Wednesday, March 14, 2018

2018 RWA Academic Research Grant Winner

The RWA have just tweeted

Further details of the project are provided on their website:
Margo Hendricks, UC Santa Cruz
Heliodorus' Daughters: Women of Color and the Romance Industry

RWA awarded funding to Professor Emerita Margo Hendricks to carry out field research for her book project titled Heliodorus’ Daughters: Women of Color and the Romance Industry on the relationship between women of color and the romance genre.
In case anyone's wondering about the title of the project, I'm pretty sure it refers to an ancient Greek romance:
The Romance novel didn't begin with Kathleen Woodiwiss or even with the Bronte sisters. By the time Heliodorus wrote his Aethiopica—or Ethiopian Romance—in the third century, the genre was already impressively developed. Heliodorus launches his tale of love and the quirks of fate with a bizarre scene of blood, bodies, and booty on an Egyptian beach viewed through the eyes of a band of mystified pirates. The central love-struck characters are Charicles, the beautiful daughter of the Ethiopian queen, and Theagenes, a Thessalian aristocrat. The story unfolds with all the twists and devices any writer would employ today, with the added attractions of dreams, oracles, and exotic locales in the ancient Mediterranean and Africa. (University of Pennsylvania Press)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Call for Papers: Theorising the Popular in Liverpool

Theorising the Popular Conference 2018


Liverpool Hope University, July 11th-12th 2018

The Popular Culture Research Group at Liverpool Hope University is delighted to announce its eighth annual international conference, ‘Theorising the Popular’. Building on the success of previous years, the 2018 conference aims to highlight the intellectual originality, depth and breadth of ‘popular’ disciplines, as well as their academic relationship with and within ‘traditional’ subjects. One of its chief goals will be to generate debate that challenges academic hierarchies and cuts across disciplinary barriers.

The conference invites submissions from a broad range of disciplines, and is particularly interested in new ways of researching ‘popular’ forms of communication and culture. In addition to papers from established and early career academics, we encourage proposals from postgraduate students.

Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Please send abstracts of 300 words to Dr Joshua Gulam and Dr Jacqui Miller ( by March 23rd 2018.

The abstract should include your name, email address, affiliation, as well as the title of your paper.

Successful abstracts will be notified by April 9th 2018.

Conference fees: £100 for both days, including lunch and all refreshments (£80 for students and concessions). £50 for one day, including lunch and all refreshments (£40 for students and concessions).

More details at

Saturday, February 03, 2018

New to the Wiki: Authors, Austen and Prison

Hopkins, Lisa, 2017/2018. 
‘Waltzing with Wellington, Biting with Byron: Heroes in Austen Tribute Texts’. Jane Austen and Masculinity. Ed. Michael Kramp. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press. 173-189. Abstract Excerpt
Larson, Christine, 2017. 
“An Economy of Words: Precarity, Solidarity and Innovation in Digital Book Publishing.” PhD Diss., Stanford University. [According to Lois and Gregson (2018) "Larson’s dissertation (2017) comprises the only known examination of writers’ careers in the romance genre. Her 2014 survey examined 4,270 romance writers’ earnings over the previous eight years, comparing their incomes via traditional and self-publishing. She found that only approximately 20 percent of her sample earned above the U.S. median income through their writing."]
Lois, Jennifer and Joanna Gregson, 2018. 
"Aspirational Emotion Work: Calling, Emotional Capital, and Becoming a 'Real' Writer." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Online First 1 January 2018. Abstract
Nilson, Maria, 2017. 
"Nådens tuttar : Om skönheter, odjur och den frälsande kvinnokroppen i modern romance." HumaNetten 39. 110-123.pdf
Sequeiros, Paula, 2018. 
'“Holding the Dream”: Women’s Favorite Reading Matter in a Portuguese Prison', Qualitative Sociology Review 14.1: 110-128.

Friday, January 12, 2018

An Introduction to Popular Romance Fiction

Apologies for cross-posting, but this is just a short note.

If you'd like to read a brief introduction to popular romance fiction, I've got a couple of posts up at the University of Birmingham's Popular Literature blog:

Part 1: (defining the genre)

Part 2: (variations + different subgenres)