Wednesday, March 25, 2009

IASPR mission statement (and bonus logo)

I've been working on the Mission Statement for IASPR. Am I missing anything?
The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance is dedicated to fostering and promoting the scholarly exploration of all forms, genres, and media of popular romance. IASPR is committed to building a strong community of romance lovers scholars through open, digital access to all scholarly work sponsored, solicited, or published by the Association; by organizing or sponsoring annual international conferences on popular romance studies; and by encouraging teaching of popular romance on all levels of higher education.
What about teaching? Do we need something in there about supporting the teaching of popular romance?

I'm feeling the need for a final, "Why does it matter" sentence. Yes? No?

A suggestion was made on Twitter for adding "like-minded": "IASPR is committed to building a strong community of *like-minded* romance lovers through open, digital access to all scholarly work sponsored, solicited, or published by the Association." I'm not sure it's necessary, though. Or even desirable?

The lovely and talented Stella Price has been working on our logo! What do you think? Isn't it beautiful?! :)


  1. Fostering and promoting? Fostering and disseminating?

    This phrase leaves me a little unclear on the mission: "building a strong community of romance lovers". That doesn't require any scholarliness, does it? Isn't it a strong community of romance scholars? Or am I missing something important?

    "Like-minded" sounds like code for... I'm not sure what. I'd say if you're going for like-mindedness, your membership will be small and your readership still smaller. One of the interesting things about romance is its variety, so restricting IASPR to those who approach it with like minds seems a little limiting. Again, there may be something valuable in the intent, but I'm not understanding it from that phrase.

  2. "Like-minded" is not a good idea. It implies a party line. I squinted a bit when I got to "lovers" for similar reasons. (What if someone is a romance agnostic? Or helpfully antagonistic?) What about: "IASPR is committed to building a strong community of romance scholars through open, digital access to all work sponsored, solicited, or published by the Association"???

    That said, the wording as you have it here would work for me.

    Many cheers for Sarah, who deserves all fine things for getting this done.

    Pam Regis

  3. Agreeing with RfP and Regis. I would avoid likeminded and lovers. I don't see why someone should have to love romance to study it. (You don't want the knewwjerk romance bashers -- but no one who hates romance will want to put this group on their cv anyway.)

  4. My experience at college-level teaching was in the 1965-1982 era. That said, I would omit both "lovers" and "like-minded" if you are hoping to establish an institution that will last for a long time.

    Many of the small, specialized, historical associations that were founded in the 1960s and 1970s dwindled away once their immediate "cause" became intellectually obsolete. The older ones that try to serve the academic historical community as a whole (AHA, OAH) are still going strong, as are the smaller ones that serve a subset within the discipline, but everyone in that subset (e.g., Sixteenth Century Studies Conference).

  5. love the logo! mission statements are tougher though...

  6. You're all ahead of me--and it looks like the problematic parts ("like-minded" & "lovers") are already gone.

    Do we need to specify "scholarly work sponsored, solicited, etc."? Is that scholarly as opposed to other work we might sponsor or solicit? If not, it's not really needed.

    Sarah, I'm thrilled to see this--and I love the logo. Hats off to Stella Price!


  7. I feel the logo is rather too similar to Romancing the Blog's.

    I'm also not very keen on the font used for IASPR and JPRS. It looks to me as though it's been strangely elongated in order to make the letters almost as tall as the heart, and as a result they appear rather wispy.

  8. The revised mission statement looks fabulous. The book and the heart in the logo feel like they're overdone.

  9. Sarah, I noticed that you'd been looking at a number of alternative ideas for the logo. I rather like the idea of a heart made out of words (although I don't think any of those examples would be exactly right), and forming an image. That's both visual and verbal so covers more of the media in which popular romance can be found than the current idea, based on the pages of a book.

    I'm not sure if the names IASPR and JPRS themselves would fit easily into a heart, because that might make them difficult to read. That's particularly the case if the text was just the outline of a heart. On the other hand, if the heart was made up of horizontal lines of solid text (though not repeated over and over like in that example), then perhaps it would be necessary to incorporate the whole of the mission statement, to bulk it out a bit. I don't know: I'm not a designer.

  10. Since IASPR/JPRS will be primarily online, you may want multiple sizes of logo--a largeish logo for the top of your homepage and smaller marks for subpages, for your contributors, and for others who link to you.

    Given that potential need, I agree with Laura on the font. A smaller version (even if it's reduced to, say, only the heart and text) might make the already-attenuated IASPR and JPRS fade even farther, leaving the large heart as the most visible part of the logo. Having the text in red also means it won't print as well as the black heart and book. Overall the focus seems backward: if you're going to put the acronyms in the logo, THEY should be the boldest, most easily read portions, not the graphic.

    As an aside, are you familiar with the Blogging on Peer-Reviewed Research movement? It's primarily science, but I think it offers a great example of how open-access online scholarship can foster discussion. And it relies on recognizable icons.

  11. At first glance I really liked the logo, but after reading comments from Laura V and RfP, I have to agree with them.

    If the logo design remains as is, I feel that the colors should be reversed so the acronyms stand out. However, the book and heart do look a lot like Romancing the blog. I do like the fonts tho.

    Although I like the mission statement as it now stands, it feels as if it is not complete. Unfortunately I can not think of what is missing - maybe a stronger concluding statement?