Monday, November 25, 2019

Jonathan A. Allan's Men, Masculinity and Popular Culture (2020)

For some reason the book's available now, and my copy just arrived in the post today, but it says it's a 2020 publication. I don't know why that is. An excerpt can be found here (via Google Books) and here's the publisher's webpage about the book. I've added notes about the contents of some of the chapters since that may be of interest to people who want to get a taste of Jonathan's arguments but can't afford to buy the book, or who'd like to read a bit more before they make a decision about purchasing the book.
  1. Introduction
  2. Studying the Popular Romance Novel
  3. Desiring Hegemonic Masculinity
As mentioned in the acknowledgements, this chapter "appeared previously as '"The Purity of His Maleness": Masculinity in Popular Romance Novels,' which appeared in Journal of Men's Studies (2016).
  1. Reconsidering the Money Shot: Orgasm and Masculinity
  2. Theorising Male Virginity in Popular Romance Fiction
As mentioned in the acknowledgements, this chapter "brings together two articles that appeared in Journal of Popular Romance Studies, 'Theorising Male Virginity in Popular Romance Novels' (2011) and '"And He Absolutely Fascinated Me": Masculinity and Virginity in Sherilee Gray's Breaking Him' (2019)". I don't think that second paper has appeared quite yet.
  1. Slashing and Queering Popular Romance Fiction
  2. Towards an Anatomy of Male/Male Popular Romance Novels
  3. Vanilla Sex, or Reading Pornography Romantically
  4. Conclusion
  5. Epilogue: Are Billionaires Still Sexy?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Updates: Romance Wiki Down; a TED talk on romance; Book on Masculinities and Romance out soon.

As some of you may have noticed, the Romance Wiki, which includes the Romance Scholarship bibliography, has been offline for over a month. If you go to there is currently a message saying "The RomanceWiki is currently offline while we look for a new home. If you’re interested in adopting the wiki, please get in touch."

Jessica Lyn Van Slooten recently gave a TED talk about romance:
Many people think romance novels are trashy, formulaic, and anti-feminist smut. In this passionate talk, Jessica Lyn Van Slooten challenges negative stereotypes about romance novels. She argues that many of today’s authors are modeling a more inclusive, equitable, and feminist world through romance novels.

Jonathan A. Allan's latest book will be published shortly (it's due on 15th November). Men, Masculinities and Popular Romance
seeks to open a lively and accessible discussion between critical studies of men and masculinities and popular romance studies, especially its continued interest in what Janice Radway has called "the purity of his maleness."

Monday, November 04, 2019

CFP: Edited Collection on Consent, Diversity, Inclusion, etc in 21st-Century Romances

deadline for submissions: 
December 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Susan Fanetti/CSU Sacramento
contact email: 

Not Your Mother’s Bodice Rippers: The Romance Genre in the 21st Century
Editor: Susan Fanetti
The enduring stereotype of the romance novel is the dramatic cover depicting the bare-chested, Fabio-modeled “hero” holding the swooning “heroine” draped over his arm, her wild hair flowing and her bountiful pale breasts swelling from her torn dress. Hence the term “bodice-ripper.”
But neither the stereotype nor the term have aged well. Though of course there are still stories written about brooding dukes and naïve duchesses, the genre contains multitudes. Romance is more diverse and dynamic than ever before and continuing to evolve in new, more inclusive directions.
Romance is the only literary genre dominated in every facet by women, and as such is often unjustly denigrated as “mommy porn.” However, its cultural influence is significant, and we would do well to take it seriously. In the twenty-first century, the romance genre is a billion-dollar industry—as big as the mystery, science fiction, and fantasy genres combined. It is an industry juggernaut, supported by and responding to a savvy, sophisticated audience that is culturally and politically aware, engaged, and active.
Moreover, while it is dominated by women, romance is not exclusively by or for women, and the industry itself is finally taking notice of voices outside the conventional cishet, white, privileged perspective the stereotype instantiates.
This collection will examine the position of the romance genre in the twenty-first century, and the ways in which romance responds to and influences the culture and community in which it exists.
This collection is under contract at McFarland & Company, with a planned 2021 publication date. It will be peer-reviewed.
Potential topics include but are not limited to:
  • The impact of Fifty Shades of Grey on the romance genre and industry
  • #MeToo and questions of consent in the romance genre
  • Diversity, inclusion, sensitivity and #OwnVoices in romance writing and reading
  • Broadening representations of gender and sexuality in romance
  • Social media and the “Romancelandia” community
  • The writer-reader relationship in the genre
  • The place of fanfiction in the genre
  • The rise of independent publishing and its effects on the genre as a whole
  • The explosion of subgenres within romance and the influences from which they might have derived
  • Issues of gatekeeping and claim-staking within the genre/industry/community
  • Cultural analyses of specific authors/texts/etc., or historicist analyses of the genre as it’s evolved to the present
Note: The focus of this collection is romance in the contemporary moment. Submissions that do not engage that focus in some way will not be considered.
Completed manuscripts should be 6000-8000 words (not including Works Cited or notes) and should conform to MLA 8 style and formatting.
300-500 word abstract/proposals with current CV due: 31 December 2019
If accepted, complete final submission due: 31 August 2020
Send inquiries and/or submissions to:
From (via the Romance Scholar Listserv)