The theme of the PCA Romance area in 2022 is fantasy and escape in romance and romantic media. We encourage you to define this theme broadly, and to think not just about specific texts but through them, to the broader discussions in which they are implicated. How can we most productively think through this tangled web of fantasy and escape and their relationship to the “real”?
Questions on this theme you might wish to explore include:
- The fantasy of romance: what is it?
- Romance in fantasy: how does the romance plot play out in fantastical worlds?
- The right to fantasy: whose fantasies get represented in romantic media? Do we all dream about the same happy endings? How do race, religion, sexuality, and other factors affect romantic fantasies?
- Escapism: where are we escaping from? where are we escaping to?
- Escaping lockdown: how did we consume romantic media during the pandemic?
- Creating new fantasies: what kinds of romance narratives were created during the pandemic?
- Runaway heroines and heroes: how does escape work as a theme in romance? Does it play a different role depending on subgenre (such as captivity narratives, gothics, and/or romantic suspense)?
- Seeking the fantasy in the real world: how do people go about looking for love?
- Romance on reality TV: what even counts as real?
- Fan(fiction)tasizing: how are new possibilities for the romance imagined in fan culture?
- Escaping unproductive discussions: how can we work over, under, around or through endless discussions about the merits of romance and popular culture?
If none of these suggestions appeal, or you simply want to pursue your own intellectual passion, you are very welcome to do so.
As far as I can see, the deadline for submissions is 15 November 2021. See the full details here.