Emma Shinker | 2024 I.S. Symposium

Emma Shinker head shot

Name: Emma Shinker
Title: “Shades of Pemberley”: Transformation and Preservation through Adaptations of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
Majors: English; History
Advisors: Jennifer Hayward; Christina Welsch

Since its initial publication over two hundred years ago, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has been reimagined time and time again to many different ends. Though the field of adaptation studies is well equipped to analyze the story’s journeys to the screen, it has only recently opened itself to new mediums and forms of judgement beyond the fidelity of adaptation to its source. Drawing on these developments, as well as combining a literary and a historical approach, this I.S. analyzes four different twenty-first century rewritings of Pride and Prejudice. Despite adaptation’s tendency to romanticize the past, these four novels—Longbourn by Jo Baker, The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow, Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin, and Pride by Ibi Zoboi—demonstrate its ability to highlight historical tensions and denaturalize the cultural norms of gender, class, and colonialism that exist both within the pages of Austen’s beloved novel and in the story’s larger role as a cultural touchpoint. Adaptations that engage with history in this way can make the classics more accessible to students while also opening the canon to new voices and stories.

Posted in Symposium 2024 on April 24, 2024.