Thursday, September 28, 2023

Posts, Podcasts and Publications: Endings, Identity, Preservation and Negotiation

Charlotte of Close Reading Romance has written a series of posts thinking through how

any HEA is, fundamentally, an act of inferring the future from information about the past. In queer romance, though, doing so means imagining optimism from not-always-hospitable spaces. It has also sometimes meant thinking around certain concluding structures integral to the genre – cohabitation, marriage, procreation – that haven’t always been accessible to queer protagonists. So as I often do, I started wondering about the particular prose demands of writing re-imagined pasts and imagined futures. What kind of work is done by the last sentences of queer love stories, the words that place a completed narrative into the past while opening up towards imagined futures?

Here's the Introduction to the series and links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Jayashree 's been promoting Creating Identity: The Popular Romance Heroine’s Journey to Selfhood and Self-Presentation so there's now a video in which she discusses the book at the Asian American/Asian Research Institute: and there's an episode of the podcast  ShelfLove in which she discusses the book:

Over at JPRS, Jonathan A. Allan has been worrying about how to preserve romance texts for future scholars and I do think it's a big issue, especially for works which are ebook only. Eric Selinger says that if you have any answers to the questions/issues raised in Jonathan's note, please contact the journal to add a note of your own on this topic!

And here's a list of some new publications:

Ali, Kecia (2023). "The End of the World as We Know It: Climate Catastrophe in Nalini Singh's Paranormal Romance Fiction." The Journal of the Core Curriculum: An Annual Literary and Academic Anthology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University 32:81-86. [The link is to a pdf of the whole volume, which means you'll have to scroll down/do a search to find the article. It's free, though!]

Bharathi, L. Divya and K. Muthuraman, K. (2023). "Nicholas Charles Sparks’s The Notebook: A Novel Of Love Or Romance?" Journal of Namibian Studies 35, special issue 1: 3749-3755. 

Horgheim, Celina (2023). From Rape to Romance: Sexual Consent Negotiation in Romantic Retellings of the Myth of Persephone. MA Degree Secondary Teacher Programme, University of Oslo.

Petrović, Janja (2023). Breaking the stereotype – romance novel today. Masters thesis, University of Zagreb.

Monday, September 18, 2023

CFP: Young Adult + Series + Romance

From the Journal of Popular Romance Studies

Proposal deadline December 1

2023 marks the fortieth anniversary of the initial publication of Sweet Valley High. While Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield may rank amongst the best-known teen romance heroines, the texts themselves exist within a much larger pantheon of series books intended for or read by teens, and featuring romance narratives. The Journal of Popular Romance Studies (JPRS) seeks articles for a special issue devoted to young adult series romance. These articles may focus on YA series romance from any historical period or language context, and may derive from any relevant discipline, including interdisciplinary approaches.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • the relationship between young adult literature, series novels, and popular romance
  • ideology within YA series romance
  • literary precursors to YA series romance
  • midcentury series romances aimed at teens
  • 80s and 90s teen romance series, such as Wildfire, Young Love, First Love, or Sweet Dreams series
  • legacies of Sweet Valley High or other YA series romance in current YA romance
  • positive or problematic representations of identity (including race, gender, sexuality, and disability) within YA series romance
  • YA series romance in global perspective
  • sex (or potentially the lack of sex) in YA romance series
  • ghostwriters and/or corporate constructions of teen romance series
  • teen responses to YA romance series
  • YA romance series within fanworks and fandom
  • teacher or librarian reaction to and/or use of YA romance series
  • pedagogical approaches to using YA romance series within the classroom (at any level)
For more details see JPRS.