English 388 | University of Calgary | Professor Bourrier

Course Description

At the time of her death in 1817, Jane Austen had a modest following among a few critical readers. Two hundred years later, she is a pop culture phenomenon. Austen is a multi-million pound literary brand with new merchandise and new adaptations of her novels produced every year. In this course, we will analyze Austen’s novels and the popular culture adaptations that re-imagine them. We will read three of Jane Austen’s most popular novels–Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility–as both literary critics and fans. What literary techniques did Jane Austen pioneer? Why are her novels still so popular today? Do we read Austen for the romance or the realism? How can one author belong to both high culture and pop culture? What is the best way to appreciate Austen and her work?