Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beyond the Happily-Ever-After, Sociologists at Large, Bujold, and Feral Feminism

Romances are increasingly being written as part of series and in "Happily Ever After ... And After: Serialization and the Popular Romance Novel," published this month in Americana (which is freely available online), An Goris argues that this means there is more opportunity for writers to explore what happens after couples have declared their love, made a commitment to each other and achieved their "happily ever after":
The post-HEA is a very interesting narrative space. It is developing into a fictional locus in which the romance genre is expressing in new and previously unavailable ways the romantic fantasy and ideology around which it revolves. In doing so, analyses of post-HEA scenes reveal the genre is not merely representing a clear-cut, pre-fixed fantasy of a romantic Happy Ever After, but actively exploring and negotiating what such a fantasy might look like beyond the climactic yet inevitably formulaic moment of the HEA.
She focuses on novels by Nora Roberts and J. R. Ward. I had a few thoughts in response to some of the more general points An makes about series so I plonked them down at my blog.

Sarah Wendell has put up a podcast (scroll to the bottom of the post for the play button - no transcript is available) of a conversation she had with sociologists Joanna Gregson and Jennifer Lois
about their research, the things they've learned about the romance community and the patterns of behavior they identified as they gathered data. We also discuss whether romance is feminist, which led to discussion of valued work and devalued work, plus maternity leave policies in the US vs. other nations.
Gregson and Lois have set up a Facebook page and a joint Twitter feed.

Biology and Manners: The Worlds of Lois McMaster Bujold 20th August 2014 
Potential contributors are invited to submit an abstract for a one-day conference to be held at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, on August 20th 2014. This inter-disciplinary conference will explore the works of Hugo and Nebula Award winning writer Lois McMaster Bujold, encompassing both her science fiction and her fantasy novels.
One of the suggested topics is "science fiction and sexuality." More details here.

Feminist Un/Pleasure: Reflections on Perversity, BDSM, and Desire
Feral Feminisms, a new independent, inter-media, peer reviewed, open access online journal, invites submissions from artists, activists, scholars and graduate students for a special issue entitled, “Feminist Un/Pleasure: Reflections on Perversity, BDSM, and Desire,” guest edited by Toby Wiggins.
More details here.

The photo of "Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino [who] were the Musical Guests at one of Amanda Stern's Happy Ending Music and Reading Series shows" was created by Hadarvc who has made it available under a Creative Commons licence.

The podcast icon was created by Yagraph who made it available under a Creative Commons licence.

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