Jane Austen and Co.

Remaking the Past in Contemporary Culture

Edited by Suzanne R. Pucci & James Thompson

Subjects: Film Studies
Paperback : 9780791456163, 283 pages, January 2003
Hardcover : 9780791456156, 283 pages, January 2003

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Table of contents

Introduction: The Jane Austen Phenomenon: Remaking the Past at the Millennium
Suzanne R. Pucci and James Thompson

Part I. In the Classroom

1. How to Do Things with Austen
James Thompson

2. Popular Culture and the Comedy of Manners: Clueless and Fashion Clues
Maureen Turim

3. Love at the Hellmouth: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Kristina Straub

Part II. In the Nation

4. Clueless: About History
Deidre Lynch

5. "It Can't Go on Like This": Dangerous Liaisons in the Reagan–Thatcher Years
Sarah Maza

6. Placing Jane Austen, Displacing England: Touring between Book, History, and Nation
Mike Crang

Part III. At Home

7. The Return Home
Suzanne R. Pucci

8. The Return to Repression: Filming the Nineteenth Century
Virginia L. Blum

9. A Generational Gig with Jane Austen, Sigmund Freud, and Amy Heckerling: Fantasies of Sexuality, Gender, Fashion, and Disco in and beyond Clueless
Denise Fulbrook

Part IV. In the Bedroom

10. Sleeping with Mr. Collins
Ruth Perry

11. Books to Movies: Gender and Desire in Jane Austen's Adaptations
Martine Voiret

12. Gender and the Heritage Genre: Popular Feminism Turns to History
Madeleine Dobie

Appendix: Television, Film, and Radio Productions of Austen



Examines recent Austen remakes as well as other “post-heritage” films and television shows to show how the past is reshaped for a contemporary market.


Jane Austen and Co. explores the ways in which classical novels—particularly, but not exclusively, those of Jane Austen—have been transformed into artifacts of contemporary popular culture. Examining recent films, television shows, Internet sites, and even historical tours, the book turns from the question of Austen's contemporary appeal to a broader consideration of other late-twentieth-century remakes, including Dangerous Liaisons, Dracula, Lolita, and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Taken together, the essays in Jane Austen and Co. offer a wide-ranging model for understanding how all of these texts—visual, literary, touristic, British, American, French—reshape the past in the new fashions, styles, media, and desires of the present.

Contributors include Virginia L. Blum, Mike Crang, Madeline Dobie, Denise Fulbrook, Deidre Lynch, Sarah Maza, Ruth Perry, Suzanne R. Pucci, Kristina Straub, James Thompson, Maureen Turim, and Martine Voiret.

Suzanne R. Pucci is Associate Professor of French at the University of Kentucky. James Thompson is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


"This is an interesting, often witty, and absolutely informative book. What makes the revisiting of Austen a box office commercial phenomenon—witness Clueless and Bridget Jones's Diary—is our postmodern climate, what the editors call 'present cultural concerns. ' We already live within a type of reality Austen has constructed, and our remodeling of that reality in the present at once displays varieties of clashes, lacunae, significations, parodies, and dilemmas. " — Joseph Natoli, author of Postmodern Journeys: Film and Culture 1996-1998