Monday, October 31, 2016

Call for Papers: US-UK Romance

Love Across the Atlantic:

An Interdisciplinary Conference on US-UK Romance 
Friday June 16 2017, Centre for Research in Film & Audiovisual Cultures, University of Roehampton, London

Organised in conjunction with New College, University of Alabama
Keynote Speakers: Professors Karen Randell & Alexis Weedon, University of Bedfordshire
In 1946 when Winston Churchill referred to the ‘special relationship’ between the USA and Britain in his ‘Sinews of Peace’ address, he was referring to the close political, economic, and military alliance between the two nations - a relationship that had become especially entwined and enhanced in the second world war, but which has a much longer history preceding this. Alongside and throughout the cultural history of this alliance there have always existed US-UK ‘special relationships’ of another kind – love affairs carried out across the expanse of the Atlantic, as British and American citizens have flirted, courted and fallen in love, with one another but often too with the idea(l) of that other place across the ocean. US-UK love affairs have thus proven to be a mainstay of romantic narratives for generations, shared across film, television, literature and all the arts. This interdisciplinary conference is dedicated to exploring some of the history, manifestations and enduring appeal of these relationships: what are the economic and ideological factors that have fuelled this romantic framework; what have been its recurrent tropes across disciplinary, national and temporal boundaries; and how does the notion of ‘love across the Atlantic’ speak to our collective fantasies of home, desire, escape and identity?
Topics may include, but are not limited to:

- American anglophilia/fascination with Englishness
- Working Title’s romantic comedies, and other US-UK film collaborations
- Colonial love, romance, and conquest
- Transatlantic fandoms
- US-UK celebrity romances
- TV series themed around transatlantic relationships and characters (e.g. NY-LON, You’re The Worst, Cuckoo)
- Wartime love stories and ‘GI Brides’
- American literary and artistic expatriates (e.g. T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, J.A.M. Whistler, John Singer Sargent, etc.)
- Literary and genre fiction depictions/explorations of transatlantic love and romance

Abstracts of up to 300 words along with a short biog should be submitted to Deborah Jermyn at and Catherine Roach at  by December 1.
Pre-constituted panels of 3-4 speakers (20 min papers) are also welcomed. Notifications will be sent out by mid-January

Sunday, October 23, 2016

New to the Wiki: Mary Renault, Louise Mack, Virginity and Sexuality

Egan, Jesi, 2016. 
'Cultural Futurity and the Politics of Recovery: Mary Renault's Ambivalent Romances.' MFS Modern Fiction Studies 62.3: 462-80. Abstract
Fekete, Maleah, 2016. 
"Social Differences in Taste: Investigating Romance Reading." 2016 SURF Conference Proceedings [This is a conference paper but outlines the direction of a larger project in which the student is attempting to assess whether Radway's findings about readers looking to romance for nurturance were ever correct by speaking to modern readers (many of whom are reading books with similar elements to those preferred by Radway's readers). The student concludes that Radway was wrong and "the real reason women read is to feel sexually self-actualized - that is, reach their highest potential as sexually active women". However, given that this explanation does not explain the existence of a market for "sweet" romances, I feel it must be a generalisation which should not be assumed to apply to all romance readers.]
Gelder, Ken and Rachael Weaver, 2010. 
"Louise Mack and Colonial Pseudo Literature." Southerly 70.2: 82-95.
Wogan-Browne, Jocelyn, 2004. 
“Virginity Always Comes Twice: Virginity and Profession, Virginity and Romance.” Maistresse of My Wit: Medieval Women, Modern Scholars. Eds. Louise D’Arcens and Juanita Feros Ruys. Turnhout: Brepols. 335-69.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Calls for Papers: Science Fiction/Fantasy and Romance; Romance, Fans, and Fan Fiction

Two calls for papers, one from the Journal of Popular Romance Studies (looking for papers about science fiction/fantasy) and the other from Transformative Works and Cultures (seeking papers on romance fans and romance fanworks).

The Romance of Science Fiction / Fantasy

Deadline: January 1, 2017

Whether we consider romance novels incorporating elements of the fantastic, the future, or the alien, or works of Science Fiction/Fantasy exploring love, desire, and other aspects of romantic culture, the relationship between these genres has been enduring and productive. Following up on a series of joint panels at the 2016 national conference of the Popular Culture Association, the Journal of Popular Romance Studies calls for papers for a special issue on the intersections between romance and science fiction/fantasy in fiction (including fan fic), film, TV, and other media, now and in the past, from anywhere in the world.  This special issue will be guest edited by Gillian I. Leitch, PCA co-chair for SF/Fantasy, and Erin Young.
Contributions might consider questions like the following, either in terms of particular texts (novels, films, TV shows, etc.) or in terms of genre, audience, and media history:
  • How has the intersection of these two popular genres opened up new possibilities in conceptualizing gender, desire, sexuality, love, courtship, or relationship structure, not just recently, but since the earliest years of SF/Fantasy?
  • How has their intersection allowed us to see existing concepts of gender, desire, sexuality, love, courtship, and relationship structure in fresh or critical ways?
  • How have authors, filmmakers, producers, and fans played these genres against one another, for example by using romance to critique traditions in SF/F, or SF/F to critique the tropes of romance?  How has this counterpoint been explored by authors, filmmakers, producers, and fans of color, or by LBGTQIA creators and audiences?
  • How might reading classics of SF/F as romance change our perception of them: works like Dune and the Witch World novels, The Left Hand of Darkness, or even E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensman series, which are threaded on a tale of eugenic love?
  • What happens to works of paranormal, futuristic, or time-travel romance when we read them through the lenses provided by SF/Fantasy Studies?
  • What happens when teaching works of SF/Fantasy and popular romance? How do these genres co-exist or compete in pedagogical experience or classroom practice?
  • How do works of SF/Fantasy and popular romance coexist and interact in library ecosystems? What issues arise in terms of collection development, readers advisory, or community engagement?
Papers of between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography, should be sent to Erin Young ( To facilitate blind peer review, please remove your name and other identifying information from the manuscript.  Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format.

Special Issue CFP: Romance/Fans: Sexual Fantasy, Love, & Genre in Fandom (3/1/17; 3/15/18)


Romance is one of the most beloved genres of media around the world. Catherine Roach describes fans of romance fiction as ‘ludic readers... who read for play and pleasure’ (2016, 32). According to Roach, romance fandom is both ‘intensely private, as the reading experience can be, but also powerfully communitarian’ (32). Despite the popularity of romance media, romance fandoms remain relatively unaddressed within fan studies. Traditionally, the relationship between “shipping” and romance has been cast as either oppositional or ambivalent. Catherine Driscoll argues that romance “generally appears as a mute field” in studies of fan fiction (2006, 82). Romance is framed as a force that sexually explicit fan fiction responds to or acts against. This framework has a tendency to privilege certain fan works and overgeneralize popular romance genres.

This special issue aims to examine the romance/fan relationship from three directions. First, we seek to examine the relationship between fan works and romantic storytelling today. How do we theorize the flow of works, authors, and audiences between contemporary fandoms and commercial romance genres? By examining romantic texts and their producers, how might we reconsider the rich dynamism of romantic aesthetics and tropes across cultures, national contexts, and media? Next, we want to explore what constitutes a romance fan or romance fandom. What is a romance fan/fandom and how are they positioned in relation to other fan networks? Finally, we want to consider the figure of the romance fan and its construction. How do discourses depicting fans as overly romantic and hysterical frame our understandings of romance and romance fandom? How are fans able to resist these characterizations?

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
* Romance and fan fiction; the application of terms like romance, erotica, erotic-romance, and pornography to fan works.
* The creation, curation, and sharing of visual media (e.g., fan vids and gifs; memes; manips) in romance fandoms.
* The role of sexually explicit materials in romantic fan works.
* Book clubs and reading the romance.
* Romance fan field trips, gatherings, and conventions.
* Shipping and anti-shipping practices in fandoms.
* Romance anti-fandom.
* Social media practices in romance fandoms (e.g., the use of Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook).
* Social activism in online romance fandoms.
* Romance fandom and the event (e.g., comic cons, book releases, movie premiers).
* Teens and youth cultures in romance fandom.
* The figure of the fangirl and “fangirling” as excessively romantic.
* Representations of romance fandom (e.g., in reviews/articles, on screen, in print, online).

Submission guidelines

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC, is an international peer-reviewed online Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works copyrighted under a Creative Commons License. TWC aims to provide a publishing outlet that welcomes fan-related topics and to promote dialogue between the academic community and the fan community. TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing.

Theory: Conceptual essays. Peer review, 6,000–8,000 words.

Praxis: Case study essays. Peer review, 5,000–7,000 words.

Symposium: Short commentary. Editorial review, 1,500–2,500 words.

Please visit TWC's Web site ( for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the TWC Editor (editor AT

Contact—Contact guest editor Katherine Morrissey, Athena Bellas, and Eric Selinger with any questions or inquiries at romancefans[AT]

Due date—March 1, 2017, for estimated March 2018 publication.

Monday, October 10, 2016

How to Apply for the RWA Academic Research Grant 2017


Academic Research Grant

Romance Writers of America announces its twelfth annual Academic Research Grant competition. The grant program seeks to develop and support academic research devoted to genre romance novels, writers and readers. Appropriate fields of specialization include, but are not limited to: anthropology, communications, cultural studies, education, English language and literature, gender studies, linguistics, literacy studies, psychology, rhetoric, and sociology. 

Proposals in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary studies are welcome. RWA does not fund creative work (such as novels or films).The ultimate goal of proposals should be significant publication in major journals or as a monograph from an academic press.


The RWA Academic Research Grant Program is open to faculty at accredited colleges and universities, independent scholars with significant publication records, and dissertation candidates who have completed all course work and qualifying exams. No candidate need be a member of RWA.

Scholars who have won an RWA grant may apply again, for a new project, beginning the fourth year after receiving the award. The application must include evidence of the completion and publication of the first funded project.

Funding and Deadlines

RWA will fund one or more grants up to a total of $5,000. Funds will be calculated and awarded in U.S. dollars. Individual applicants may request up to the total amount.

Completed applications are to be submitted to RWA via online form and hard copy format by December 1, 2016.

Decisions will be announced in March 2017.

Tenure: April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018.

For a complete grant description and application instructions, write to or visit the Awards section of the RWA website.