A message below from Gillian Dow, Vice-President of BARS.
The free, online, course Jane Austen: Myth, Reality and Global Celebrity – designed by me and colleagues at the University of Southampton – first ran via FutureLearn in early 2018, and started its 6th run yesterday, 16th March 2020. I draw it to your attention now, because I am aware that many of our community are moving to online teaching and learning in the light of COVID-19 coronavirus restrictions, and that you may be looking for online resources for your students. Do encourage them to sign up – there are learning activities focusing on Austen and her novels, but also sections that present extracts from Mary Wollstonecraft and Hannah More on female education, early biographies and translations of Austen, as well as material on adaptation and more. There are learning activities that use a variety of online resources, and many videos filmed at both Chawton House and the Jane Austen House museum and beyond.
I’ve been thinking about Humberstall in Rudyard Kipling’s “The Janeites” – “There’s no one to touch Jane when you’re in a tight place”. Although we do our best to complicate ideas of the cosy, domestic ‘Jane’ on the course, it’s clear from the first day of this run of the course that many of our current participants are seeking diversion and online company in difficult times, and that reading/re-reading Austen might help.
Best wishes to all,
University of Southampton, Vice-President of BARS