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Travel back in time to the 18th century and visit with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy as UT celebrates AustenFest April 5–7.

The three-day celebration will include a variety of events in honor of the work of Jane Austen, the English author best known for her novels including “Pride and Prejudice.”

Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

AustenFest will kick off with a screening of Emma at the L&N STEM Academy lawn on Wednesday, April 5. Events include tea blending workshops, public lectures, an essay contest, and other activities celebrating the English novelist.

An ongoing display of first editions of Austen’s works and related memorabilia will be available in the Special Collections of John C. Hodges Library from April 3 to May 5. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

AustenFest events:

 Wednesday, April 5

Film screening of Emma—The screening will take place at 7 p.m. on the L&N STEM Academy Lawn. A reading tent and old-fashioned games will be available for children.

Thursday, April 6

Austen Special Collections presentation—Chris Caldwell, humanities librarian, will host a presentation at 3:30 p.m. in the Special Collections of Hodges Library.

Public lecture: “Jane Austen and the Common Reader: Contemporary Responses to Emma“—Peter Sabor, professor of English at McGill University, will present the lecture at 4 p.m. in Lindsey Young Auditorium, Hodges Library.

Announcement of essay contest winners—The undergraduate and high school winners of the Jane Austen Essay Contest will be announced at 4:45 p.m. in Hodges Library.

Afternoon tea—Tea for 200 will be served at 5 p.m. in the Jack Reese Galleria in Hodges Library. Those attending must RSVP online.

Friday, April 7

Tea blending workshops—Join Julia Matson of Bingley’s Teas for a tea blending workshop from 10 to 11 a.m. or 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. at the Tyson House. Space for each session is limited to 25 participants. The tea blending workshop costs $25, and participants must RSVP online.

Marathon reading—A reading of Jane Austen’s greatest scenes will be held at 1 p.m. in Lindsay Young Auditorium, Hodges Library.

Public lecture: “The Making of Jane Austen”— Devoney Looser, professor of English at Arizona State University, will present a lecture at 4 p.m. in Room 1210 McClung Tower.

Regency Ball—The soiree will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Southern Depot, 306 W. Depot Ave., and will include dance demonstrations, teaching, English country dancing, and desserts. Regency dress is highly encouraged but not required. Those attending must RSVP online.

For more information about AustenFest, visit the website or contact Follow along with the festivities on social media with #AustenFest.

AustenFest is part of UT’s AuthorFest series. It is sponsored by the Hodges Better English Fund; the Haines-Morris Endowment; the UT Humanities Center; the UT Libraries; the Departments of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, Theatre, and History; and the College of Arts and Sciences.


Stephen Blackwell (865-974-4536,

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,