Upcoming Events


Credit: Aliisa Mirkannen (2016)
Sunday, November 7, 2021 
1:00 – 3:00 pm EST
Zoom –Jane Austen’s Mean Girls
Sarah Makowski, Dr. phil. , speaker

Have you ever recognized Mrs. Elton in an office colleague? Or caught a glimpse of Lady Catherine de Bourgh in the neighborhood Karen? Have you spotted a young Emma Woodhouse in your teenage daughter’s clique? Over two hundred years after their creation, Jane Austen’s mean girls are still alive and kicking. Narratology scholar Dr. Sarah Makowski will present her ideas on Lady Catherine de Bourgh from her upcoming book, Bitches in Bonnets: Life Lessons from Jane Austen’s Mean Girls. In it, she explores parallels between Austen’s world and our own, showing how modern social and behavioral scientists are just beginning to document and quantify what the author knew instinctively. Bitches looks beyond Austen’s texts for the sources of female aggression both during the Regency and today. Despite incredible advances in gender equality, women still face discrimination and bullying from creche to career. The cruelest assaults are those that are least expected – from other women.

What better way to self-comfort than with a great book in a world torn apart by politics and pandemics? The very ordinariness of Austen’s stories leaves room for us to identify with her flawed heroines and make peace with their enemies. Bitches in Bonnets examines how six novels of quiet English life, penned by a parochial spinster, provide solace and insight to millions of fans worldwide.

Originally from Michigan, Sarah now lives and works in Germany. She holds bachelor degrees in Literature (Open University) and Fine Arts (Western Michigan University), an MA in Art History (University of Maryland), and a PhD in English Literature (Aachen University). Bitches in Bonnets is her first book, developed from her dissertation, titled Jane Austen’s Mean Girls: A Biocultural Approach to Shared Experience Between Literature and Life. Her article, “Do you know who I am?” Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Jane Austen’s Proto-Karen” was recently published in Persuasions Online.

You must pre-register for this free event.

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You will immediately receive a link to join the zoom meeting. 

We will have a meet and greet while people log in from 12:45 – 1:15 pm EST. The meeting will start at 1:15 pm EST.

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