Friday, January 12, 2018
Apologies for cross-posting, but this is just a short note.
If you'd like to read a brief introduction to popular romance fiction, I've got a couple of posts up at the University of Birmingham's Popular Literature blog:
Part 1: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/poplit/an-introduction-to-popular-romance-1-by-laura-vivanco/ (defining the genre)
Part 2: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/poplit/an-introduction-to-popular-romance-2-by-laura-vivanco/ (variations + different subgenres)
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
If you've got some spare time over the holidays, you might want to take a look at some of these: a lot of them are available online.
- English, Jessica, 2017.
- “Reading the Romance: Through the Eyes of a Millenial Feminist.” Masters Thesis. Eastern Washington University.
- González Cruz, María Isabel, 2017.
- "Conciencia Sociolingüística e Hispanismos en un Corpus de Novela Rosa Inglesa." Pragmática Sociocultural/Sociocultural Pragmatics 5.2: 125-149. Abstract in Spanish and English, article in Spanish, pdf available.
- Johnson, Heather., 2017.
- "Yorkshire English in Georgette Heyer's The Unknown Ajax." Schwa: Language and Linguistics 14: 57-70.
- Malinowska, Anna, 2017.
- 'Paternal Structures of the Romance', Romanica Silesiana 12: 40-52. Abstract
- Russell, Shanon, 2014.
- "Dangerous Young Men: Themes of Female Sexuality and Masculinity in Paranormal Romance Novels for Young Adults." Masters Thesis. University of Ottawa.
- Sandbakken, Asta Margrethe, 2016.
- "Feeling Men: Masculinity, Sexuality, and Emotion in the Contemporary Romance." MA Thesis, University of Oslo
- Simon, Jenni M., 2018.
- Consuming Agency and Desire in Romance: Stories of Love, Laughter, and Empowerment. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington. Excerpt
I'm not the only person who adds entries to the Romance Wiki's Academic Bibliography. Christina Martinez has recently added the following:
- Neuhaus, Jessamyn and John Neuhaus. 2015.
- "'Sometimes It Feels More Like a Commune Than a Town': Envisioning Utopian Possibilities in Robyn Carr's Virgin River Romance Novels." Studies in Popular Culture, vol. 37, no. 2, 2015, pp. 25-42. Excerpt
- Stafford, Jane. 2016.
- "Romance in the Backblocks in New Zealand Popular Fiction, 1930–1950: Mary Scott's Barbara Stories." Popular Fiction and Spatiality: Reading Genre Settings, Lisa (ed. and introd.) Fletcher, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 63-78.
Friday, November 10, 2017
Elizabeth Parker of the University of Birmingham (UK) has written that:
A few of us at the University of Birmingham are in the process of setting up a Popular Literature blog. The idea is that each month there will be a different contributor, who will write a couple of entries on all things Pop Lit related! If you're interested in contributing, please do get in touch!She adds that "We’d definitely be really keen to have some romance scholars contributing… " You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, November 06, 2017
PopCAANZ 9th Annual International Conference
2 – 4 July 2018
Auckland University of Technology, City Campus
Auckland, New Zealand
The Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (Pop CAANZ) is devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life, as a product of consumption, an intellectual object of inquiry, and as an integral component of the dynamic forces that shape societies. We invite academics, professionals, cultural practitioners and those with a scholarly interest in popular culture to send a 150 word abstract and 100 word bio to the area chair by 31 March, 2018.
The area chair for Popular Romance is Jodi McAlister: email@example.com
The call for papers can be found here and the conference page is here.
Monday, October 30, 2017
The Nonesuch? Georgette Heyer and Her Historical Fiction Contemporaries
UCL, London, June 19th 2018
The call for papers was tweeted, with the details embedded in this image. In case that makes the text hard to read, I've transcribed the call for papers below the image.
Proposals for papers and sessions are invited for a one-day conference to be held at UCL on June 19th, 2018.
Plenary: Professor Kathryn Sutherland, Professor of Bibliography & Textual Criticism, Oxford University
This interdisciplinary conference is aimed primarily at exploring Heyer's historical novels, but will also set her work in context with other contemporary female historical fiction writers, such as Norah Lofts, Margaret Irwin, Margaret Campbell Barnes, and Anya Seton, and with contemporary Regency romance.
Papers are invited on any aspect of Heyer's historical works, including:
* Sources and influences
* Critical and popular reception
* Class, gender and sexuality
* Publishing and marketing histories
We hope that the day will be a combination of formal and informal sessions, and be a chance to meet other Heyer readers and discuss the impact of her work.
Please send a suggested title, synopsis (300 words) and biography (150 words) via a Word attachment for 20 minute papers or for longer panel sessions, by January 26th 2018, to Dr Samantha J. Rayner (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr Kim Wilkins (email@example.com), the conference organisers.
Friday, October 27, 2017
- Ali, Kecia. 2017.
- “Troubleshooting Post-9/11 America: Religion, Racism, and Stereotypes in Suzanne Brockmann’s Into the Night and Gone Too Far.” Journal of Popular Romance Studies 6.
- Arimbi, Diah Ariani, 2017.
- "Women in Indonesian Popular Fiction: Romance, Beauty, and Identity Politics in Metropop Novels." Traditions Redirecting Contemporary Indonesian Cultural Productions. Ed. Jan van der Putten, Monika Arnez, Edwin P. Wieringa and Arndt Graf. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2017. 247-271. Excerpt
- Higashi, Sumiko, 2017.
- 'Adapting Middlebrow Taste to Sell Stars, Romance, and Consumption', Feminist Media Histories 3.4 (2017): 126-161. [Abstract which mentions that Photoplay magazine, which began in 1911, "published serialized romance fiction that featured daring, unconventional modern heroines."]
- Kohlman, Marla H. and Samantha N. Simpson, 2017.
- "For the Sake of Hearth and Home: Gender Schematicity in the Romance Novel." Discourses on Gender and Sexual Inequality: The Legacy of Sandra L. Bem. Ed. Marla H. Kohlman and Dana B. Krieg. Bingley, UK: Emerald, 2017. 115-128. Abstract
We also have a chick lit bibliography, to which I've recently added:
- Hedrick, Tace.
- Chica Lit: Popular Latina Fiction and Americanization in the Twenty-First Century. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P, 2015. Details and excerpt
Thursday, October 12, 2017
The Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University, in association with the Department of Popular Culture, will be hosting “Researching the Romance”, a conference for scholars, authors, and readers of popular romance fiction. Our Guest of Honor will be award-winning author Beverly Jenkins. The conference will take place April 13-14, 2018 at the Jerome Library on the BGSU campus as well as at the Wood County District Public Library in Bowling Green, Ohio.
From the website of Bowling Green State University:
In 1997, the Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University held one of the first academically oriented conferences on the genre of popular romance fiction. Titled “Re-Reading the Romance,” the event included authors and academics from around the country sharing their experiences and love for the genre. A follow up conference titled “Romance in the new Millennium” was held in 2000, featuring even more thoughtful looks at romance.
In the years since the last conference at BGSU, the romance industry has grown to more than $1 billion per year in sales, and the study of popular romance has grown by leaps and bounds along with it. And we think it’s high time we reconvene in Northwest Ohio to talk about it. So on April 13th & 14th, 2018, the Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University will host a conference entitled “Researching the Romance.”
The conference will be held in two locations over the course of the weekend. Most of the sessions will be held in the Jerome Library on the campus of Bowling Green State University, while Saturday afternoon’s events will be held at the Wood County District Public Library in downtown Bowling Green.
More about the Conference
Our Guest of Honor for the conference will be 2017 RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Beverly Jenkins. Ms. Jenkins has published more than 30 novels, and is well-known for the level of detailed research she puts into each of her books, making her the perfect guest for this conference.
Our Friday lunchtime keynote speaker will be Dr. Kate Brown, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana. Dr. Brown is a 2017 recipient of the Romance Writers of America Academic Research Grant for her work, which explores how English common law and constitutionalism give fundamental structure and substance to the historical romance genre.
Dr. Eric Selinger, Professor of English at DePaul University and Executive Editor of the Journal for Popular Romance Studies, will be in conversation with Beverly Jenkins on Friday afternoon. Dr. Selinger has a long history of research in romance fiction, and has frequently taught courses using Ms. Jenkins’ work.
Call for papers:
We are seeking presentations by graduate students and academics interested in the study of popular romance studies, as well as authors writing in the genre. Proposals for individual presentations or entire panels will be considered. The scope of this conference is deliberately broad, with the intention of highlighting the interdisciplinary nature and many different avenues of research possible within popular romance studies. Possible paper topics might include but are not limited to:
- Textual analysis of individual books
- In-depth analysis of particular authors’ work
- Digital humanities approaches to popular romance research
- The development of certain subgenres within popular romance
- The rise of romance self-publishing in the age of e-books
- Authors’ approaches to research on time periods, subgenres, etc
- The growth in popularity of LGBTQ romance
- Roadblocks to researching romance, for academics and authors alike
- Romance novel covers across the decades
- How authors build an audience in an era of subgenre specialization
- Reception and fan communities for romance novels, subgenres, or authors
Notification of paper acceptance will be made by Dec 15, 2017.
Please contact Steve Ammidown (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Kristen Rudisill (email@example.com) with questions.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Submission Deadline: Friday 17th November 2017
Conference Date: Friday 16th March 2018
Location: University of London, Senate House Library
Senate House Library is calling for papers on queer publishing for presentation at a 1 day conference taking place at Senate House in March 2018.
The conference forms part of the events programme for the exhibition ‘Queer Between the Covers’, held at Senate House Library from January to June 2018.
The presence of queer works on twentieth century publishers’ lists tended to represent complex processes of equivocation, marked by streams of open titillation and multi-layered camouflage. Novels of queer love could be presented by mainstream firms as examining
‘social problems,’ released by pulp presses with lurid covers promising erotic excitement, printed in severely limited and expensive editions to avoid censure, or offered to the public by imprints more accustomed to gambling against censorship with works pornographic in their intent and content. This fragmented world, driven by simultaneous repression of and prurient interest in queer lifestyles, means that it is difficult to delineate a broad history of queer publishing.
This conference seeks to engender as broad a discussion as possible of the area in an English language context, and welcomes proposals from researchers in multiple disciplines. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:
• Evading censorship
• Criminal proceedings, and the fear of them
• Histories of specific presses
• Publishing case studies of individual texts or authors
• Cloaking and camouflage – the disguised queer story
• Tensions between published scripts and dramatic performance
• Dealing with ‘underground’ presses
• Pulp novels
• Histories of queer pornography
• Classical influences, ‘Uranians’ and other cliques
We invite proposals for 20 minute papers. To submit a paper, please send abstracts of up to 250 words to firstname.lastname@example.org
Details from here.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
The CFP for Romance at PCA 2018 in Indianapolis closes
this Sunday, 1 October on Tuesday 10 October (the deadline has been extended).
In response to Indiana’s role as a national player in debates about the rights and protections due to its LGBTQ residents, this year’s romance area will foreground the topic of popular romance and politics. The popular romance community—scholars included—prides itself on prioritizing consensus and community over debate, sometimes at the expense of asking hard but necessary questions. This year, we will open ourselves up to a few edgier panels, where participants are encouraged to push their boundaries and work together to think through some potentially divisive issues. We are defining “politics” broadly, not solely in terms of governance but also, to borrow the OED’s language, as “the principles relating to or inherent in a sphere or activity, especially when concerned with power and status.” Thus, this would span not only party politics in a particular national or regional arena, but also the politics of gender, sexuality, race, nationality, religion, and class, among others.
Paper topics on this special theme might include the following:
More details here.
Conference of the Popular Culture Association (PCA/ACA)
28-31 March 2017 – Indianapolis, Indiana
28-31 March 2017 – Indianapolis, Indiana
Paper topics on this special theme might include the following:
- The politics of the popular romance novel
- M/M romance and the straight female readership
- African-American and/or multicultural romance and market segregation
- The academic politics of studying the popular romance
- Party politics and military romance
- Politics within the RWA
- African-American and/or multicultural romance in historical settings
- Category romance and party politics
More details here.
Monday, September 25, 2017
“Romantic E-Scapes: Popular Romance in the Digital Age”
9-11 July 2018
University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
This conference is organized in the context of the research project “The politics, aesthetics and marketing of literary formulae in popular women’s fiction: History, Exoticism and Romance” (HER) and aims to discuss recent developments in the production, distribution and consumption of popular romance that account for its escalating popularity and its increasing complexity. How comes that the genre’s traditional formulae are thriving in the murky waters of cultural industries in the global marketplace, particularly in light of the new ways and challenges of the Digital Age?
Evidence has it that the scope, production and range of popular romance has continued to diversify throughout the late 20th and early 21st century, reaching an astonishing variety of imprints, categories and subgenre combinations. As an example, Ken Gelder lists the different “brand portfolios” (2004: 46) from the most popular romance publishing houses with series categories that identify subgenres of romance: Modern, Tender, Sensual, Medical, Historical and Blaze (Mills and Boon); or Desire, Sensation, and Intrigue (Silhouette). Beyond these, the list goes on to include other developments or subgenre combinations from the more classical, gothic, thriller or fantasy romance to the more reader oriented Chick Lit, Black (or African-American) romance and the, arguably, more radically modern Lesbian or Gay romance, etc. High in our agenda is then to interrogate the roots and consequences of this diversification of generic traits and target readers within the more general framework of Global Postmillennial cultural developments. Likewise we also aim to examine the political reasons that inspire and transpire from the industry’s imaginative and aggressive commercial and authorial strategies.
Departing from dismissive academic analyses and conventional understandings of popular romance as lowbrow, superficial and escapist, conference participants are asked to unpack the multiple practices and strategies behind the notion of “Romantic Escapes”. A critical or political reengagement with the recreation of these temporal or spatial settings, whether idyllic and exotic locations, specific historical contexts or alternative futuristic scenarios, can help rethink popular romance beyond the mere act of evasive reading or the unreflective consumption of literary romantic experiences, resituating the genre as a useful tool for sociocultural discussion (Radway 1984; Illouz 1997). In this sense, contributions may engage with the multiple ways which the escapist romantic experience can be put to use in more “serious” formats (e.g. Neo-Victorian, historical fiction and historiographic metafiction) and thus with the implications of adapting well-known romantic patterns, formulae or conventions to more culturally “prestigious” genres.
Moving on from these contested acts of escapism, and expanding on Appadurai’s well-known formulation of “scapes” as the multiple “dimensions of global cultural flow” (1996: 33), conference participants are also encouraged to explore the multivalent meanings of these “Romancescapes”, that is “the multiple worlds which are constituted by the historically situated imaginations of persons and groups spread around the globe” (1996: 33) articulated in ever increasing complex and diverse literary formulations of the romantic experience. What are the effects of the global flows of symbolic and cultural capital on the genre? To what extent are romantic narratives determined by specific local conditions and “situated knowledges” (Haraway 1988)?
The impact of these glocal forces is evident in the writing, teaching, translation, production, reception and marketing of romance as mediated by the global “E-scapes” (Rayner 2002) of the digital age. The ever-changing demands of the glocal literary marketplace have also altered the conventional roles of writers, readers, and publishers, now blurred in practices such as self-publishing, specific subgenres like fan fiction, or increasingly influential spaces of literary discussion like virtual book clubs. Participants who may want to venture off the beaten tracks of the conventional romance industry are also welcome to explore and chart these new E-scapes of popular romance.
We invite scholarly submissions that address these and other related topics in relation to any of the multiple sub-genres of popular romance as well as the multifarious “romancescapes” in other popular narrative media. Contributors may address these topics from different critical perspectives and disciplines: cultural studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, neo-Victorian studies, comparative literature, and digital humanities, among others.
Please submit a 200-word abstract and a short biographical note for a twenty-minute paper by 28 February 2018. Submissions of thematic panels are also welcome.
Submissions should be sent to Dr. Paloma Fresno-Calleja (University of the Balearic Islands) (email@example.com)
For more information visit http://her.uib.es/romantic-e-scapes/
Thursday, September 14, 2017
The deadline for proposals is September 15, 2017. The Call for Papers can be found here.
Thanks to a generous donation from American romance novelist Kathleen Gilles Seidel, travel support for junior scholars will be available for “Think Globally, Love Locally,” the Seventh International Conference on Popular Romance.
This Seidel Travel Grant is intended to foster the future of scholarship on romance in genre fiction, film, TV, and other forms of popular culture by helping with travel costs for graduate students, non-tenured faculty (tenure stream or contingent / adjunct), and independent scholars attending the 2018 IASPR conference in Sydney, Australia.
Eligible scholars whose proposals have been accepted for the conference may apply for the Seidel Travel Grant. Details on how to apply will be included in the proposal acceptance email. All funds will be disbursed by check or cash at the conference.
Seidel wrote her first romance novel not long after finishing her Ph.D. in English literature at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to her many acclaimed novels, including the RITA-award winning contemporary romance Again (1995), she is the author of “Judge Me By the Joy I Bring,” the final essay in the 1992 anthology, Dangerous Men, Adventurous Women.
A supporter of IASPR since its inception, Seidel has funded travel grants for graduate students, independent scholars, and untenured faculty presenting on popular romance at the Popular Culture Association national conference and at IASPR’s international gatherings. We are grateful for her generous and continuing support.
[The text of this announcement comes from IASPR itself.]
Monday, September 11, 2017
- Arvanitaki, Eirini, 2017.
- "Postmillennial femininities in the popular romance novel." Journal of Gender Studies. Published online: 28 Aug 2017. Abstract
- McAlister, Jodi, and Hsu-Ming Teo, 2017.
- "Love in Australian Romance Novels." The Popular Culture of Romantic Love in Australia. Ed. Hsu-Ming Teo. North Melbourne, VIC: Australian Scholarly Publishing, pp.194-222.
- McLeod, Dion, 2017.
- "'Try-error-try-it': Love, loss, and the subversion(?) of the heteronormative romance story in Will Grayson, Will Grayson." Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature 25.1: 73-94. Abstract
And in the section of the Romance Wiki bibliography for items in languages other than English:
- Bianchi, Diana, 2017.
- "I gentiluomini si prendono per la gola: cibo e identità nei romanzi di Georgette Heyer". Lingua, Traduzione, Letteratura 1: 75-89. [Diana wrote to me to notify me of the publication of this article and her translation of the title is: "The way to a gentleman's heart is through his stomach: food and identity in Georgette Heyer's novels."]
- 林芳玫/Lin, Fang-mei.
- "性別化東方主義：女性沙漠羅曼史的重層東方想像/Gendering Orientalism: Women's Desert Romance and the Multiplicity of Oriental Imagination." Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, vol. 13, no. 1-2, 2016, pp. 174-200. [There is an abstract in English, even though the paper is not.]