Twitter's been an important source of information for me in finding links and keeping up with what's been happening in the romance world, but with all the upheaval there, I've decided it's time to leave. Unfortunately, that means I'll lose an important source of content for this blog and there will probably be far fewer, maybe even no, notifications of calls for papers. I'll still be posting updates about items added to the Romance Scholarship Database, though.
The last thing I've been present for in online "Romancelandia" is a heated debate about the definition of "romance." I'm not the arbiter of that: my work's about romance as it has been defined, not as it will be. But I am the arbiter of what I add to the database, and so I've added an "About page" to give a brief explanation. I'm using the definition of "romance" given by the editors of The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Romance Fiction. [Incidentally one of the new items listed below takes a very interesting, in-depth look at debates about the definition of romance - see Michelson.]
Another contentious topic (which has not, as far as I know, been provoking controversy recently online), is that of a "canon." There's a trio of short articles about the "romance canon" (would it be helpful? is the concept intrinsically flawed?) in the Journal of Popular Romance Studies:
- Cant and CanonicityEric Murphy Selinger
- Response to Eric Selinger’s “Cant and Canonicity”Julie E. Moody-Freeman
- Isn’t It Iconic: Canonical Logics and the Romance GenreJodi McAlister
Other new publications are:
Burge, Amy (2022). "Beyond Outlander: Annie S. Swan and the Scottish popular romance novel." Scottish Literary Review. [This is still forthcoming, but a pre-print is available for free via the University of Birmingham.]
Grinnell, Natalie (2022). "The Challenge to Dominance Theory in Patricia Brigg's and Carrie Vaughn's Paranormal Romance Novels." Femspec 22.2:40-65. [Abstract]
and Chengli Xiao (2023).
shapes a parasocial relationship in RVGs? The effects of avatar images,
avatar identification, and romantic jealousy among potential, casual,
and core players."
Computers in Human Behavior
139. [Abstract and excerpt]
Konle, Leonard and Fotis Jannidis (2022). "Modeling Plots of Narrative Texts as Temporal Graphs." CHR 2022: Computational Humanities Research Conference, December 12 – 14, 2022, Antwerp, Belgium :318-336.
Michelson, Anna (2022). Redefining the Romance: Classification and Community in a Popular Fiction Genre. PhD thesis, Northwestern University. https://doi.org/10.21985/n2-4tj1-6567
Sharma, Vishal, Kirsten E. Bray, Neha Kumar, Rebecca E. Grinter (2022). “Romancing the Algorithm: Navigating Constantly, Frequently, and Silently Changing Algorithms for Digital Work.” Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Human-Computer Interaction.Volume 6, Issue CSCW:1–29. https://doi.org/10.1145/3555651
One last item, which I'm not adding to the database because it only mentions romance in passing, is a thesis by Leon Kooijmans titled "Christianity after the Death of God: Christian Atheism and the Materiality of Absence." In it Kooijmans observes that, "Since the 1990s, an increasing amount of (post-)evangelical Christians in North America and Europe sought to form communities in creative and innovative ways [...]. One notable group associated with this Emerging Church Movement is called ‘Ikon’, a small collective of artists and disillusioned Christians, agnostics and atheists located in Belfast, Northern Ireland that was active from 2001 to 2013." The connection with romance is that at one of their first meetings (on the topic of the prodigal son), "Around the room dozens of Mills and Boon novels that we had purchased in a second-hand bookshop have been scattered around the various surfaces" (18) and "As the service draws to a close everyone is invited to take away a Mills and Boon book as a reminder of the evening’s theme" (21).