Monday, September 11, 2023


JASNA Middle Tennessee's fall meeting will feature a discussion of Austen's 1813 masterpiece Pride and Prejudice, led by our own Debbie Carroll. We'll return to the historic Buchanan Log House in Donelson, which was the site of our spirited September 2022 conversation about Sense and Sensibility.

The gathering will begin at 2 pm with beverages and light bites; members are asked to bring a tea-time treat to share. Please let us know if you're planning on attending, so that we may prepare for sufficient refreshments and seating:

The Buchanan Log House is located at 2910 Elm Hill Pike (37214); free parking is available.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

May Meeting with JASNA President Liz Philosophos Cooper: CANCELLED

March 12, 2020 --
Owing to the current pandemic situation, we have determined that the wise decision is to cancel the Friday, May 1 visit by JASNA President Liz Cooper. We thank our friends at Vanderbilt, particularly the Department of English, for their willingness to host the talk ("Jane Austen: Working Woman"), and look forward to rescheduling. Liz has never been to Nashville, and we are eager to make her trip a memorable one -- but in the right way [!].

Stay safe, friends, and check out the site for any questions about COVID-19.

About the speaker
Liz Philosophos Cooper, president of JASNA, is a second-generation JASNA member who fell in love with Austen’s work as a high school student. A member of JASNA since 1992, she has actively participated in local JASNA activities and served as JASNA Vice-President for Regions from 2013-2018 and as Regional Coordinator of Wisconsin prior to that. A popular speaker, she is a contributing writer to Jane Austen’s Regency World and co-edits Wisconsin Region’s A Year with Jane Austen calendar. Her talk from the Washington DC AGM, “The Apothecary and the Physician: Emma’s Mr. Perry,” was published in Persuasions 38.

She holds a BA (Communication Arts) from the University of Wisconsin, and worked in marketing before taking time off to raise four sons in Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin (a suburb of Madison). Literature has always been a part of Liz’s life, as her mom was an English major. Liz began a local book group in 1986 that is still going strong, and organized and implemented a Junior Great Books reading program at the local elementary school. She has been an active volunteer in the community, including serving as president of the Village of Shorewood Hills Foundation for many years.

Liz and her husband, Scott, run a marketing consulting firm and enjoy traveling. True fact: they visited Chawton on their honeymoon in 1978! After having three brothers and four sons, it is a great joy for her to have three new daughters through marriage. Her three granddaughters and two grandsons are known to host tea parties with Jane Austen, showing it’s never too early to learn about Jane.

Liz Cooper's talk is funded in part by a grant from the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Founded in 1979, the Jane Austen Society of North America is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers and dedicated to the enjoyment and appreciation of Jane Austen and her writing.

Since its inaugural dinner in Manhattan for 100 guests, the society’s ranks have grown to more than 5,000 members in 79 Regions, making JASNA the largest literary society devoted to Jane Austen. Although most members live in the United States and Canada, Austen admirers from more than a dozen countries are also JASNA members.

Friday, January 17, 2020

February 16: Health and Wellness, the Austen Way

We'll embrace a new year's opportunity for self-improvement with a discussion of Regency-era eating and exercise habits, guided by The Jane Austen Diet: Austen’s Secrets to Food, Health, and Incandescent Happiness (2019), by Jane Austen and Bryan Kozlowski.

Our first meeting of 2020 is set for Sunday, February 16, from 2 to 4 pm, at a private home in the Green Hills area of Nashville.

Contact to let us know you'll be attending, and we'll respond with location and parking information.  Please bring a tea-time treat to share; beverages will be provided.

Overview (Turner Publishing)
What can Jane Austen teach us about health?

With a multi-million fan base, Austen is already a “lifestyle” celebrity: imitating her ideas on love and romance lie at the heart of her fabulous fame. In his newest literary romp author, Brian Kozlowski offers a new twist on the Austen way of romancing life. The Jane Austen Diet is the first retrospective look at the healthiest characters in classic literature and what they can teach us today. Jane leaves a trail of solid clues throughout her novels, a framework for embracing health the way her elegant characters do so effortlessly. The Jane Austen Diet shares Jane’s approach to food, fitness, and total body “bloom.”

Although the characters in Austen’s books seem to stay effortlessly fit, the Austen Diet is very real, and science is beginning to prove its remarkable reality. Think of it as the Pemberley version of the Paleo lifestyle – a witty return to Regency food-and-fitness strategies, revealing Jane’s forgotten prescription for incandescent “health and happiness” in the 21st century.

About the author
Bryan Kozlowski is a passionate champion of “lit wit” – bringing the wisdom of classic literature into everyday life. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he’s authored two literature-inspired cookbooks for children and a work on Charles Dickens. His literary insights have been featured in the New York Times, Slate, and Country Life magazine, among other publications.

Enjoying the felicities of rapid motion

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"Rosings Revue" Set for December 15

(image from Abigail Reynolds'
The final meeting of the year is our annual Jane Austen birthday gathering. Please join us on Sunday, December 15, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Overlook Room of Westminster Presbyterian Church here in Nashville.

For this celebratory occasion, we'll be presenting the "Rosings Revue," a salon-style programme of musical and theatrical entertainments featuring the talents of JASNA members and friends.

Our specialty is variety! We're asking Janeites if there's a talent you'd like to exhibit: Can you sing? Play a musical instrument? Recite poetry or dramatic pieces? We know you're out there, Mary Bennet.

We'll also be very glad of volunteers to serve as production assistants or help set up tables and decor.

As always, we'll begin with food and conversation. Please bring a sweet or savory treat to share; beverages will be provided.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to confirm your attendance (so we have enough tea and chairs), contact

Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 3900 West End Avenue (37205), between Mayfair Road and Wilson Boulevard. Look for signs to the North Entrance of the building and the parking lot for this section of the church. The Overlook Room is on the second floor, and accessible via stairs and elevator. As in years past, we will be collecting donations of winter-weather clothing and accessories for Room in the Inn.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Special Community Event: "Playing Cards with Jane Austen" at Vanderbilt Central Library, October 24

Our book-loving friends at Vanderbilt are hosting "Playing Cards with Jane Austen: An Evening of Speculation," on Thursday, October 24, beginning at 5 pm in the Community Room of the Central Library -- and we're invited!

English Professor Robin Bates will speak about card playing in literature, specifically Mansfield Park and Speculation and, after his remarks and refreshments, guests will try their hands at the game.

Presented by the Friends of Vanderbilt's Libraries, this event is free but because seating is limited, the courtesy of a reply is requested by October 14: respond to or 615-343-1222.

Friday, September 6, 2019

September 22 meeting: "Creativity and Place" with Elizabeth Meadows

For our meeting on Sunday, September 22, from 2 to 4 pm, we'll gather in the rehearsal/performance space of Actors Bridge Ensemble, located in the lower-level chapel at the Darkhorse Theater (4610 Charlotte Pike) in West Nashville.

Professor Elizabeth Meadows, of Vanderbilt University, will lead an interactive place-based creative approach, with a discussion of how specific times/places are important in Austen’s work, and then leading to people creating their own Jane Austen story in their particular place/time. 
Attendees are encouraged to bring a notepad and pen.

Elizabeth Meadows is Associate Director of Vanderbilt’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, which promotes interdisciplinary research and study in the humanities and social sciences. Meadows brings to the Warren Center considerable experience in community and student engagement; she spent six years at Vanderbilt’s Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy, where she developed and led programs offering faculty, staff, and students opportunities to engage in creative practice and fostered innovative projects and collaborations with our campus and local community. Meadows helped develop the Curb Center’s Public Scholars Program, worked with campus and local partners to organize the Mellon Summer Institute in Public and Digital Humanities, and collaborated with Nashville’s Metro Arts Commission in developing the Racial Equity in Arts Leadership program. A scholar of Victorian literature and culture, Elizabeth taught at Mount Holyoke College, before coming to Vanderbilt in 2013, and she has published in Dickens Studies Annual, The Oxford Companion to Victorian Literary Culture, and has collaboratively guest edited a special issue of Victorian Review. She is also Faculty Head of East House on the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons.

JASNA members are asked to bring a tea-time treat to share; beverages will be provided.
Guests are welcome, but please let us know you're attending, so we can plan for seating and refreshments:

Founded in 1995, Actors Bridge is a professional theater company and an actor's training program, specializing in the Meisner Technique. AB also produces Act Like a Grrrl (ALAG) an autobiographical writing and performance program that inspires girls (ages 12-18) to write about their lives and transform their thoughts into monologues, dances, and songs for public performance.

The Darkhorse building was originally a Presbyterian church, and in 1990 became a performance venue; AB moved into the chapel in 2015. It's a space that has been home to hundreds of productions set in all parts of the world and in all time periods -- perfect for our afternoon considering "creativity and place."

The Darkhorse is located at 4610 Charlotte Avenue / 37209, but the entrance to the chapel is along the 47th Avenue side street [McDonald's is next door]. Look for signage on the doors.

Free parking is available along 47th, in the SunTrust lot at the corner of 46th Avenue, and at the Richland Park library directly across the street from the theater.

"Netherfield Park is let at last!"