Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Conference Programme for the 6th International IASPR Conference (23-25 June 2016)

The full conference programme is now available here. Among the papers are:

Elin Abrahamsson, Stockholm University, Sweden:
“Consuming Passions: a queer reading of the popular romance genre through the concept of masturbation”

Katherine Morrissey, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York:
“Keeping It Classy: Studying Sex and Romance”

Len Barot, Bold Strokes Books, New York:
“Diversity in Lesbian Romance Fiction: The Impact of Gender and Race on Marketing and Sales”

Heather Schell, George Washington University, DC:
Two Nerdy History Girls: Historical Romance Novelists as Teachers of History”

Caryn Radick, Rutgers University, New Jersey:
“Writing about History and Becoming Part of the Historical Record: Romance Writers’ Use of Archives and Archival Collections Documenting Popular Romance”

Jessica Matthews, George Mason University, Virginia:
“Romance as Propaganda: White Fantasy of Indian Love in the 19th –century ‘Civilize the American Indian’ Movement”

Javaria Farooqui, Institute of Information Technology, Lahore, Pakistan:
“‘Raging Seas and Cloudy Skies’: Macro to Meso Level Psychosemantic Movement in Stephanie Laurens’ Black Cobra Quartet

Erin Young, SUNY Empire State College, New York:
“Love in the Last Frontier: An Analysis of Alaskan Romance Novels”

Margot Blankier, Trinity College, Dublin:
“‘The Sweetest Story Ever Told’: ‘Cinderella’ as American Dream Narrative”

Pavla Stefanska, Masavyk University, Czech Republic:
“Blurring the Lines: Irish mythology and symbolism in Nora Roberts’ The Cousin O’Dwyer’s Trilogy

Eric Murphy Selinger, DePaul University, Chicago:
“‘Use Heart in Your Search’: Erotic Faith, the Heart Sutra, and the Allusive Art of My Beautiful Enemy

Jayashree Kamble, Assist. Prof. of English, City University of New York:
“Epistemes and Cultural Dominants: What Popular Romance Novels’ Heroes and Heroines Tell Us About Postmodernity”

Lesley Ann Smith, Curtin, University, Australia:
“Understanding the Formula”

Maryan Wherry, Independent Scholar & Writer, Quad-Cities, Illinois:
“Love and the American Dream in Popular Romance”

Amy Burge, Edinburgh University, Scotland:
“‘Shipping magnates and oil sheikhs’: Decoding the exotic hero in ‘Harlequin Presents’ romance novels, 2000-2015”

Kecia Ali, Boston University:
“Triangulating Desire: Navigating Islamland, Arabiastan, and Romancelandia in Suzanne Brockmann’s Into the Night

Sarah Ficke, Marymount University, Virginia:
“When Vampires Meet Clockwork: Fantasy Creatures in Steampunk Romance”

Maria-Isabel González-Cruz, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain:
“Intercultural and interlingual relations in a corpus of popular romance fiction novels”

Mallory Jagodzinski, Bowling Green State University, Ohio:
“Playing Tricks: Neoliberalism, Postfeminism, and Postraciality in Theresa Romain’s Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress”

Hsu-Ming Teo, Macquarie University, Australia:
“When a Jew loves a Nazi: Romance novels and the Holocaust”

Amira Jarmakani, San Diego State University:
“Radioactive Love: Mapping Desire from Agrabah to Abbottabad”

Jonathan Allan, Brandon University, Canada:
“What is the Ever After doing in Happily Ever After? Temporality and Futurity”

Maria Ramos-Garcia, South Dakota State University:
“Creating the Sense of an Ending in Urban Fantasy”

Friday, May 20, 2016

Romance Miscellany: Online, In the Media, In Journals/Academic Volumes

On the Internet:

Bornschein, Anne N. 'The Stars (and bars): race and racism in Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Chicago Stars series'.

Horne, Jackie C. reviews Catherine M. Roach's Happily Ever After: The Romance Story in Popular Culture. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Linda. Review of Rita-nominated Toward the Sunrise by Elizabeth Camden at Smart Bitches Trashy Books ["unfortunately, underneath the charming plot ... was a backbone of unremitting Orientalism and historical revisionism."]

In the Media:

Anonymous, 2016. 'Roberta Gellis (1927-2016): Obituary'.

Roberta Gellis (1927 - 2016)


Roberta Gellis (1927 - 2016)


Roberta Gellis (1927 - 2016)


Roberta Gellis (1927 - 2016)


Bilde, Marie, 2016. 'It’s Springtime for Romance in Denmark', Publishing Perspectives, April 25, 2016. ["Romantic fiction in Copenhagen has mainly lived in kiosks alongside magazines — until now. As April smiles on Denmark, new imprints are bringing romance into the open."]

Owen, Jonathan, 2016. 'Gransnet jumps into bed with racy publisher Mills & Boon for content partnership', Campaign, May 03, 2016. ['Romantic publisher Mills & Boon and the website Gransnet have announced what they call a "budding romance", and will begin working together to capitalise on the interest of older women in sex and romance.']

Sanusi, Isa, 2016. 'A hunger for romance in northern Nigeria', BBC, 4 May 2016.

Academic Articles:
Hess, Jonathan M., 2010. 
Middlebrow Literature and the Making of German-Jewish Identity. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. [See Chapter 3: "Middlebrow Culture in Pursuit of Romance: Love, Fiction, and the Virtues of Marrying In"] Excerpt

Salmon, Catherine, 2016. 
"What Do Romance Novels, Pro Wrestling, and Mack Bolan Have in Common?: Consilience and the Pop Culture of Storytelling." Darwin's Bridge: Uniting the Humanities and Sciences. Ed. Joseph Carroll, Dan P. McAdams and Edward O. Wilson. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016. 167-182. Excerpt
Tidwell, Christy, 2016. 
"“A Little Wildness”: Negotiating Relationships between Human and Nonhuman in Historical Romance", Creatural Fictions: Human-Animal Relationships in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Literature, Ed. David Herman, Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). 151-171. Excerpt Abstract [Focuses on Bertrice Small's Sky O'Malley and Patricia Gaffney's Wild at Heart]

Monday, May 09, 2016

Sad News: Conseula Francis

Eric posted the following message to the Romance Scholar listserv earlier today:


Very sad news this morning:  romance scholar Conseula Francis, who also worked on James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, and many other authors and topics, has died. Her husband posted this on Facebook this morning:

Dear Friends,
It is my sad duty to report, that shortly before dawn on May 9th, 2016, Conseula Alena Francis passed from this Earth. Not only was she the love of my life, but she also was a loving mother who blessed me with two wonderful girls.

Among her peers, she was well-respected as a scholar, academic, and administrator. As an educator, she was loved by her students, many of whom unabashedly agree that both in and out of the classroom she changed lives. She was beloved by her friends, and as a sister, daughter, sister-in-law, and daughter-in-law, she was adored by her relatives.

As her light passes into the next world, she leaves this world dimmer and colder. Please keep her in your memories.

I knew from FB that she had gone into the hospital, but her posts had indicated that it was nothing serious. It’s a terrible loss to her family, her academic community, and to the field.

Conseula’s groundbreaking essay on Zane as a romance novelist was published in the Romance Fiction and American Culture anthology last month; she was a contributor to the Popular Romance Project, with posts on iconography of the Obamas and on Zane and respectability politics. She was a deeply valued peer reviewer for JPRS, and appeared there in print as an interviewer of Joanna Russ.

She will be missed.


The College of Charleston's tribute to her can be found here. The Post and Courier has published a short obituary as has ABCnews4.

[Edited to add: Another article, written by one of Conseula's colleagues, has been published at Inside Higher Education.]