Women for Harding plan Jane Austen Experience

Women for Harding will host The Jane Austen Experience at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 13, in the Heritage Auditorium of the David B. Burks American Heritage Building.

The event, part of a new Women for Harding initiative to bring women to campus for educational programs, will include a Jane Austen-inspired tea followed by several presentations featuring the timeless influence of Jane Austen in food, note writing and gardening. Dr. Stephanie Eddleman, associate professor of English and Jane Austen scholar, will serve as keynote speaker.

“Jane Austen is vastly popular today because, in addition to her beautiful use of language and her great wit, she sees deeply into the human condition and explores it in profound and universal ways,” Eddleman said. “I hope to illustrate how Austen, working within the limitations female authors of her time faced, was able to bypass those restrictions and craft works of fiction that explore real human concerns in insightful and thought-provoking ways.”

Eddleman will open An Afternoon of Enlightenment, which includes pop-up shops at the Meryton Market with vendors from Copper Peacock Boutique Clothing, Joyful Macarons, Limelight Professional Makeup, Miller Girls Mercantile, Pearls by Danita, The Shops at Unity Health, Sourdough Sisters, and Stone and Sparrow Jewelry. The market is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the lobby of Cone Chapel. There will be a silent auction featuring a variety of items for guests to bid on throughout the day.

Guests are encouraged to dress in period costumes for a dinner with Mr. Darcy followed by an Arts and Life Concert Series presentation of “Wardrobes and Rings,” a three-person theatre production that imagines an encounter between legendary authors C.S. Lewis (“The Chronicles of Narnia”) and J.R.R. Tolkien (“The Lord of the Rings”).

Tickets start at $25 and may be purchased at hardingtickets.com or by calling 501.279.4276. A portion of the proceeds from ticket and market sales will fund Women for Harding need-based scholarships.

For other events and free and low cost services Harding provides to the community, visit harding.edu/community.