University of Illinois students study modern versions of Jane Austen's books


Alert AustenBlog reader Teresa sent us an article from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign student newspaper, the Daily Illini, about a class in chick lit.

Don’t think that Jane Austen has been relegated to the chick-lit category (we know that gets many Janeites’ hackles up, including our own, depending on the context). However, such modern works as theBridget Jones books and CLUELESS that reference Jane’s novels are studied.

Another section of the class studies historical British literature such as Jane Austen from a feminist viewpoint, and one of the students who took both sections found it an interesting comparison.

Tessa Oberg, senior in LAS, took both sections of English 281 last year.

“Combining (the chick lit class) with the historical section made me understand how the discourse of money, marriage, sex and feminism really evolved in the 200 years between Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Oberg said.

She added that although things have changed, women are still dealing with many of the same issues, such as inequality.

Thanks as always for the heads-up, Teresa!