UMF spotlights Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” with next New Commons events, Nov. 28–Dec. 15

posted in: News | 0

FARMINGTON, ME  (November 14, 2018)—“Persuasion,” Jane Austen’s last novel, is the next featured selection of the New Commons Project of the University of Maine at Farmington.

Image of Jane Austen
Image of Jane Austen

Persuasion is the story of Anne Elliot, the quiet, sensitive and intelligent second daughter of an aristocratic father whose vanity has driven the family into debt.

The last novel fully completed by Austen, Persuasion is a window into 18th century British landed gentry society and the dependence of women on marriage for their social and economic standing. Persuasion’s 200th anniversary was celebrated by Jane Austen fans worldwide in 2017.

Born in Steventon, Hampshire in England in 1775, Austen was an extraordinary English writer who first gave the novel its modern character through her treatment of ordinary people in everyday life. Her use of irony, humour and social commentary have earned her acclaim, and she is celebrated today for her works that have become timeless classics.

Austen’s earliest writings date from about 1787 and include plays, verses, short novels and other prose. Her first published novel was “Sense and Sensibility” in 1811, followed by “Pride and Prejudice,” “Mansfield Park” and “Emma.” “Northanger Abby” and “Persuasion” were both published posthumously in 1818.

UMF New Commons events featuring Persuasion by Jane Austen
Events are free and open to the public.

Wendy Lee
Wendy Lee

KEYNOTE EVENT: Wendy Lee, “Persuasion’s Long Goodbye: Jane Austen and the End of Life”
Dr. Wendy Lee, Assistant Professor of English at New York University, situates Jane Austen’s Persuasion (her final novel) as a work uniquely attuned to questions of mortality.
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 11:45 a.m., UMF Emery Community Arts Center

Panel Discussion of Persuasion with Wendy Lee, Dan Gunn and Misty Krueger
Join the discussion of key issues in Jane Austen’s Persuasion with: Dr. Wendy Lee, assistant professor of English at New York University; Dr. Dan Gunn, professor of English at UMF; and Dr. Misty Krueger, assistant professor of English at UMF.
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 4 p.m., Second Floor, UMF Mantor Library

Panel on Gender and Literary Form with Kate Colby and Anna Moschovakis
Join poet and essayist Kate Colby and poet, novelist, and translator Anna Moschovakis for an examination of key issues surrounding gender and literary form as part of the New Commons Project’s consideration of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 4 p.m., Second Floor, UMF Mantor Library

Dan Gunn “Some Sentences from Persuasion”
Dr. Dan Gunn, Professor of English at UMF, reads key sentences of Austen’s late masterpiece. Wednesday, Dec. 5, 11:45 a.m., UMF Emery Community Arts Center

The New Commons Film Series: Persuasion
The New Commons Film Series presents Persuasion, a well-loved 1995 adaptation of Austen’s novel directed by Roger Michell.
Friday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m., UMF Lincoln Auditorium, Roberts Learning Center

Dan Gunn “Some Sentences from Persuasion”
Dr. Dan Gunn, Professor of English at UMF, reads key sentences of Austen’s late masterpiece.
Saturday, Dec. 15, 1 p.m., Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library

UMF’s New Commons Project is building a contemporary cultural commons of 24 works of art, literature and ideas that are submitted by members of the Maine community. Twelve will be shared this year through a number of unique events, public discussions, talks and community engagement projects. These 12 works have been selected from more than 150 submissions by community members from a dozen Maine counties and include, a critically acclaimed TV show, public art installations by an anonymous artist, a jazz elegy and more.

The New Commons Project is a public humanities initiative of the University of Maine at Farmington, Maine’s public liberal arts college, in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council. It is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

To learn more about the New Commons Project, or to submit a nomination for the next round of selections to be announced in 2019, visit the website at:

# # #

Media Contact: Kristen Case, associate professor of English, 207-778-7239,

Image: RP189-019A
Photo Caption: Image of Jane Austen
Photo Credit: Submitted Image

Image: RP189-019B
Photo Caption: Wendy Lee
Photo Credit: Submitted Image

April Mulherin
UMF Associate Director for Media Relations
office: 207-778-7081
cell: 207-491-0064

Share on