Thursday, January 28, 2016

Good News! More Romance Studies at DePaul

I can't find any more details yet on DePaul's website but Julie E. Moody-Freeman is:
an Associate Professor in African and Black Diaspora Studies.  She received her Ph.D. in Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her teaching and research interests include studies in Black Feminist Theory, the Rhetoric of Colonialism and Post-Colonialism, African American popular romance fiction, and Black Speculative fiction.

Moody-Freeman’s publications include co-edited books The Black Imagination, Science Fiction, and the Speculative (Routledge, 2011) and The Black Imagination: Science Fiction, Futurism, and the Speculative (Peter Lang, 2011) as well as a co-edited special issue of African and Black Diaspora Studies: an international journal (Routledge, July 2015) on “Remapping the Black Atlantic: Diaspora, (Re) Writings of Race and Space.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Manly Look at Romance from Behind

Jonathan A. Allan's starting 2016 with two publications in the space of about two months. An article, titled "The Purity of His Maleness: Masculinity in Popular Romance Novels" appeared (online first) in the Journal of Men's Studies on 21 January and
seeks to open a discussion between critical studies of men and masculinities and popular romance studies. The phrase “purity of his maleness” is taken from Janice Radway’s groundbreaking study of the popular romance novel, and from this vantage, the article considers how critical studies of men and masculinities might think about, respond to, and engage popular romance novels and scholarship. 
Canadian cover
His new book, Reading From Behind: A Cultural Analysis of the Anus
has been named one of “Sixteen for ’16” to watch for this spring by a prominent Canadian literary critic.
Allan’s book, “Reading from Behind: A Cultural History of the Anus,” is a study of the anus, the ass, the rear in literary and cultural theory. Taking the anus beyond the butt of jokes, Allan examines why people squirm when it is mentioned, since we all have one and use it every day.
“It was 2014 that was called ‘the year of the booty,’ and 2015 was called ‘a banner year for the male butt,’ but it is both desirable and yet shameful, pejorative,” said Allan, the Canada Research Chair in Queer Theory and an Assistant Professor in Gender and Women’s Studies as well as English and Creative Writing at BU. “We all have one, and it seemed an interesting topic to study.” (press release)
Jonathan tells me there's a "chapter in the book on male/male romance". It'll become available in March.
UK cover

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Call for Papers: Academics at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference (August 2016)

Ain’t Love Grand

Romance Writers’ of Australia & Flinders University

Love and Romance Conference

Stamford Grand Hotel, Adelaide, South Australia

August 18-21, 2016

Flinders University is partnering with the Romance Writers of Australia to deliver two peer-reviewed academic streams at the Romance Writers of Australia national conference in August 2016. One stream will be focussed on Historical Representations of Love; the second will be for Popular Romance Studies. The Love Research Cluster for the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance Studies are partners for these streams and we aim to bring together a diverse and dynamic community of researchers on love and romance.

Love is central in the personal, social, and political construction of how we understand, organise, categorise, and measure our relationships. For historians, cultural theorists, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and literary scholars it is not possible to understand our areas without some understanding of the role of love. For Romance writers, it is the centre of their narratives. This is an increasingly reciprocal relationship. Writers use the work of scholars to give their work immediacy and accuracy, while scholars use popular depictions to explain cultural difference or illustrate cultural paradigms both in their work and their teaching. This conference aims to bring together those who create representations of love, sex, and romance with those who study them through its transdisciplinary academic stream, ‘Historical Representations of Love’ and its popular romance specific stream ‘Popular Romance Studies’.

Keynote Speakers at the conference will be:
  • Professor Catherine Roach (New College, University of Alabama)
  • Professor Stephanie Trigg (University of Melbourne)
  • Dr Danijela Kambaskovic (University of Western Australia)
Deadline for Submission of Papers is Monday 29 February, 2016. Send to:

More details can be found here and for further information please contact: Dr Amy Matthews ( and Dr Erin Sebo (

Saturday, January 09, 2016

New to the Wiki: Latvia and Bertlatsky

In addition to the bibliography of academic articles and books, the Romance Wiki also has two pages for reporting of romance in the media (A-I; J-Z). I thought I'd mention a new item I added to that today, because it quotes Eric:
Why is romance such an easy target for politicians? Eric Selinger, a professor of English at DePaul University, and the academic adviser to the Popular Romance Project, pointed out that conservative politicians have been increasingly sceptical of funding for the humanities as a whole. Within the humanities, popular culture is seen as especially unimportant – and then: “Within popular culture, popular romance is a particularly tempting target because it has to do with women, it has to do with sex. It’s long been seen as a fairly trivial cultural enterprise.” [...]

In fact, the legislative antipathy to romance is an acknowledgement of its high cultural profile – and is therefore a kind of backhanded validation of the genre. Eric Selinger pointed out that politicians used romance as an example of government waste because any discussion of romance novels is sexy and arresting; it generates headlines. [...]

If romance matters enough to be an object of hatred and political manipulation, therefore, it seems like it should matter enough to be an object of study as well.
Berlatsky, Noah, 2016.
'Why books like Fifty Shades of Grey are worthy of study: Lawmakers are calling for Missouri academic Melissa Click to be fired – in part because she conducts research on romance novels, and the hypocrisy is revealing,' The Guardian, Friday 8 January 2016.[29]
Dreimane, Jana, 2015. 
"Authors, Publishers and Readers of Popular Literature in Latvia in the Late 1980s and Early 1990s." Interlitteraria 20.2: 56–70. Abstract Full text