Marriage of Genres: Jane Austen and the “Romance Novel”
All six of Jane Austen’s novels end with marriage. It is thus no surprise that Austen is often considered a “romance writer.” But what exactly does that mean? Is it true? This interactive talk will begin by asking the RI Romance Writers how each member defines what components you see as “necessary” in a “romance” novel. Using your input along with additional definitions of the genre of romance we will explore supposedly “romantic” endings of Jane Austen’s novels, especially Pride and Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and Persuasion to ask: Is there something married to romance in Austen’s novels — a “something” that alters the way we think about the romance genre?
Dr. Case’s areas of specialization are the rise of the novel, literary theory, and popular culture. She teaches British literature, literary theory and general education courses in “the examined life” at Roger Williams University. She has been awarded several NEH fellowships to study topics ranging from Socratic dialogues to British romanticism, to modern satire. Her 2006 Freeman Foundation grant informs her work on the RWU East Asian Studies minor. Her 2008 Oxford Study Abroad Fellowship enriches Oxford-style tutorials in the RWU English Department Senior Colloquia Capstone projects. She won RWU’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019. Dr. Case’s recent scholarship focuses on Jane Austen. She has presented at the Jane Austen Society of North America AGM and at the Sanditon conference at Trinity College, Cambridge, UK (2017). Her essay in the MLA Approaches to Teaching Austen’s Persuasion was published in 2021.