Issues
ISSN: 2159-4473
Published in partnership with the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance

Special Issue Call for Papers

Love and Rock Music

Deadline: June 30, 2016

Rock music has long been associated with resistance, rebellion, sexual freedom, subversion, and social unrest. When it comes to love, however, rock songs have served both as a rebellious and a profoundly conservative genre, articulating both visions of radical possibility and familiar constructions of gender, sexuality, and intimacy. Complexities ramify when we consider the dialogue between rock and other genres (pop, folk, country, soul, funk, disco, R&B, and rap), within versions of rock (prog rock vs. punk, corporate rock vs. riot grrrl), and within rock as a global phenomenon, produced and enjoyed beyond the Anglosphere.

Following up on the “Straight from the Heart” conference on Love and Rock organized by Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier (France) and the University of Chester (United Kingdom), the Journal of Popular Romance Studies calls for papers on Love and Rock Music, now and in the past, from anywhere in the world. Guest edited by Claude Chastagner (UPV) and Mark Duffett (UC) this issue is open to papers on topics such as the following:

  • I Want to Know What Love Is: love songs read through critical theory
  • Leader / Lieder of the Pack: song, melodrama, and tragic love
  • (Not Just) When a Man Loves a Woman: queer love and gender performance
  • You Leave Me Dry: anti-love songs and feminist / radical critique
  • Since You’ve Been Gone: break-up songs and empowerment anthems
  • Love You Like a Love Song: metatextuality and self-reference
  • Upon this Rock: love and religion in Christian pop music
  • One Love (or Many?): Class, race, age, nation, and cultural difference
  • In the Name of Love: love, community and politics
  • Love Globally, Rock Locally: love and rock in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America
  • Love, Rock, and Islam: Sufi Rock, Laskar Cinta, Maher Zain, and beyond
  • The Singer-Songwriter as Love Poet: Dylan, Cohen, Mitchell, etc.
  • Like Verlaine and Rimbaud: rock love and literary / cultural history
  • Historicizing love and rock: before the Summer of Love and after
  • Taste, canon and genre: soft rock; the love ballad as “guilty pleasure”
  • Love deployed: uses of rock at weddings, proms, funerals
  • Troubadours, Lotharios, Ophelias, duets: love in images of celebrity performers
  • Fandom and fan love; love, affect, and the role of the critic
  • Rock and the family drama: psychoanalytic readings, parental and familial love
  • Rock star characters in popular romance; love in rock memoirs and biographies

Papers of 5,000-10,000 words in English or French should be sent to Erin Young (managing.editor@jprstudies.org). 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.

The Romance of Science Fiction / Fantasy

Deadline: September 30, 2016

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 (managing.editor@jprstudies.org). 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.

Masculinity Studies Meets Popular Romance

Deadline: January 6, 2017

In her canonical and contested study Reading the Romance, Janice Radway describes the romance hero as characterized by an “exemplary” and “spectacular” masculinity. Romantic films, TV, and popular music likewise offer what Eva Illouz calls “ideal-typical” representations of men and masculinity, even as popular culture often insists that “real men” have no interest in romance media. What, then, can critical and historical studies of men and masculinities offer to the study of popular romance media? And what can attention to popular romance teach us about blind-spots and other lacunae in the study of men and masculinities?

The Journal of Popular Romance Studies solicits papers for a special issue on masculinity and popular romance media, now and in the past, from anywhere in the world. We are interested in how masculinities are and have been represented in the texts of both heterosexual and queer popular romance media, including fan-produced media. We are also interested in papers on masculinity in the marketing of such media (e.g., movie trailers and romance novel covers), and in the discourse of the global romance communities that produce, enjoy, and discuss such media (editorial guidelines, recaps and reviews, blog posts, Tumblrs, etc.). Papers that explore the intersection of masculinity with other cultural phenomena, including race, religion, and class, are welcome.

For this issue, we define both “romance” and “masculinities” broadly. We are open to submissions about texts from the margins of love and romance culture (e.g., “bromances”) as well as those which focus on texts which participate wholeheartedly in the popular culture of romantic love. We also recognize that masculinity does not belong exclusively to cisgendered men’s bodies, and we encourage the submission of papers that follow Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s call for scholars of gender “to drive a wedge in, early and often, and if possible conclusively, between the two topics, masculinity and men, whose relation to one another it is so difficult not to presume.”

This special issue will be edited by Jonathan A. Allan, Canada Research Chair in Queer Theory (Brandon University) and Eric Murphy Selinger (DePaul University). Papers of between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography, should be sent to Erin Young (managing.editor@jprstudies.org). 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.

 

Please see our Topics of Interest page for a non-exhaustive list of subjects covered by our journal, and our regular Submissions page for additional information on submitting your work.