Next month, I will be participating in a panel at the Inaugural Conference of the European
Popular Culture Association. I’m really excited to get involved with the
Association and also to hear some of the papers in my panel and in others. If
you’re in or around London between the 11th and 13th July
why not come along and hear some papers for yourself? I will undoubtedly be
tweeting some of the conference and will endeavour to publish a write-up on my blog,
so if you can’t make it and are interested hopefully my commentary will be useful.
Here are the details of the romance panel:
Current Perspectives in European
Popular romance is one of the most popular fiction genres in
Europe, and one of the most widespread. Harlequin/Mills & Boon, the world’s
largest romance publisher, annually sells millions of popular romance novels
all over Europe. In response to this, there has been an emergence of academic
work on the popular romance in Europe, led by a conference in Brussels in 2010
and a conference to be held in York in September 2012. The popular romance area
at the 2012 EUPOP conference will consist of a wide-ranging, transnational
panel which together feature some of the foremost European scholars of the
genre. Co-chaired by Amy Burge (Conference Chair, “The Pleasures of Romance”,
York 2012) and An Goris (Managing Editor, Journal
of Popular Romance Studies), this panel explores several topics that are
currently of particular interest in the rapidly developing field of popular
The panel brings together four
papers which each explore a different aspect of romance in Europe. Two papers focus
on various aspects of the cultural and linguistic translation of popular
romances, dynamics that lie at the heart of the popular romance genre in the
multilingual European context. The two further papers find romance in
unexpected places and find the unexpected in romance. Via discussions of the
relation between Britain and Arabia in British sheik romances and of the
underexplored romance in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards, this panel probes the notion of subversion in
the context of both the literary and the filmic romance genre. Together, these papers
seek not only to link these current issues, but also to indicate the vibrancy
of current romance scholarship in the field of European popular culture.
From Local to
Global: Reading Category Romance in Europe
An Goris, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.
The romance novel
is one of the most popular genres in Europe, led by Harlequin/Mills & Boon,
the genre’s most eminent publisher. This paper argues that Harlequin’s
noteworthy cross-cultural appeal is based on its simultaneous use of both
localizing and globalizing strategies to achieve success in the culturally,
linguistically and nationally diversified European market.
Breaking the Rules:
Translating Emotions in European Popular Romance
Artemis Lamprinou, University of Surrey, United Kingdom.
form an indispensable part of popular romance narratives. In the context of the
translated romance texts that are predominant on the European market, this
paper argues that in translated romances it is not simply the author’s but also
the translator’s responsibility to optimize the reader’s experience of the
emotions in the text. This argument is developed on the basis of extensive case
studies of Greek translated romances.
A Very English Place:
The Intimate Relationship Between Britain and Arabia in the Contemporary Sheikh
Amy Burge, University of York, UK.
The fantasy settings of contemporary sheikh romances seem to
serve their function as ‘otherworlds’ in which the romantic relationship
between western heroine and sheikh hero takes place. However, this paper,
through an examination of the setting, content and authorship of twentieth and
twenty-first century sheikh romances, contends that far from being
geographically indistinct, sheikh romances remain deeply rooted within British
Ethical Responses, the Film Motif, and Gender: Romance
in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious
Tom Ue, University College London, United Kingdom.
they’ll make a film about your exploits,” Shosanna tells Fredrick in response
to his story about killing many Russians. Fredrick replies: “Well, that’s just
what Joseph Goebbels thought. So he did
and called it ‘Nation’s Pride.’” Using this conversation from the film Inglourious Basterds as a starting
point, this paper traces some of Tarantino’s many nods to romances to show how
he undermines and contests our understanding of the genre as a whole.