Skip to content

The UT AuthorFest series presents AustenFest, a three-day celebration of the work and the Regency world of Jane Austen, whose characters including Elizabeth Bennett, Mr. Darcy, Emma Woodhouse, and Catherine Moreland, are among the most beloved in English literature. In February and March, the Clarence Brown Theatre will present Susanna Centlivre’s The Busy Body , a 1709 comedy by a playwright Austen loved. First editions of Austen’s works and related items from UT’s Special Collections will be on display in Hodges Library during the month of April.

All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

Please RSVP in advance for the events.  If you are unable to fill out the form, please submit your RSVP to

First editions of Austen’s works and related items from UT’s Special Collections will be on display in Hodges Library during the month of April.

Please note: the Emma screening has moved indoors due to inclement weather.

Sunday, April 2

Wednesday, April 5

  • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Film screening of Emma
    L&N STEM Great Hall location has moved indoors
    401 Henley St, Knoxville, TN 37902
    Reading tent and old-fashioned games for children. Seating provided, parking available in the lower KMA lot, free admission, concessions available for a modest price.

Thursday, April 6

All events will take place in the John C. Hodges Library
(Parking available in Volunteer Hall 1525 White Ave.)

  • 3:30 PM: Austen Special Collections Presentation
    Chris Caldwell, Humanities Librarian
    Special Collections
  • 4 PM: Public Lecture: “Jane Austen and the Common Reader: Contemporary Responses to Emma
    Peter Sabor, Professor
    Department of English at McGill University
    Lindsay Young Auditorium
  • 4:45 PM: Announcement of essay contest winners
  • 5:00 PM: Afternoon tea
    Jack Reese Galleria, Hodges Library (RSVP online)

Friday, April 7

  • 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM and 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Tea Blending Workshops with Julia Matson of Bingley’s Teas
    The tea blending workshops cost $25 (to be paid during the workshop), and places must be reserved in advance.  These are limited to 25 people per session. (RSVP Online).
  • 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Marathon reading of Jane Austen’s greatest scenes
    Lindsay Young Auditorium, Hodges Library
  • 4:00 PM: Public Lecture: “The Making of Jane Austen”
    Devoney Looser, Professor
    Department of English at Arizona State University
    McClung Tower, Room 1210
    (Parking available in Volunteer Hall 1525 White Ave.)
  • 7:30 PM: Regency Ball, with dance demonstrations, teaching, and English Country dancing and desserts for all (RSVP online)
    Southern Depot, 306 W Depot Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902

For more information, please email or follow us at #AustenFest

Ongoing events

  • Jane Austen Essay Contest – UPDATED
    Undergraduate DEADLINE March 15
    High School DEADLINE February 27 
  • April 3 to May 5, 2017
    Display of Jane Austen first editions and memorabilia
    Special Collections, John C. Hodges Library
Donate to AustenFest

Please help support the range of free events and the future of AuthorFest with your tax-deductitible donation. All donations will be used to support AuthorFest and also count as a contribution to the Big Orange Give.

Donate to AustenFest

AustenFest is sponsored by:
Hodges Better English Fund, Haines-Morris Endowment, UT Humanities Center, University of Tennessee LibrariesDepartment of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, Department of Theatre, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences.


The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.