking to Soniah Kamal, author of the beautiful novel Unmarriageable (Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan), at this virtual event hosted by Houston's Brazos Bookstore, on Thursday 10/22, in the evening, depending on which time zone you are in!. Soniah is always great fun to talk to, so I am sure this is going to be lively and fun. Join us! Registration is necessary.
I’m on a strange, fun journey this week, taping 24 lectures on Jane Austen for The Great Courses. Three down. 21 to go. Next up: Sense and Sensibility. I'll be sure to keep you posted about how it all unfolds.
Looking for some JaneAusten and books fun? I'll be moderating a Zoom webinar discussion on Saturday, 8/15, at 1p.m. ET, with authors Natalie Jenner, Janice Hadlow, Rachel Cohen, and Lucy Worsley, a virtual event presented by St. Martin's Press, Henry Holt & Co, and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux! Run mad but do not faint! There will be laughs. Register here.
It's difficult to write about roller derby right now, but I tried. Here's my latest essay, "Roller Derby in a Pandemic." . . . With thanks to the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University, for the chance to say it, and to my amazing league, Arizona Derby Dames, for the opportunity to live it . . . . And, as ever, to the late Jerry Seltzer, for inspiring me, and so many of us, to skate and rebuild. Hope you are staying safe and healthy in your corner of the world.
Prof. Devoney Looser (aka Stone Cold Jane Austen).
©2021 Devoney Looser, Dept. of English, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1401