Saturday, January 09, 2016

New to the Wiki: Latvia and Bertlatsky

In addition to the bibliography of academic articles and books, the Romance Wiki also has two pages for reporting of romance in the media (A-I; J-Z). I thought I'd mention a new item I added to that today, because it quotes Eric:
Why is romance such an easy target for politicians? Eric Selinger, a professor of English at DePaul University, and the academic adviser to the Popular Romance Project, pointed out that conservative politicians have been increasingly sceptical of funding for the humanities as a whole. Within the humanities, popular culture is seen as especially unimportant – and then: “Within popular culture, popular romance is a particularly tempting target because it has to do with women, it has to do with sex. It’s long been seen as a fairly trivial cultural enterprise.” [...]

In fact, the legislative antipathy to romance is an acknowledgement of its high cultural profile – and is therefore a kind of backhanded validation of the genre. Eric Selinger pointed out that politicians used romance as an example of government waste because any discussion of romance novels is sexy and arresting; it generates headlines. [...]

If romance matters enough to be an object of hatred and political manipulation, therefore, it seems like it should matter enough to be an object of study as well.
Berlatsky, Noah, 2016.
'Why books like Fifty Shades of Grey are worthy of study: Lawmakers are calling for Missouri academic Melissa Click to be fired – in part because she conducts research on romance novels, and the hypocrisy is revealing,' The Guardian, Friday 8 January 2016.[29]
Dreimane, Jana, 2015. 
"Authors, Publishers and Readers of Popular Literature in Latvia in the Late 1980s and Early 1990s." Interlitteraria 20.2: 56–70. Abstract Full text

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