Author Biography

Devoney Looser is the author of The Making of Jane Austen and Professor of English at Arizona State University. She writes and teaches on the history of the novel and literature by women. A Minnesota native, Looser traded in her ice skates for roller skates in middle age and has played roller derby under the name Stone Cold Jane Austen. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, professor and Austen scholar George Justice, and their tween-teen sons. Looser is the author of three books: The Making of Jane Austen (2017), Women and Old Age in Great Britain, 1750-1850 (2008), and British Women Writers and the Writing of History, 1670-1820 (2000; 2005), all published by Johns Hopkins University Press.


Austen camp has become prevalent, even omnipresent, today, in visions and versions of her and her fiction, using them as a canvas for zombies, porn, or roller derby. Some of it may be kitsch, but it’s arguably camp. Investigating Austen as camp is a valuable way to understand her humor and her social criticism, as we now understand camp as a positive literary and social practice. But rather than asking if and when camp is “there,” for Austen or for her past readers, we might instead investigate what aspects or elements of her reputation or her writing we notice differently when we elect to see her as campy. What do we miss out on by doing that sort of noticing? Finally, once you start to see Austen camp, can you, or how can you, un-see it?


Jane Austen, juvenilia, camp, popular culture, gender, feminism