Saturday, April 07, 2007

PCA/ACA Conference 2007 - cont.

Jenny Crusie's written up a summary of the second half of the romance-related panels at this conference. Apparently I'm 'mysterious'. Really, there's nothing mysterious about staying at home and writing blog posts, but in an attempt to add glamour and mystique to my image, I'm borrowing this photo. Sarah is getting an ARC of Agnes and the Hitman, and Jenny says that Eric 'was dead on target in everything he said' about her novels.

Here's the list of the romance genre sessions from the second half of the conference, as listed on the PCA website:

Romance III: Genres & Forms
Chair: Eric Selinger, DePaul University

Emailing Romance: Epistolary Form in the Modern Romance Novel
Lesa Smith, Wilfrid Laurier University

A Marriage Made in the Kitchen: Amanda Hesser’s Blend of Chick Lit and Food Memoir in Cooking for Mr. Latte
Jessica L. Van Slooten, Michigan State University

Love’s Bitch: Paranormal Romance Writers’ Love Affair with Joss Whedon
Amber Botts, Neodesha High School

Brace Yourself, Brigid O'Shaughnessy: Jennifer Crusie Romances The Maltese Falcon
Eric Selinger

Romance IV: New Approaches, Enduring Debates
Chair: Eric Selinger, DePaul University

And They Wrote Happily Ever After . . . Normative Narratology

An Goris, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)

An Alternate Genealogy: Reconsidering Romance Novels as Postmodern Fairy Tales
Linda Lee, University of Pennsylvania

Romance: The Perfect Creative Industry
Glen Thomas, Queensland University of Technology

The Power of the Medium

Michelle Buonfiglio, Columnist, Read Romance: B(u)y the Book

Romance V: Romance & Its Neighbors (In & Out of the Canon)
Chair: Darcy Martin, East Tennessee State University

From James Fennimore Cooper to Cassie Edwards: The Evolution of Frontier Romance
Druann Bauer, Ohio Northern University

Popularizing Feminist Theories of Heterosexual Romance: Romantic Love and Feminist Identity in Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying
Robin Payne, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Revising the Family Romance: Toward a Bisexual Perversity in Narratives of Desire
Grace Sikorski, Anne Arundel Community College

Literary and Popular Erotic Romance
Robert Waxler, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Romance VI: Romance Authors Special Session
Chairs: Eric Selinger, Depaul University, and Darcy Martin, East Tennessee State University

This special session, comprised of 4 award-winning, best-selling authors in the Romance genre, includes both presentations and roundtable discussion formats. The conversation should be lively, and the PCA/ACA is honored to have these authors participate in the conference.

Special Presenters:

Jenny Crusie Smith, A Book Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Community in Contemporary Romance Fiction.

Mary Bly (Eloisa James), Hostile but Useful: Adorno, Pop Music, and Popular Romance.

Special Author Discussants: Suzanne Brockman & Anne Stuart

There were also some papers about romance, or partly about romance, which were presented at other sessions:

Libraries, Archives, & Popular Culture Research IV: Ephemeral Images, Organizing Love, & the Representative Dynamics of Compressed Coinage
Chair: Allen Ellis, Northern Kentucky University

Putting Romance into the Library: Building a Collection of Genre Romance Literature in an Academic Library
Kristin Ramsdell, California State University, East Bay, and Doug Highsmith, California State University, East Bay

Mystery/Detective Fiction VIII: Cross-Genre Fiction
Chair: Kathryn Swanson, Augsburg College

Sizzling Romance and Nail-Biting Suspense: Really Not Such Strange Bedfellows!
Kathryn Swanson

[And the photo is from Wikipedia, and is of 'La Belle Otero'. About the only things we have in common are being female, and having curly hair and Spanish surnames.]


  1. Have you read Princess Bubble?

  2. No, anonymous, I haven't. I had a quick look on the internet, though, and it seems that it's a book for children. Why do you ask?

  3. That's exactly what I thought you looked like, Laura.

  4. Well of course I do sit here draped in wisps of satin and lace and wearing wildly expensive jewellery. And I also have an inexhaustible supply of bon-bons to dip into as I work (I store them underneath my hat). But that's such a romance-reader look that to be taken seriously as an academic I'll have to trick everyone into thinking that I look like this.

    I do have a serious point in here somewhere ;-) Some time ago I came across this page of old photos of romance authors, including Rosemary Rogers reclining on her bed, dressed in a revealing white satin dress. I can't imagine many romance authors wanting to be photographed looking like that nowadays, because it doesn't look very professional. Well, maybe it does, but more like Otero's type of profession than that of a serious author.

    Which gets me back to why I think Radway was wrong about fashion in romance novels.

  5. Question from a non-academic who has no idea how academic conferences work: any chance that all of these papers/presentations will be bundled and published or otherwise made available? I'd love to read them.


  6. I think there's a fair chance that some of them will be made available at some point.

    Eric's paper in our Crusie volume is going to be (at least partly) about The Maltese Falcon in Crusie's novels.

    Sarah's paper in the same volume will be about similar issues to the ones she discussed at this conference, but focused on Crusie, of course.

    Eric and Sarah have got a call for papers out at the moment for another volume on the romance genre, and it wouldn't surprise me if some of the papers from this conference ended up in there.

  7. We're definitely hoping that some of the papers presented at the panel will be submitting their papers to The Mind of Love. And my paper will be in my book Women Writing Men, which also doesn't yet have a publisher. And yes, for Laura and Eric's book on Jenny's books, I'll be writing about her construction of her male characters and Don't Look Down and Agnes and the Hitman.

  8. This is apropos not of this particular entry, but of your overall expertise. I've been digging into research on why and when the vampire became a romantic hero (of the dark and brooding Rochester, Heathcliff, Byronic sort). I haven't been able to find anything yet that speaks well to the issue, and though a) you might have thoughts, or b) might point me in a direction. I'm afraid my uni library is very very very sadly lacking (no mla database for instance) so I'm sure I'm overlooking some of the obvious. And I'd be very interested in your take on the subject.


    Di (who writes fantasy novels and teaches at a university in Montana)

  9. Hello and welcome, Diana. That isn't my area of expertise, but I have come across Deborah Lutz's recent book The Dangerous Lover: Gothic Villains, Byronism, and the Nineteenth-Century Seduction Narrative. There's a link from there to a pdf of the introduction, first chapter and index, which should give you a good idea if it's what you're looking for.

    You could also ask on the romancescholar listserv and see if anyone else has any suggestions.

  10. Diana, I'm sure you know this already, but the Romantic era (1780-1820) was (I think) the first time in Western Europe that vampires were used as characters in fiction. There's Coleridge's "Christabel," and Keats' "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," and Le Fanu's "Carmilla" and Polidori's "The Vampyre." Then vampires are used throughout the nineteenth century, but always (AFAIK) as the villains. I think it's the twentieth century, and maybe even the rise of paranormal in romance, that used vampires as the hero/heroines of novels that didn't have to die in the end. But I don't know much about the history of vampires in SF/F in the twentieth century, so I can't speak to that. So there's a difference between being a Romantic villain and a Romantic hero--the vampires in the Romantic era were certainly dark, brooding, and attractive, but they were all villains--and I don't think there's much heroism in vampires until the twentieth century. That's my gut instinct. And I've taught a couple of classes on vampire lit.

    As far as I remember, I don't think there's much literary analysis of the history vampires, except about Stoker, of course.

    Hope this helps. Sorry I can't be more specific.

  11. Diana, have you already had a look at The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, ed. John Clute and John Grant, or The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, ed. Gary Westfahl?

    According to Roz Kaveney and John Grant's entry on Anne Rice in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, "A[nne] R[ice] was responsible, of not for creating, at least for popularizing and in many respects crystallizing the mythology of the revisionist fantasy version of the vampire [i.e. vampire not as villain, but as hero]."

    I hope this helps.