Friday, November 15, 2013

Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly

The Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly was launched yesterday. It's not an academic publication but I thought I'd mention it anyway because
The Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly is an online magazine devoted to science fiction romance. Each issue includes news, reviews, opinion columns, and an original, exclusive short story–all for free!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Publication: Translating and Adapting Romance Fiction

Heather Schell has a new article out. It's "Bringing the Mid-West to the Middle-East: An Analysis of a Harlequin Romance in English and Turkish" and she's made it available via Academia. It's Chapter 17 of The Silk Road of Adaptation: Transformations across Disciplines and Cultures. Ed. Laurence Raw. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2013.

Schell argues that
a translation could be considered a type of invisible adaptation. In fact, global economic enterprises may actually prefer to downplay the "new readings" wrought by translation [...]. It falls to us to question the supposed transparency of translation and appreciate instead the ways in which a translation adapts the source-text. (160)
Schell notes that cultural differences make
the social meaning of a novel's content inherently unstable. For example, because of differing cultural norms about adult children's relationship with their parents, the scene in which Cade defies his father for the sake of his wife might seem noteworthy to a Turkish reader but unremarkable to an American reader. In contrast, popular attitudes towards abortion are probably more conservative and conflicted in the United States than in the Republic of Turkey. (164)
What is certain is that "Arda Gedik, the force behind HQN's Turkish publications for nearly two decades [until his death in 2011], saw these books as providing progressive role models" (169).

The "source-text" Schell chooses to analyse is Shirley Jump's Back to Mr. and Mrs. (2007) which was published in Turkey in  "2010 as a 112-page novella" (162). The novel, like others chosen for translation and publication in Turkey, was selected "based on customer star ratings" (164) and the translation makes minor changes which, cumulatively, make the characters seem "less foreign" (166) to Turkish readers.

It also makes "small changes [which] consistently make the women more stereotypically feminine and less intelligent" (167) and ensures that the ageing heroine "conforms to beauty ideals" (168). Such changes are not, however, unique to Turkish translations: in France, for example, translated novels "often made the heroine less confident and experienced that in the source-text" (168).

The essay is relatively short and, in my opinion, well worth a read.

CFPs: Readers and Crime

From Cover to Cover: Reading Readers
Edited Collection of Essays
Editors: Dr. Bilge Mutluay Cetintas and Dr. Ceylan Ozcan

This collection of essays "aims to take a fresh look at the 'good old practice' of reading in all its denotations and connotations from all possible quarters and perspectives, provided that papers relate to the American context." Essays "should be between 5000-7000 words and should adhere to the latest MLA style. Full text submissions should be sent to by March 30, 2014." More details here (though unfortunately they do not include information about the likely publisher of the collection).

Gender and Transgression in 20th-Century Britain
Newcastle University, 7th March 2014

The link between gender and transgression is integral to both representing and understanding the controversy that surrounds popular works. To add to Jenks’ conclusion: we are both obsessed by transgression and the transgressor’s gender.
In this symposium we intend to consider how representations of transgressive acts are linked to gender, asking whether crimes are more punishable depending on the gender of the criminal, if certain transgressive behaviours are more acceptable for one gender than another, or if it is possible for transgressive acts to be represented without issues of gender being at the forefront of that representation.

More details about the conference can be found here. Submissions to by 1st December 2013.  They seem to have a strong focus on crimes. Still on the topic of crime:

Captivating Criminality: Crime Writing, Darkness and Desire
Bath Spa University and Crime Studies Network
At Corsham Court (
24-26 April 2014

How can crime writing be defined? Although crime fiction is traditionally regarded as a distinguishable literary form, what can be considered part of this genre? The various sub-genres that are encompassed under the title of crime writing, including the ‘whodunnit’, the Hard Boiled thriller, Golden Age narratives, and the ‘whydunnit’ psychological thriller are all so variable that a defining process becomes nearly impossible. [...]

I thought this might be of interest to anyone studying romantic suspense. More details here. The deadline for submissions is 6 January 2014.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Radway Revisited - at PCA/ACA 2014

Reading the Romance:Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature 
1984 - 1991 - 2014

Janice Radway will be joining the Romance area of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association for a 30th Anniversary roundtable discussion of Reading the Romance: the book, its impact, and its legacy. Details of the programme haven't yet been finalised but the conference will be held in Chicago from 16-19 April 2014.

More details about the Romance area can be found here - and there are still a few hours left before the deadline for submissions if you'd like to present a paper.