Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Focus on Authors

Chelsea Ann Pierce's recent MA thesis is on the topic of "The Apprenticeship of Laurell K. Hamilton: How Aspiring Writers Learn to Write."

The Princeton Symposium on Authorship in the Popular Romance Genre , whose participants also focus on authors, will be starting in a few days' time. On Friday attendees will be able to hear:

Deborah Chappel Traylor on “The Novels of Edna Ferber, An Important Link in Popular American Women's Fiction”
It may be easy enough to see connections between popular romance written today and the novels of Jane Austen, but how do we explain how one leads through centuries and across oceans to the other?   How do we present a history of women’s romance without exploring and establishing links to other writers, traditions, and events?
Maryan Wherry on “Adventure, Mystery, Romance: The Voice and Style of Mary Stewart”
Mary Stewart is an important transition figure within 20th century romance. [...] Stewart combines the neo-gothic traditions of Daphne du Maurier and Victoria Holt with the traditional mysteries of Georgette Heyer and Mary Robert Rinehart to establish the foundations of the romantic suspense subgenre.
Hsu-Ming Teo on “'Everyone loves a Lindsey!': Evaluating the Historical Romance Oeuvre of Johanna Lindsey”
Together with her well-known contemporaries Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers and Bertrice Small, Lindsey’s work was an integral part of the ‘Romance Revolution’ which injected sizzling sex scenes into the pages of the romance novel. It was a revolution that contributed to the Americanization of the twentieth-century romance novel.
Jackie Horne, “Feminism and the Romance Author”
This talk will take a closer look at romance writers’ relationship to feminism during the past twenty years, not by analyzing their novels, but by looking at their interviews and critical writings on the craft of romance.
Jonathan Allan, “Twisting the Romance Novelist”
for a study of male/male romance to develop at all, we need to build the theory from the ground up, beginning with the author. By “twisting” authorship, I hope to offer a critical model of authorship, that recognizes the particularities of male/male romance, particularly since the subgenre is largely written “by women for women.”
Jennifer Lois and Joanna Gregson, “Sneers and Leers: Romance Novel Writers and the Stigma of Sexual Shamelessness”
Writers reacted to the sneers and leers in two opposing ways. Some accepted the invitation and displayed personalized aspects of their sexuality for shock value, career promotion, or to reclaim control of defining their sexual selves in a patriarchal culture. Others contested the assumption that their personal sex lives were relevant to their work and chastised outsiders for intruding on their privacy.
Annette Couch-Jareb, “Self-Publishing and the Individual Author as an Agent of Change”
In recent years, publishing has undergone a revolution, as dramatic as the invention of the Guttenberg Press. For the first time, authors are able to publish without the gatekeeping effects of publishers.
Jayashree Kamble, “Defiance and Definition: Constructing Authorship in Lisa Kleypas’s Dreaming of You
Kleypas’s Sara Fielding (whose name evokes a history of women authors) is a claim of authorial self-determination in a genre that is constantly battling for the right to define what it is (and is not).
Eric Selinger, “The World Split Open, Slightly; Or, I Fought the Law and the Law Spanked”
This consoling narrative [Victoria Dahl's Talk Me Down], in which the truths told by romance can be easily and pleasurably recuperated, contrasts in several ways with the representations of gender, truth-telling, and the law in Dahl’s Twitter and Tumblr posts, which include impassioned, explicitly political reflections on gendered poverty, abortion rights, and access to birth control.
Jessica Matthews, “When Authors Won’t “Die”: Diana Gabaldon as Imperial Author in the Books and Writers Community Online Forum”
Gabaldon uses her position as the author to offer the “correct” interpretation to readers’ questions, all while creating an online persona that is friendly to those who agree with her, but caustic to those who do not. Her answers often require her to provide information that would not have been available to the reader, thus allowing her to extend her narratives beyond the novels themselves. In other words, her online forum allows her to keep writing her novels and position herself as the leading authority on them.
Regina Künne, “L’Auteur Est Mort. Vive L’Auteur!”
The talk will address Jayne Ann Krentz’s works and will give answers about changes within twenty-five years of her writing career 
The full abstracts for all of these talks can be found here.

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