Monday, June 24, 2013

TWO New Calls for Papers at JPRS!

Two new Calls for Papers at the Journal of Popular Romance Studies!

First, there's one called "Romancing the Library," which should be of interest to a new group of scholars (and working librarians) engaged with romance media:
CALL FOR PAPERS: Romancing the Library 
Access to information is at the core of a library’s mission, whether it serves a public, academic, or special library audience. When it comes to romance novels, however, reader demand is often more than a library can meet, with constrained library budgets outstripped by the sheer volume of titles published each year. How, then, does a library decide which titles to purchase? What factors motivate selection or deselection? How do the explicitness of love scenes and / or controversial subject matter shape that decision making process? Where does the line between selection and censorship lie? 
Once an electronic or print title has been acquired, the library must decide where to house it within the collection and how best to inform readers of its existence. A library can create finding aids or subject guides, designate a specialist on the subject of romance, or find other ways to coordinate reference services around popular romance titles. What are the best practices for readers’ advisory and reference for romance? How are other media, such as romantic films or graphic novels, incorporated into reference services for romance novels? Is there a significant enough overlap between those audiences to warrant doing so? 
The Journal of Popular Romance Studies (JPRS) seeks articles for a special issue on the intersection between romance and all types of libraries, anywhere in the world. This issue will discuss policy and practice, controversies, patterns and changes in the way that the library profession deals with popular romance fiction and with romance in other media (film, graphic novels, magazines) as well. 
Submissions are particularly welcome on the following topics, although articles that examine other intersections between popular romance and libraries will also be considered for publication.
  • Collection development policy, practice, and preservation
  • E-books versus print books, publisher/vendor e-book check out and geographic limits
  • Popular romance in special collections, browsing collections
  • Defining a core collection of romance novels
  • Censorship of popular romance in libraries
  • Romance reference and readers’ advisory
  • Romantic films and other media within the library
Submissions are due by May 1, 2014
This Special Issue of The Journal of Popular Romance Studies is guest edited by Crystal Goldman. Please submit scholarly articles between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography. Pieces longer than 12,000 words will be returned unread. 
Manuscripts can be sent to An Goris, Managing Editor, Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format. Please remove all identifying material (i.e. running heads with the author’s name) so that submissions can easily be sent out for anonymous peer review. Suggestions for appropriate peer reviewers are welcome. For more information on how to submit a paper, please visit
Second, we have a call for papers on "Paranormal Romance."  There was oodles of interest in Paranormal at this Spring's PCA conference, and we hope to get lots of submissions, so please do spread the word!
Call for Papers:  Paranormal Romance 
Romance Writers of America (RWA) defines a paranormal romance as a “romance novel in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal elements are an integral part of the plot.”  Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, and J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood novels are just a few examples of the proliferation of this subgenre in the early 21st century.  Paranormal romance is also flourishing in a broader sense—in the urban and dark fantasy novels of authors like Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels, The Edge) and Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires); in feature films (Warm Bodies, Let the Right One In, Beautiful Creatures); in television (The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Supernatural, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead), and in digital media forms from graphic novels to video games. 
Why does the paranormal, in its myriad representations, resonate so strongly with pop culture consumers, particularly in its juxtaposition with romance?  What can the paranormal romance teach us about contemporary understandings of gender, sexuality, race, the body, hybridity, genre, and the market? 
The Journal of Popular Romance Studies (JPRS) seeks essay submissions for a special issue on Paranormal Romance.  Kristina Deffenbacher and Erin S. Young are guest editors.
We welcome submissions on the following topics, although all papers engaging with the subject of paranormal romance will be considered.  Submissions are due by July 1, 2014.
  • How do paranormal settings, characterizations, attributes, etc. facilitate interrogations and re-imaginings of gender, sexuality, and/or intimacy?
  • How are paranormal characterizations informed by existing cultural narratives about race, ethnicity, and national identity?
  • How do paranormal romances use characters’ non-human or not-fully-human status to represent beyond-normative bodies, sex and/or violence?
  • What assumptions or anxieties play out in contentions over the generic boundaries of paranormal romance and its relationship to other (sub-)genres?
  • How does the generic hybridity of paranormal romance affect dynamics within texts, between texts and readers, and/or in the marketing of texts?
  • Who are the consumers of paranormal romance?  How do blogs and online communities of paranormal romance writers and fans reflect and shape the genre?
Please submit scholarly articles between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography. Pieces longer than 12,000 words will be returned unread. Manuscripts can be sent to An Goris, Managing Editor, Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format. Please remove all identifying material (i.e. running heads with the author’s name) so that submissions can easily be sent out for anonymous peer review. Suggestions for appropriate peer reviewers are welcome. For more information on how to submit a paper, please visit
More JPRS news coming soon!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Changes at IASPR!

--Eric Selinger

In the spring of 2009, Sarah S. G. Frantz founded the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR) and its companion journal, the Journal of Popular Romance Studies.  

After four remarkable years, marked by four international conferences, six issues of JPRS, and a co-edited volume (New Approaches to Popular Romance Fiction: Critical Essays), Sarah is stepping down from the presidency of IASPR, taking up a new position as Acquisition Editor for Riptide Publishing.  (She is also a freelance romance editor and BDSM consultant at Alphabet Editing.) 

We are happy to announce that Pamela Regis, formerly the Vice President of IASPR, will be assuming the Presidency of  the organization.  She is joined by two new officers as Vice-Presidents, An Goris and Jayashree Kamble, and by Chryssa Sharp as Treasurer.  The Conference Chairs for our upcoming international conferences will be Betty Kaklamanidou (2014, Thessaloniki), Crystal Goldman (2016, San Jose), and Margaret Toscano (2018, Salt Lake City). In the interim, odd-numbered years, IASPR will work with other organizations to foster scholarly panels and presentations on popular romance media at national and international gatherings sponsored by other organizations.

We thank Sarah for her vision and guidance, and we look forward to announcing more additions to the roster of IASPR board members and officers in the weeks to come.

Friday, June 14, 2013

JPRS 3.2: Georgette Heyer, Pamela Regis, and Popular Romance Studies

Issue 3.2 of the Journal of Popular Romance Studies is out now and includes a couple of essays about Georgette Heyer (including one written by me), a "roundtable" marking the the tenth anniversary of the publication of Pamela Regis's A Natural History of the Romance Novel and lots more:

Sunday, June 09, 2013

New Publication: Romance Readers and Interpersonal Sensitivity

In an article that's still in press, titled "What You Read Matters: The Role of Fiction Genres in Predicting Interpersonal Sensitivity," Katrina Fong, Justin B. Mullin and Raymond A. Mar explain that they
investigated the role of four fiction genres (i.e., Domestic Fiction, Romance, Science-Fiction/Fantasy, Suspense/Thriller) in the relationship between fiction and interpersonal sensitivity, controlling for other individual differences. Participants completed a survey that included a lifetime print-exposure measure along with an interpersonal sensitivity task. Some, but not all, fiction genres were related to higher scores on our measure of interpersonal sensitivity. Furthermore, after controlling for personality, gender, age, English fluency, and exposure to nonfiction, only the Romance and Suspense/Thriller genres remained significant predictors of interpersonal sensitivity.
I've got a bit more about this, and the perception and reception of romance among non-romance-readers, at my blog.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Study Popular Romance Fiction Online

Professor Pamela Regis would like to announce that McDaniel College is offering a 4-credit, undergraduate (sophomore/junior level) literature course on

Popular Romance Fiction

Where: It’s online. Anyone with an internet connection can take this course.

When: July 8 through August 9, 2013 but the course is asynchronous. In other words, you sign onto the course when your schedule permits. You will never be required to be in front of your computer at any set time in order to attend class. You attend class on your schedule, because the course is available on the College’s Blackboard server 24/7.

Instructor: Dr. Kathleen Miller, specialist in nineteenth-century British lit, the gothic, disability studies, and romance fiction.

Course description: Popular Romance Fiction will be an investigation of the most popular form of fiction in the western world: the romance novel. Readings begin with the advent of the modern form of the romance novel in England in 1740, but are drawn mostly from the nineteenth-through-twenty-first century romance novel. We will be reading the following romances:

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Boomerang Bride, Fiona Lowe
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Jane, April Linder
Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris
Fingersmith, Sarah Waters
Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick

Students will explore the popularity of romance fiction, and consider its depiction of courtship and sexuality through a variety of critical approaches including formalist, feminist, and gender studies. Assignments will include regular contributions to the course’s discussion board, an active presence on social media related to the romance writer/reader community, short writing assignments, an argumentative essay, and a web portfolio.

To register: Drop Pam Regis an email and she will email you the brief enrollment form and instructions. You do not have to be admitted to McDaniel College through our regular admissions process in order to take this course.

Cost: ENG 2272-OL Popular Romance Fiction, 4 credits: $1570. Auditing the course: $785.

Enrollment deadline: July 1, 2013.