Thursday, May 31, 2012

News Bulletin

First of all, I'm delighted to be able to announce that Eric (whom, given the importance and nature of the news I should probably refer to more formally as Professor Eric Murphy Selinger), has now been promoted from Associate to Full Professor status. Congratulations, Eric! Obviously this is important for Eric on a personal level, and it's a fitting acknowledgment of his many years of research, teaching, and service to his university but perhaps we can also view it, at least in part, as an endorsement of popular romance studies.

Sarah Frantz has been pushing new boundaries in Chicago. Annabel Joseph and L. A. Witt/Lauren Gallagher report back in detail. The short version, excerpted from the second of those reports, is that she was attending
The CARAS research conference at the Adler School of Psychology.  This was a conference for therapists, social workers, psychologists, etc., to educate them to be kink-aware and kink-friendly. Sarah invited Annabel and me, as well as authors Heidi Cullinan, James Buchanan, and Edmond Manning, to speak on a panel about positive and realistic portrayals of BDSM in romantic fiction.

A provisional schedule is now available for the third PopCAANZ (Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand) conference (June 27, 28, 29 2012) and although it doesn't provide many details about the papers which will be presented, it seems there will be two sessions on romantic love. The first, on "Love and History" will feature papers by Teo, Bellanta and Elder and the second, on "Love Stories" will feature papers by Nicholls, Butler and O'Mahony. I'm not able to identify all of those speakers from their surnames, but I'm almost certain that the first is Hsu-Ming Teo, whose Desert Passions: Orientalism and Romance Novels will be published by University of Texas Press in 2012 and who is currently working on
'The popular culture of romantic love in twentieth-century Australia'.
In western culture 'love' is commonly cited as the reason for cohabitation or marriage, yet 46% of marriages are likely to end in divorce in Australia today. This project examines how the culture of romantic love has changed in Australia over the course of the twentieth century as changing patterns of work and gender relations, consumerism, and the supplanting of spiritual ideals by sexuality and the cult of the body modified representations of love in literature, film, and periodicals. The popular discourse of romantic love has transformed expectations of love, placing different demands upon what it is supposed to achieve.

If you "blog on topics related to teaching college/university-level English literature" Prof. Renee Pigeon, Dept. of English, CSU San Bernardino would like to hear from you by the fifteenth of July:
I'd like to include a link on the new resource guide described below. Queries and suggestions welcome:

Contributions solicited for a proposed web resource focused on teaching English Literature at the college/university level.

Possible contributions include but are not limited to:
  • Reviews of books, blogs and other resources
  • Personal essays
  • Sample Assignments and syllabi
  • Course design and planning
  • Incorporating technology successfully
  • Hints and advice
  • Suggestions for links
Deadline: July 15 for consideration for the initial launch of the site; on-going project, so contributions after that date will also be welcome. Please include a brief bio and contact info.

Maili/McVane has started up a new site, RomQ&A, which I thought might be of interest to TMT's readers:
Ever had that moment where you wanted to read a romance novel you remembered enjoying years ago, but couldn't recall title or author's name?
RomQA is the place where you can share your memories of that novel to see if romance readers here could identify it for you.

Someone from the team organising the Marginalised Mainstream conference recently popped across to TMT to let us know that their deadline has been extended to the 15th of June:
8–9 November 2012, Senate House, University of London

The Marginalised Mainstream seeks to discuss the growing interest in and importance of mainstream culture and the popular as ways of engaging with cultural products of the late nineteenth to early twenty-first centuries (the long twentieth century), 1880–2010. Specifically, we seek to bring together postgraduate students, early career academics and established researchers working in the fields of Literature, Cultural Studies and elsewhere in the Humanities, to explore why mainstream culture and objects of mass appeal are so frequently marginalised by the academic community.

 Chains provided by Wikimedia Commons.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Laura! Thanks for posting this. I hadn't wanted to toot my own horn, but I am, as you can imagine, utterly thrilled to have gotten this promotion--not least because it was in large part on the basis of my work on popular romance.

    The "Marginalized Mainstream" conference looks wonderful! I'd love to go--but with another conference in the UK in September, I'm not sure my department will cover the cost. Will try to spread the word, in any case.