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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Students Explore 'Gendered Education' in Jane Austen's Era

SALISBURY, MD---Donning handmade dresses designed to look like the Bennett sisters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, four Salisbury University students recently presented at the 2013 Maryland Collegiate Honors Council Conference.

Their panel explored how women of Austen’s era were steered toward feminine “accomplishments” rather than gathering knowledge. They examined all of Austen’s works and demonstrated how women of the Romantic period were limited by such gendered education and strained to find ways to enrich their intellectual existence.

Pictured (from left) are junior biology major Amanda Biederman of Westminster, who played violin as part of their panel; Stacey Miller, a senior English major from Salisbury who made the costumes; Alexandra Fox, a sophomore English/history double major from Huntingtown, MD; and Lauren Anderson, a psychology/communication arts double major from Leonardtown, MD.

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According to Dr. Lucy Morrison of SU’s English Department, the dresses began a project in her Bellavance Honors Program class on “Jane Austen’s England” last fall. The students “researched fashion and style” and also “did their hair so as to appear of Austen’s era when they traveled to the conference,” she added.

For more information, call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at      


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