Conference of the Popular Culture Association (PCA/ACA)
17-20 April 2019 – Washington, DC
In response to the 2019 conference’s location in Washington, DC, the US capital, this year’s romance area will foreground the topic of popular romance and politics. Romance has arguably always been political, but recent years have seen political engagement in romantic spaces become more explicit.
We encourage you to define “politics” broadly, not simply as party politics in a particular national or regional arena, but also as the ways that power dynamics among social groups are reproduced or challenged, naturalized or destabilized, along such faultlines as gender, sexuality, race, nationality, religion, and class, among others. In the world of romance, such politics often has to do with inclusion and representation. Consider the pins Alisha Rai distributed at a recent author event, which proclaimed, “HEA belongs to everyone.”
If we think about the romance “genre world” as a “social and industrial complex in which people work together to create and circulate specific types of texts” that functions at the industrial, social, and textual level (Fletcher, Driscoll and Wilkins 2018), we can see everyday politics in action at every level: Which authors and works get published? Who gets taught in college classrooms? Who gets awards?
Paper topics on this special theme might include the following:
- The politics of the popular romance novel, romantic comedy, or any medium involving romance
- The multicultural romance as antiracist pedagogy
- M/M romance and the straight female readership/viewership/etc
- Racial segregation in the romance industry
- Politicians, activists, and elections in popular romance
- The academic politics of studying popular romance
- Party politics and military romance
- Romance as resistance and romance writers/creators as activists
- Politics within the RWA or other writers’, creators’, or makers’ organisations
- Pushing historical romance beyond the straight, white, and narrow
- Making consent hot
- The dialogues between romance and specific social movements, such as #metoo
- Mapping politics among romance readers, viewers, consumers, etc
- The politics of publication and the current industrial status quo
- Romantic love in a time of political upheaval
We are deeply interested in popular romance both within and outside of mainstream popular culture, now or in the past, anywhere in the world. Scholars, romance writers, romance readers/viewers, and any combination of the three are welcome: you do not need to be an academic to be part of the Romance area.
As we do every year, the Romance area will meet in a special Open Forum to discuss upcoming conferences, work in progress, and the future of the field of Popular Romance Studies. All are welcome to attend. In addition, if you wish to organise a roundtable, special session, or a film screening, please contact the Area Chairs, Jodi McAlister and Heather Schell.
Submit 250-word abstracts to https://pcaaca.org/node/add/presentation by October 1, 2018