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

Special Issue Call for Papers

Current Special Issue CFPs:

CALL FOR PAPERS: Romancing the Long British 19th Century

The long British nineteenth century (1789-1914) appears to have the long global twentieth century (including the first decades of the twenty-first) in its thrall. Regency and Victorian settings proliferate in popular romance fiction, ranging from scenes of domestic life within the United Kingdom to British espionage in Europe and British colonial settlements. Retellings and “sequels” of Jane Austen’s novels line our (digital) bookshelves and fill fan-fiction websites, spilling over most recently into the YouTube sensation The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Such adaptations of Austen’s novels, along with film and TV versions of the Brontë sisters’ Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, suggest that modern audiences cannot get enough of stories about Georgians, Victorians, and Edwardians in love.

The Journal of Popular Romance Studies seeks papers on this enduring love affair with 19th-century Britain. Why does a period that is historically associated with the establishment of the Industrial Revolution, the consolidation of the Empire, and the coalescing of middle-class mores now strike us as a particularly “romantic” era? How do popular and middlebrow media from around the world construct, interpret, and recast the world of 19th c. Britain, broadly construed? What do these interpretations say about our current moment and our modern (or postmodern) thoughts and feelings about romance?

We welcome submissions that explore these and related questions from any disciplinary or theoretical angle. We invite papers that cover different media, including (paper and digital) literature, film, TV, online content, and marketing.

This Special Issue of The Journal of Popular Romance Studies is guest edited by Jayashree Kamble and Pamela Regis. Please submit scholarly papers of no more than 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography, by March 1 2014, to An Goris, Managing Editor, at managing.editor@jprstudies.org. Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format. For more information on how to submit a paper, please visit http://jprstudies.org/submissions/.
 
CALL FOR PAPERS: Romancing the Library

Access to information is at the core of a library’s mission, whether it serves a public, academic, or special library audience. When it comes to romance novels, however, reader demand is often more than a library can meet, with constrained library budgets outstripped by the sheer volume of titles published each year. How, then, does a library decide which titles to purchase? What factors motivate selection or deselection? How do the explicitness of love scenes and / or controversial subject matter shape that decision making process? Where does the line between selection and censorship lie?

Once an electronic or print title has been acquired, the library must decide where to house it within the collection and how best to inform readers of its existence. A library can create finding aids or subject guides, designate a specialist on the subject of romance, or find other ways to coordinate reference services around popular romance titles. What are the best practices for readers’ advisory and reference for romance? How are other media, such as romantic films or graphic novels, incorporated into reference services for romance novels? Is there a significant enough overlap between those audiences to warrant doing so?

The Journal of Popular Romance Studies (JPRS) seeks articles for a special issue on the intersection between romance and all types of libraries, anywhere in the world. This issue will discuss policy and practice, controversies, patterns and changes in the way that the library profession deals with popular romance fiction and with romance in other media (film, graphic novels, magazines) as well.

Submissions are particularly welcome on the following topics, although articles that examine other intersections between popular romance and libraries will also be considered for publication.

  • Collection development policy, practice, and preservation
  • E-books versus print books, publisher/vendor e-book check out and geographic limits
  • Popular romance in special collections, browsing collections
  • Defining a core collection of romance novels
  • Censorship of popular romance in libraries
  • Romance reference and readers’ advisory
  • Romantic films and other media within the library

Submissions are due by May 1, 2014.

Published by the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR), the peer-reviewed Journal of Popular Romance Studies is the first academic journal to focus exclusively on representations of romantic love across national and disciplinary boundaries. Our editorial board includes representatives from Comparative Literature, English, Ethnomusicology, History, Religious Studies, Sociology, African Diaspora Studies, and other fields. JPRS is available without subscription at http://jprstudies.org.

This Special Issue of The Journal of Popular Romance Studies is guest edited by Crystal Goldman. Please submit scholarly papers of no more than 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography, to An Goris, Managing Editor, at managing.editor@jprstudies.org. Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format. For more information on how to submit a paper, please visit http://jprstudies.org/submissions/.
 
CALL FOR PAPERS: Paranormal Romance

Romance Writers of America (RWA) defines a paranormal romance as a “romance novel in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal elements are an integral part of the plot.”  Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, and J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood novels are just a few examples of the proliferation of this subgenre in the early 21st century.  Paranormal romance is also flourishing in a broader sense—in the urban and dark fantasy novels of authors like Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels, The Edge) and Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampires); in feature films (Warm Bodies, Let the Right One In, Beautiful Creatures); in television (The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Supernatural, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead), and in digital media forms from graphic novels to video games.

Why does the paranormal, in its myriad representations, resonate so strongly with pop culture consumers, particularly in its juxtaposition with romance?  What can the paranormal romance teach us about contemporary understandings of gender, sexuality, race, the body, hybridity, genre, and the market?

The Journal of Popular Romance Studies (JPRS) seeks essay submissions for a special issue on Paranormal Romance.  Kristina Deffenbacher and Erin S. Young are guest editors.

We welcome submissions on the following topics, although all papers engaging with the subject of paranormal romance will be considered.  Submissions are due by July 1, 2014.

  1. How do paranormal settings, characterizations, attributes, etc. facilitate interrogations and re-imaginings of gender, sexuality, and/or intimacy?
  2. How are paranormal characterizations informed by existing cultural narratives about race, ethnicity, and national identity?
  3. How do paranormal romances use characters’ non-human or not-fully-human status to represent beyond-normative bodies, sex and/or violence?
  4. What assumptions or anxieties play out in contentions over the generic boundaries of paranormal romance and its relationship to other (sub-)genres?
  5. How does the generic hybridity of paranormal romance affect dynamics within texts, between texts and readers, and/or in the marketing of texts?
  6. Who are the consumers of paranormal romance?  How do blogs and online communities of paranormal romance writers and fans reflect and shape the genre?

Published by the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR), the peer-reviewed Journal of Popular Romance Studies is the first academic journal to focus exclusively on representations of romantic love across national and disciplinary boundaries.  Our editorial board includes representatives from Comparative Literature, English, Ethnomusicology, History, Religious Studies, Sociology, African Diaspora Studies, and other fields.  JPRS is available without subscription at http://jprstudies.org.

Please submit scholarly articles between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography. Pieces longer than 12,000 words will be returned unread. Manuscripts can be sent to An Goris, Managing Editor, managing.editor@jprstudies.org. Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format. Please remove all identifying material (i.e. running heads with the author’s name) so that submissions can easily be sent out for anonymous peer review. Suggestions for appropriate peer reviewers are welcome. For more information on how to submit a paper, please visit http://jprstudies.org/submissions/.
 
CALL FOR PAPERS: Queering Popular Romance

In 1997, Kay Mussell called upon scholars of popular romance “to incorporate analysis of lesbian and gay romances into our mostly heterosexual models.” Today, closing in on two decades later, that challenge has yet to be met.  Although print and digital venues for LGBTQ romance have proliferated, meeting a growing demand for such work among readers (especially for male / male romances), and although there is a burgeoning interest in writing LGBTQ romance on the part of both LGBTQ and straight authors, queer romance fiction remains peripheral to most academic accounts of the genre.  Likewise, with a handful of exceptions, scholarship on popular romance fiction has scarcely begun to engage the theoretical paradigms that have become central to gay and lesbian studies, to queer theory, and to the study of queer love in other media (film, TV, pop music, etc.).

The Journal of Popular Romance Studies therefore calls for papers on “Queering the Romance,” in the broadest possible sense of the phrase.

Recognizing that there are both similarities and tensions between “queer theory” and “lesbian and gay criticism,” we call not only for papers that consider the importance of identity politics to popular romance fiction—that is, papers on romance novels with LGBTQ protagonists—but also for papers which give “queer” readings of ostensibly heterosexual romances, as well as for those which are theoretically engaged with the fluid concept of “queerness,” no matter the bodies and / or sexualities of the protagonists involved.  We think here of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s famous assertion that “one of the things that ’queer’ can refer to” is “the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning when the constituent elements of anyone’s gender, of anyone’s sexuality aren’t made (or can’t be made) to signify monolithically.”

Topics to be addressed might include:

  • Continuity and Change in LGBT romance (including publishing, circulation, and readership), from gay and lesbian pulps to digital platforms
  • Rereading the Romance, Queerly: queer re-readings of older romance scholarship, of canonical romance texts, and of the text / reader relationship
  • Queering the romance genre across different media (film, television, graphic novels, video games, etc.)
  • Queering subgenres and romance conventions / tropes (virginity, sexuality, attraction, betrothal, the Happily Ever After ending)
  • Questions of Authorship / Authority / Appropriation: who writes, reads, and gets to judge LGBTQ romance, and why?
  • Intersectional texts and readings:  queerness and disability, race, ethnicity, illness, religion, etc.
  • Beyond m/m and f/f:  bringing bisexual, transgender, asexual, and other genderqueer romance into the discourse

This special issue will be guest edited by Andrea Wood and Jonathan A. Allan.  Please submit scholarly papers no more than 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography, by September 1, 2014, to An Goris, Managing Editor, at managing.editor@jprstudies.org. Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format; please remove all identifying material (i.e. running heads with the author’s name) so that submissions can easily be sent out for anonymous peer review.  For more information on how to submit a paper, please visit http://jprstudies.org/submissions/.