Friday, April 13, 2012

PCA/ACA 2012 - (9)

Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 9:45am - 11:15am

Media Love
John Storey - Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, UK and Katy MacDonald, University of Sunderland

In our paper we will present the theoretical framing and research findings of a research project we call Media Love. The project looks at how young people (mostly aged 18 to 24) use media when they fall in love. By use we mean two things: the use of the discourses of media to inform social practices and the actual use of media technologies (SKYPE, MSN, email, mobile phones, etc.) when falling in love.

The paper will be divided into two parts. The first part will present the theoretical framing of the project, including our understanding of the romantic power of the media. The second part of the chapter will focus on the findings of discursive questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews.

Transcultural Romance: Harlequin Mass Market Romances and International Audiences
Mindy Trenary - University of Arkansas

Harlequin Enterprises, launched in 1949, has developed an international reader base, publishing in 113 different languages with licensing agreements in 14 countries.  In the past decade, Harlequin launched several English language manga formats, utilizing this comic style to inform visualization of the text, while utilizing plots from established Western authors.  Similarly, abbreviated Japanese and Korean language manga/manhwa versions of English language Harlequin novels have been translated back into English by fan translators, establishing a bilateral system of enculturation.  This phenomenon suggests that the romance formulas established by Harlequin can be applied cross-culturally, as evidenced by the popularity of this subgenre internationally.

The Harlequin imprint Ginger Blossom attempted to “marry . . . bestselling Harlequin romance fiction and female-friendly Japanese manga! These [manga adaptations]. . . [are a step above] the cookie-cutter manga hitting the shelves today.”  Yet the Ginger Blossom line was unsuccessful, ceasing distribution in 2007.  However, these Harlequin manga adaptations proved more successful in Japan and South Korea.  Harlequin imprints, such as Emerald, Passion, and Pure, released stories appealing to the shojo demographic in Asian countries.  These English language Harlequin stories illustrated by Japanese mangaka and translated into Japanese and Korean are receiving an increasingly positive reception amongst American manga readers.  Scanlator teams have begun projects re-translating these Japanese and Korean texts into English.  These texts, often set in the United States and featuring American characters, appeal to American audiences, and the slightly stilted re-translated dialogue and manga style illustrations offer a uniqueness to Harlequin’s formula driven novels, appealing to a new reader base not familiar with traditional Harlequin fare.  It appears that the readers of these scanlations see these texts more as international phenomena, incorporating elements of American, Japanese, and Korean cultures.  The popularity of these imprints, then, seems linked to the transcultural nature of the texts.

Romancing the Academic: Blending the Fictional and Analytical Genres of Popular Romance Writing
Catherine LaRoche and Catherine Roach - University of Alabama

[This paper has now been cancelled.]

This proposal takes up the call’s request for attention to issues of “genre-bending and genre-crossing” in popular romance studies.  As part of an ongoing critical analysis of the function of the romance narrative in popular culture, I’ve been employing experimental methodologies of performative ethnography to engage in a project of hybrid academic writing.  This project bends/blends/crosses the genre of academic writing with that of popular fiction, as I write analytically about the romance while writing romance fiction at the same time, in a self-reflexive process whereby both forms of genre inform each other.  This paper will briefly demonstrate this genre-bending/blending.  First, I lay out the methodology I’ve followed of performative ethnography and hybrid academic/creative writing, with a brief description of the project's parameters, rationale, and precedents.  I then read short scenes of my historical romance fiction, which I write under the persona Catherine LaRoche.  Back in the voice of Catherine Roach (romance studies academic), I critique from the perspective of sex-positive feminism the fiction of Catherine LaRoche, who responds to the critique from the perspective of her romance-writing self.  This genre-blending exercise allows for reflections on the transgressive and progressive possibilities of romance fiction and also on the constraints of the genre, with conclusions about how LaRoche is both more conservative but perhaps also more creative than Roach, as demonstrated by a final love scene wherein LaRoche's heroine takes charge in a penetrative act with the hero, to their mutual delight.

The Popular Romance Project
A presentation by Laurie Kahn, documentary film maker (Tupperware! and A Midwife's Tale) and Executive Producer of the Popular Romance Project.

She will show teaser clips of the shooting done so far for the documentary, will discuss the website, and will describe the broader project. Editors of the PRP-affiliated blog, "Talking About Romance," Sarah Frantz and Eric Selinger, will describe their vision for the blog and for the larger project as well. Website:

No comments:

Post a Comment