Activities at the annual gathering included a workshop on how Regency women dressed and a talk by scholar Cornel West on human misfortune in Austen's works.
More than 700 people came to the event, which lasted three days at a Marriott hotel. One session included a lecture on how women would have dressed in Austen’s day, an appropriate topic considering many of the conference participants were dressed in Regency gowns and hats.
One attendee, Goucher College associate professor Juliette Wells, said the first time she came to the meeting she was taken aback by the level of fandom exhibited by the JASNA members.
“When I first came, as a graduate student, I was kind of freaked out by the level of ardor,” said Wells, who wrote a study of Austen in pop culture titled “Everybody’s Jane,” in an interview with The New York Times. “I wasn’t sure if I would come back.” But JASNA, she said, “has been very good to me.”