2,033 research outputs found

    Love in the Stacks: Popular Romance Collection Development in Academic Libraries

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    This article begins to define the core collection of Popular Romance Studies, and discusses the likelihood of academic libraries allocating monetary funds for collecting in this discipline when universities do not have a major program to support in the area. An analysis of Library Science literature shows the justifications librarians use for why they do or do not collect popular culture materials, such as romance novels and films. Multiple arguments are presented for how popular romance should be classified within collections when libraries acquire material in this field. Finally, recommendations are made regarding how best to assure ongoing access to resources that are valuable to this discipline

    Transforming the Fairytale: A Diachronic Study of Utopias of Popular Romance

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    Popular romance novels have been examined by a number of critics over the past several decades, but each of these studies has analyzed texts within a fixed, synchronic context. Such analyses, while useful, fail to provide the same depth and breadth of a study of a popular culture genre that combines both synchronic and diachronic approaches. This study evaluates the popular romance novels produced during three distinct historical moments: the early mass-market romance novel, popular during the 1960s and 70s; the contemporary erotic romance novel, produced from the 1980s until currently; and the “chick-lit” sub-genre of popular romance, currently rising in popularity. Examining these three snapshots of the popular romance novel and the ways in which the genre has changed over time generates new theoretical paradigms based on the potential of these novels to perform as transformative texts, either culturally and/or economically. Further, a comparison of the structures within the popular romance to those of fairytale allows us to see how the former performs within our culture in ways similar to the latter, which further illustrates the potential of the popular romance novel to perform as a transformative text within our society. Thus, the utopias produced in popular romance are different for each historical moment, as changing social and economic conditions are not only reflected within these texts, but are perhaps even generated as they provide readers with increasingly nontraditional ways of viewing gender performance and heterosexual relationships within the traditional dichotomy ot heterosexual marriage

    Theorizing male virginity in popular romance novels

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    Although the virginal female heroine is a standard trope in popular romance fiction, the male virgin in popular romance novels has yet to be studied or theorised. This study therefore seeks to explore and theorise the male virgin in heterosexual popular romance novels. Initially, I demonstrate at least four “types” of male virgins: the sickly virgin, the student virgin, the genius virgin, and the virgin as commodity. I conclude this theoretical groundwork by considering Eloisa James’ When the Duke Returns, which brings together each of these “types” of male virginity. Ultimately, I argue that male virginity in romance fiction is complex and is distinct from other treatments of male virginity in other popular media.Peer reviewedPublished online, and open access. Full text is available in IRBU and from the publisher via the URL.Eloisa Jamesmale virginitymasculinitypopular romancevirginit

    Love Studies

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    Profile of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance by Maggie Coughlin Worth in the Romance Writers of America newsletter, Romance Writers Repor

    Love of the purest kind : Heteronormative rigidity in the homoerotic fiction of Ann Herendeen

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    This paper deals with the conflict slash fiction proposes for the heteronormative endings typical of the popular romance genre, specifically within the works of Ann Herendeen

    Make Love and War: Chinese Popular Romance in Greater East Asia, 1937-1945

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    My dissertation examines Chinese popular romances produced and consumed in the Japanese colonized and occupied regions, including Taiwan, Manchukuo, and Shanghai, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. I investigate the complex relationships between emotion, representation, and consumption vis--vis wartime discourses and sociopolitical turmoil. Through extensive archival research in Taiwan, China and Japan, I (re)discovered and reevaluated five important wartime popular romance writers and their works. In addition to fiction, sequels, film and stage play adaptations, Japanese translation and readers/viewers responses all together create the cultural phenomena of the popular romance genre. In this dissertation I ask the following questions: How are emotion and love articulated vis--vis wartime politics? How does the popular romance genre engage with its environment? How could this genre demarcate, blur, cross or reinforce the boundaries between eroticism and patriotism, the individual and the state, and the private and the public? I argue that even though the wartime politics dictate that private emotions be devoted to the public needs (i.e., the War) and hence individual interests should be subjugated to the collective, Chinese writers and readers pursued individuality through the discourses of romantic love and the devotion to the opposite sex rather than to the nation or to the colonizer. Thus, paradoxically, popular romance, even though a mass production, is a collective channel for reaffirming individual existence under political pressure. Chapter 1 examines Xu Kunquan (1907-1954) and Japanese translation of his novel in colonial Taiwan. This chapter discusses how romantic love story is used to channel the emotions during negotiating between morality and decadence and to seek spiritual transcendence under political pressure. Chapter 2 discusses Wu Mansha (1912-2005), a Chinese alien in colonial Taiwan and how an entertainment genre written in Sinitic languages promoted Japanese Imperialism, as well as how the author used this genre as a tactic to survive wartime politics. Chapter 3 analyzes Mu Rugai (1884-1961) from Manchukuo and how he used the popular romance to vent his political resentment and to deconstruct the Japanese ideology of Manchukuo as utopia. Chapter 4 analyzes the melodramatic imagination of victimhood in wartime Shanghai. The victimization and feminization of the male protagonist in Qin Shouous (1908-1993) novel Begonia and its film and stage play adaptations is on the one hand an allegory of Chinas wartime status. On the other hand, the excessive, sensational depiction of victimhood in a tragic love story releases the repressed energy of the audience in Occupied Shanghai. Chapter 5 discusses Eileen Chang (1920-1995) and the consumption of femininity in wartime Shanghai. The literary persona of Eileen Chang is constructed as the combination of movie star, a new cultural phenomenon in twentieth century China, and courtesan culture from late imperial China. Through imagining their love/hate relationship with this literary star, the audience pursued femininity as opposed the masculine wartime politics

    Fall 2013

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    Anthropology professors explore archaeological opportunities in the field; Q&A with Dean Suchar; Alumna explores the world of education publishing; Liberal arts education boosts employability; Popular romance finds a place in academia; Creating Knowledge highlights broad range of student research; In brief; AMD faculty artwork enhances library\u27s new space; Faculty publications; Many Dreams, One Mission campaign for DePaul Universit

    The Queer Fantasies of Normative Masculinity in Middle English Popular Romance

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    This thesis examines how the authors, Geoffrey Chaucer and Thomas Chestre, manipulate the construct of late fourteenth-century normative masculinity by parodying the aristocratic ideology that hegemonically prescribed the proper performance of masculine normativity. Both authors structure their respective tales, The Tale of Sir Thopas and Sir Launfal, in the style of contemporary popular romances; the plot of the tales focusing on the male protagonists’ quest for sexual and social identity. Instead of perpetuating the masculine identity of the hegemony, their romances parody the genre by queering the characteristics of the protagonists and the expectations of their audience

    Defending the Bodice Ripper

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    Romance novels have always occupied a strange state of limbo in the literary world. Decried by feminists, critics, and by the general populace, what could a whole genre of books have done to be so disparaged, arguably more than any other genre? Books written by women, for women, about women should be hailed as revolutionary in a historically male dominated publishing industry; from a more cynical point of view, an industry that pumps out hundreds of books and brings in millions of dollars every year is surely doing something right and deserves more than a cursory look. Yet they can’t seem to shake some strange taint that clings to them. The term “bodice-ripper” has long been used in a derogatory fashion to describe the popular romance genre dating back to the 1970s. A closer examination of these books shows that such hatred is far from justified. Said examination will reveal that so called bodice-rippers are an important part of not only the history of the popular romance genre but serve as feminist and cultural artifacts that can help modern readers and scholars to better understand the position and feelings of women in the 70s and 80s
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