frequent shifts of intensity in the translations towards but not quite in line with the Greek norms, indicating that the translators are under the simultaneous influence of British and Greek norms. The results suggest, however, that the Greek norms exert a stronger influence on the translators, mostly in relation to anger and fear, an outcome that goes against the assumptions of Polysystem Theory that the more powerful literary system, in this case that of the UK, will exert the stronger influence. This outcome could be attributed to the commercial pressure of the market on publishers of the chosen genre of popular romance.The rest of the abstract can be found here.
Sunday, December 08, 2013
In her recently completed PhD thesis, "A Study on the Cultural Variations in the Verbalisation of Near-Universal Emotions: Translating Emotions from British English into Greek in Popular Bestseller Romances," Artemis Lamprinou compared six English-language romance novels with both their Greek translations and with six original Greek romances. She discovered
Friday, November 15, 2013
The Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly was launched yesterday. It's not an academic publication but I thought I'd mention it anyway because
The Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly is an online magazine devoted to science fiction romance. Each issue includes news, reviews, opinion columns, and an original, exclusive short story–all for free!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
via Academia. It's Chapter 17 of The Silk Road of Adaptation: Transformations across Disciplines and Cultures. Ed. Laurence Raw. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2013.
Schell argues that
a translation could be considered a type of invisible adaptation. In fact, global economic enterprises may actually prefer to downplay the "new readings" wrought by translation [...]. It falls to us to question the supposed transparency of translation and appreciate instead the ways in which a translation adapts the source-text. (160)Schell notes that cultural differences make
the social meaning of a novel's content inherently unstable. For example, because of differing cultural norms about adult children's relationship with their parents, the scene in which Cade defies his father for the sake of his wife might seem noteworthy to a Turkish reader but unremarkable to an American reader. In contrast, popular attitudes towards abortion are probably more conservative and conflicted in the United States than in the Republic of Turkey. (164)What is certain is that "Arda Gedik, the force behind HQN's Turkish publications for nearly two decades [until his death in 2011], saw these books as providing progressive role models" (169).
The "source-text" Schell chooses to analyse is Shirley Jump's Back to Mr. and Mrs. (2007) which was published in Turkey in "2010 as a 112-page novella" (162). The novel, like others chosen for translation and publication in Turkey, was selected "based on Amazon.com customer star ratings" (164) and the translation makes minor changes which, cumulatively, make the characters seem "less foreign" (166) to Turkish readers.
It also makes "small changes [which] consistently make the women more stereotypically feminine and less intelligent" (167) and ensures that the ageing heroine "conforms to beauty ideals" (168). Such changes are not, however, unique to Turkish translations: in France, for example, translated novels "often made the heroine less confident and experienced that in the source-text" (168).
The essay is relatively short and, in my opinion, well worth a read.
From Cover to Cover: Reading Readers
Edited Collection of Essays
Editors: Dr. Bilge Mutluay Cetintas and Dr. Ceylan Ozcan
Edited Collection of Essays
Editors: Dr. Bilge Mutluay Cetintas and Dr. Ceylan Ozcan
This collection of essays "aims to take a fresh look at the 'good old practice' of reading in all its denotations and connotations from all possible quarters and perspectives, provided that papers relate to the American context." Essays "should be between 5000-7000 words and should adhere to the latest MLA style. Full text submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 30, 2014." More details here (though unfortunately they do not include information about the likely publisher of the collection).
Gender and Transgression in 20th-Century Britain
Newcastle University, 7th March 2014
Newcastle University, 7th March 2014
The link between gender and transgression is integral to both representing and understanding the controversy that surrounds popular works. To add to Jenks’ conclusion: we are both obsessed by transgression and the transgressor’s gender.
In this symposium we intend to consider how representations of transgressive acts are linked to gender, asking whether crimes are more punishable depending on the gender of the criminal, if certain transgressive behaviours are more acceptable for one gender than another, or if it is possible for transgressive acts to be represented without issues of gender being at the forefront of that representation.
More details about the conference can be found here. Submissions to email@example.com by 1st December 2013. They seem to have a strong focus on crimes. Still on the topic of crime:
Captivating Criminality: Crime Writing, Darkness and Desire
Bath Spa University and Crime Studies Network
At Corsham Court (http://www.corsham-court.co.uk/)
24-26 April 2014
Bath Spa University and Crime Studies Network
At Corsham Court (http://www.corsham-court.co.uk/)
24-26 April 2014
How can crime writing be defined? Although crime fiction is traditionally regarded as a distinguishable literary form, what can be considered part of this genre? The various sub-genres that are encompassed under the title of crime writing, including the ‘whodunnit’, the Hard Boiled thriller, Golden Age narratives, and the ‘whydunnit’ psychological thriller are all so variable that a defining process becomes nearly impossible. [...]
I thought this might be of interest to anyone studying romantic suspense. More details here. The deadline for submissions is 6 January 2014.
Friday, November 01, 2013
|Reading the Romance:Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature |
1984 - 1991 - 2014
Janice Radway will be joining the Romance area of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association for a 30th Anniversary roundtable discussion of Reading the Romance: the book, its impact, and its legacy. Details of the programme haven't yet been finalised but the conference will be held in Chicago from 16-19 April 2014.
More details about the Romance area can be found here - and there are still a few hours left before the deadline for submissions if you'd like to present a paper.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Jackie C. Horne has summarised the keynote speeches (by Kay Mussell and Jennifer Crusie) and round-table discussion (the participant whose contribution is most noted is Eloisa James) at the The Popular Romance Author Symposium.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Chelsea Ann Pierce's recent MA thesis is on the topic of "The Apprenticeship of Laurell K. Hamilton: How Aspiring Writers Learn to Write."
The Princeton Symposium on Authorship in the Popular Romance Genre , whose participants also focus on authors, will be starting in a few days' time. On Friday attendees will be able to hear:
Deborah Chappel Traylor on “The Novels of Edna Ferber, An Important Link in Popular American Women's Fiction”
It may be easy enough to see connections between popular romance written today and the novels of Jane Austen, but how do we explain how one leads through centuries and across oceans to the other? How do we present a history of women’s romance without exploring and establishing links to other writers, traditions, and events?
Maryan Wherry on “Adventure, Mystery, Romance: The Voice and Style of Mary Stewart”
Mary Stewart is an important transition figure within 20th century romance. [...] Stewart combines the neo-gothic traditions of Daphne du Maurier and Victoria Holt with the traditional mysteries of Georgette Heyer and Mary Robert Rinehart to establish the foundations of the romantic suspense subgenre.
Hsu-Ming Teo on “'Everyone loves a Lindsey!': Evaluating the Historical Romance Oeuvre of Johanna Lindsey”
Together with her well-known contemporaries Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers and Bertrice Small, Lindsey’s work was an integral part of the ‘Romance Revolution’ which injected sizzling sex scenes into the pages of the romance novel. It was a revolution that contributed to the Americanization of the twentieth-century romance novel.
Jackie Horne, “Feminism and the Romance Author”
This talk will take a closer look at romance writers’ relationship to feminism during the past twenty years, not by analyzing their novels, but by looking at their interviews and critical writings on the craft of romance.
Jonathan Allan, “Twisting the Romance Novelist”
for a study of male/male romance to develop at all, we need to build the theory from the ground up, beginning with the author. By “twisting” authorship, I hope to offer a critical model of authorship, that recognizes the particularities of male/male romance, particularly since the subgenre is largely written “by women for women.”
Jennifer Lois and Joanna Gregson, “Sneers and Leers: Romance Novel Writers and the Stigma of Sexual Shamelessness”
Writers reacted to the sneers and leers in two opposing ways. Some accepted the invitation and displayed personalized aspects of their sexuality for shock value, career promotion, or to reclaim control of defining their sexual selves in a patriarchal culture. Others contested the assumption that their personal sex lives were relevant to their work and chastised outsiders for intruding on their privacy.
Annette Couch-Jareb, “Self-Publishing and the Individual Author as an Agent of Change”
In recent years, publishing has undergone a revolution, as dramatic as the invention of the Guttenberg Press. For the first time, authors are able to publish without the gatekeeping effects of publishers.
Jayashree Kamble, “Defiance and Definition: Constructing Authorship in Lisa Kleypas’s Dreaming of You”
Kleypas’s Sara Fielding (whose name evokes a history of women authors) is a claim of authorial self-determination in a genre that is constantly battling for the right to define what it is (and is not).
Eric Selinger, “The World Split Open, Slightly; Or, I Fought the Law and the Law Spanked”
This consoling narrative [Victoria Dahl's Talk Me Down], in which the truths told by romance can be easily and pleasurably recuperated, contrasts in several ways with the representations of gender, truth-telling, and the law in Dahl’s Twitter and Tumblr posts, which include impassioned, explicitly political reflections on gendered poverty, abortion rights, and access to birth control.
Jessica Matthews, “When Authors Won’t “Die”: Diana Gabaldon as Imperial Author in the Books and Writers Community Online Forum”
Gabaldon uses her position as the author to offer the “correct” interpretation to readers’ questions, all while creating an online persona that is friendly to those who agree with her, but caustic to those who do not. Her answers often require her to provide information that would not have been available to the reader, thus allowing her to extend her narratives beyond the novels themselves. In other words, her online forum allows her to keep writing her novels and position herself as the leading authority on them.
Regina Künne, “L’Auteur Est Mort. Vive L’Auteur!”The full abstracts for all of these talks can be found here.
The talk will address Jayne Ann Krentz’s works and will give answers about changes within twenty-five years of her writing career
Friday, October 18, 2013
Some very exciting news: bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips will be coming to the Romance Area at this year's PCA national conference in my home town, Chicago. She'll be chatting with Pamela Regis and me about her work and about the genre, so if there's anything you've always wanted a romance scholar to ask her, let me know!
The deadline for proposals is early this year, November 1, so don't wait--get those submissions in soon.
The conference is in Chicago, April 16-19, 2014; for full conference info, go here.
We've broadened out the Call for Papers somewhat--not really a change in substance, but an emphasis on inclusiveness, in terms of the media we cover. In case you missed it earlier, here's the gist:
The discourse of romantic love permeates popular culture. The Romance area includes papers on love, romance, and relationships, in real life and as represented in any medium, now and in the past. From ad campaigns to Supreme Court decisions, Dan Savage to Sweet Savage Love, K-Pop to qawwali,: if it’s about love, it’s a welcome topic at the PCA Romance area.
We will consider proposals for individual papers, sessions organized around a theme, and special panels. Sessions are scheduled in 90-minute slots, typically with four 15-minute papers or speakers per standard session, with the remaining time available for discussion.
If you are involved in the creative industry of popular romance and are interested in speaking on your own work or on developments in popular romance culture, please contact us!
Some possible topics include:
- Romantic love in political discourse (revolutionary, reactionary, colonial / anti-colonial, marriage equality, etc.)
- Love, Globally: local traditions, transnational media, adaptation and translation issues
- Fifty Shades of WTF: the reception of popular romance media
- Romance High and Low (i.e., texts that remix or blur distinctions between “high” and “low” culture, like the Lizzie Bennet Diaries)
- Love Theory / Romance Practice: theoretical approaches to love and romance, and popular romance as a place where love is theorized
- Romancing the Marketplace: romantic love in advertising, marketing, and consumer culture
- Queering the Romance: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Kink romance
- Romance communities, IRL and on-line
- Young Adult, Paranormal, and other emerging genres of romance fiction
- Individual Creative Producers or Texts of Popular Romance (novels, authors, film, directors, writers, songwriters, actors, composers, dancers, etc.)
As we do every year, the Romance area will meet in a special Open Forum to discuss upcoming conferences, work in progress, and the future of the field of Popular Romance Studies. All are welcome to attend.
Submit a one-page (200-300 words) proposal or abstract by November 1, 2013, to the PCA/ACA conference database.
Please feel free to repost this, send it to colleagues and students, Tweet it, link to it, toss it in your Tumblr feed, whatever you like, to get the word out--and I hope we'll see you there!
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
- Jin Feng's Romancing the Internet: Producing and Consuming Chinese Web Romance has been published by Brill and in it
Jin Feng examines the evolution of Chinese popular romance on the Internet. She first provides a brief genealogy of Chinese Web literature and Chinese popular romance, and then investigates how large socio-cultural forces have shaped new writing and reading practices and created new subgenres of popular romance in contemporary China. Integrating ethnographic methods into literary and discursive analyses, Feng offers a gendered, audience-oriented study of Chinese popular culture in the age of the Internet.
Friday, October 04, 2013
CFPs: Canada/US, Country Houses, Sexuality/Disability, Sexuality/Fantasy, African-American Print Culture, Supernatural
Since this is a long post, I thought I'd start with a short list of the CFPs in order of their submission deadlines:
- Production, Consumption, and Reception across the Canada-US Border
- The Country House in Britain, 1914-2014
- 1st Global Conference: Sexuality and Disability
- Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Popular Fantasy
- African American Print Cultures
- Supernatural Creatures: from Elf-Shot to Shrek
Cultural Crossings: Production, Consumption, and Reception across the Canada-US Border
Second international Culture and the Canada-US Border conference
University of Nottingham, 20-22 June 2014
I don't think they had Harlequin in mind when they put out their call for papers, but it does fit the topic:
We encourage analysis of cultural texts, phenomena, and industries both in terms of how they might operate differently in Canada and the United States and the ways in which they might straddle, or ignore, the border altogether. We invite proposals on both contemporary and historical cultural texts and contexts.Deadline for submissions 1 Nov. 2013. More details here.
Although submissions on any relevant area of interest are welcome, we particularly welcome papers focusing on the following in a cross-border and/or comparative context:
- book histories and publication contexts
- reading cultures and communities [...]
The Country House in Britain, 1914-2014
Newcastle University, Friday 6th - Sunday 8th June 2014
This three-day interdisciplinary conference will trace the representation of the country house in British literature and film between 1914 and 2014. The conference will explore how space, class and gender operate in the wealth of filmic and literary texts which have been concerned with the country house throughout the last century, as well as considering how it functions in documentaries, historical monographs and reality television. We invite 300-word abstracts (for 20-minute papers) on any topic relating to the country house.There's specific mention of "Romance Fiction." Abstracts should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 November 2013. More details here.
1st Global Conference: Sexuality and Disability
Tuesday 6th May – Thursday 8th May 2014
This conference seeks to challenge popular conceptions and perceptions of sexuality and disability. In addition to academic papers, we are particularly interested in opening up a space for the discussion of personal experiences of disability and sexuality and the role of sex workers, community programs and the work of sex educators. Inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives are sought on sexuality and disability, including cross-cultural and transcultural perspectives. Non-traditional presentations are encouraged including workshops, performances and round table discussions.
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 6th December 2013. More information here.
CFP for Edited Collection: Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Popular Fantasy
Proposals are invited for essays which explore non-normative representations of gender and sexuality in a range of contemporary popular fantasy, including, but not limited to: tv episodes and series, films, computer games and MMORPGs, novels and short stories, comics and graphic novels, role-playing games and fanfiction. [...]
This collection will consider the ways in which contemporary writers, artists, directors and producers use the opportunities offered by popular fantasy to exceed or challenge gender and sexuality norms. In contrast to many claims made about the fantasy genre being necessarily conservative/reactionary, this collection will explore the ways in which this genre can be and is being used to reflect on the contingency of our gender and sexuality norms. With this in mind, proposals are invited for essays of c.7000 words.
Please send proposals of 500 words plus a short biography to email@example.com by 15th December. More details here.
It may also be of interest that Jude Roberts is looking for papers on much the same topic for "a panel on the academic track at Loncon3 – the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention" which will be held in London from Thursday 14 to Monday 18 August 2014. Please send a 300 word abstract and brief biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1st December 2013. More details here.
MELUS CFP for 2015 Special Issue: African American Print Cultures
In 2015, a special issue of MELUS will showcase under-studied aspects of black print culture studies or book history. We are seeking scholarship that addresses, but is not limited to, the following questions:All essays should be between 6,000 and 9,000 words, including notes and works cited. [...] Please submit completed essays to Howard Rambsy II (email@example.com) by Dec. 15, 2013. More details here.
• How are contemporary print matters—ranging from concerns such as the publication of new print editions of literary texts by emergent and historical US black writers to online and open access publishing as well as to the operations of the mainstream publishing industry—shaping our understanding of what African American literature is becoming?
Supernatural Creatures: from Elf-Shot to Shrek
September 22-24, 2014
University of Lodz, Poland
The second Lodz Fantastic Literature Conference aims to bring together experts in folklore, medieval and early modern literature and culture as well as contemporary fantasy literature to explore the fascinating relationship between supernatural creatures and humankind. For centuries these creatures have been seen in both positive and negative light – sometimes as benevolent neighbours, many a time as dangerous folk to interfere with, at other times still as tricksters positioned outside of the traditional dichotomy of friend or foe. Their cultural presence is a force to be reckoned within the study of pre-modern, modern as well as post-modern literature, and the current fascination of popular culture with their history and nature begs ever new questions about why they continue to seem so indispensible to us.Submissions of topics and abstracts (300-400 words) should reach the organisers no later than January 31st, 2014. More details here.
We would like to invite contributions that address the nature and function of the beliefs of past eras, their postmodern transformations, and especially those which trace the (dis)continuities in the ways in which these creatures have been imagined and perceived over the ages.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
In 2013 it sometimes seems as though when it comes to historical romances, only a duke will do. In contemporaries it helps if a hero's got fifty shades of greenbacks.
This is, apparently, nothing new. Here's William Dean Howells lamenting the taste of the American reading public in 1891 because they have a preference for:
The Master and the Dean: The Literary Criticism of Henry James and William Dean Howells.something select, something that treats of high life, like those English novels which have chiefly nourished us; or something that will teach us how to escape the life of toil by a great stroke of business, or by a splendid marriage. What we like to read about is the life of noblemen or millionaires; that is our romance; and if our writers were to begin telling us on any extended scale of how mill hands or miners, or farmers, or iron puddlers really live, we should very soon let them know that we did not care to meet such vulgar and commonplace people.
The image of the ducal coronet was created by Sodacan and came from Wikimedia Commons. The "Large-sized Series of 1880 United States Notes; the $20 note displays Alexander Hamilton and a red scalloped seal, and the $10 Daniel Webster and a large red spiked seal" came from Wikipedia.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
From Steven Brocklehurst's article on Jack Vettriano's art:
Jack Vettriano is one of the most popular and successful artists in the world and yet his work has been dismissed by critics as "badly conceived soft porn". [...]I didn't want to include any pictures as they're copyright, but you can see quite a lot of images of his work at the website of "Heartbreak Publishing, Jack Vettriano's Official Publishing Company."
He says: "I am not somebody that buys into the notion that popularity means it is rubbish.
"If something is popular you had better believe it has something going for it."
So why does Vettriano think his paintings are not as well received by the critics, who have dismissed some of his erotically-charged material as "pornography"? [...]
He says: "What I've suffered from and what I continue to suffer from is that critics don't take sex seriously.
"They think it's not real art. I will disagree to the day I die that it is serious."