"The certain corrective": Sanditon, Students and Strategies of Defamiliarization



Halsey K (2018) "The certain corrective": Sanditon, Students and Strategies of Defamiliarization. Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-line, 38 (2).

First paragraph: In their introduction to the special issue of Persuasions On-Line dedicated to “Teaching Austen and her Contemporaries”, Bridget Draxler, Misty Krueger and Susan Allen Ford suggest that, “although high school teachers and university professors the world over include Jane Austen’s fiction in their courses, the body of scholarship on teaching Austen is surprisingly small” (Draxler, Krueger and Allen Ford, “Introduction”). A year later, Emily Zarka and Devoney Looser identified more than sixty print and online sources related to the teaching of Austen written in the past fifty years, among them four substantial books and the Persuasions Online special issue itself (Zarka and Looser, “Annotated Bibliography on the Scholarship of Teaching Jane Austen”), but it is certainly true that when it comes to thinking about scholarship on teaching Austen’s juvenile and later unfinished works, very little exists. Apart from Juliet McMaster’s three splendid articles/chapters on teaching the Juvenilia, and Michelle Levy’s excellent discussion of teaching Austen’s digitized manuscripts, which appears in Emily Friedman and Looser’s special issue of Romantic Circles Pedagogies Commons on “Teaching Jane Austen,” almost nobody has written on the opportunities and challenges of teaching the manuscript works.i This is, of course, partly because fewer people write on the manuscript works at all, but also, no doubt, because far fewer university professors choose to include them on their syllabi. And it would be a rare high school teacher indeed who dared to focus on the juvenilia or unfinished works in preference to one or more of Austen’s finished novels. Austen’s manuscript works – both the juvenilia and the later unfinished manuscripts – are in some ways so very unlike the published work that both students and their teachers sometimes don’t quite know what to make of them. In this article, then, I will be exploring the question “why teach Sanditon?”, with reference to my own experience of teaching that text.

Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-line: Volume 38, Issue 2

Publication date30/04/2018
Date accepted by journal16/09/2017
PublisherJane Austen Society of North America
Publisher URL…-38-no-2/halsey/

People (1)


Professor Katherine Halsey

Professor Katherine Halsey

Professor, English Studies