Sunday, May 21, 2017

Romance News Roundup: PhD opportunity, conference report, disability project, diversity at risk, new publications

There's a PhD opportunity at the University of Tasmania:
Popular Fiction in the Twenty-First Century
This scholarship provides $26,682pa (2017 rate) living allowance for 3 years, with a possible 6 month extension.
Popular fiction is the most significant growth area in trade publishing in the twenty-first century. This project is premised on the view that popular or genre fiction is a sector of the publishing industry, a social and cultural formation, and a body of texts. It will offer new insights into contemporary literary culture through systematic investigation of the contemporary significance of one or more popular genres (crime, thrillers, romance, or fantasy) in the twenty-first century. By employing a mixed methodology combining discourse and textual analysis, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and/or creative writing, Popular Fiction in the 21st Century aims to contribute to the increasingly urgent demand for conceptual and methodological frameworks for studying genre fiction.
More details here.

If you don't follow the Pink Heart Society blog, you might want to take a look at Amy Burge's report on the 2017 PCA/ACA conference. Ria Cheyne's there too, introducing her Disability and Romance Project, which recently gained funding from the RWA.

Unfortunately there's bad news as well as good in the romance world and
Romance Writers of America is saddened by the news that Harlequin will be ending publication of five of their series lines in 2018.
According to an announcement RWA received, the following lines will close: Harlequin Western (June 2018), Harlequin Superromance (June 2018), Love Inspired Historical (June 2018), Harlequin Nocturne (December 2018), and Kimani Romance (December 2018).
More details here. As pointed out by Kay Taylor Rea,
this news is a huge blow to the romance community for a very big reason: Harlequin is closing Kimani Romance.

Why is this a big deal? The vast majority of Harlequin titles penned by black women are published as Kimani titles. The Kimani Romance line is described as stories featuring ‘sophisticated, soulful and sensual African-American and multicultural heroes and heroines who develop fulfilling relationships as they lead lives full of drama, glamour and passion.’ These titles cover a number of subgenres, so hopefully Harlequin will make a concerted effort to integrate existing series and current authors into other lines. 

I’ll be keeping an eye out for official word from Harlequin and will certainly be watching how the Kimani authors are treated. This could be a huge setback for diversity in romance.
More details here.

And, finally, the latest publications to be added to the Romance Wiki:
Gardner, Jeanne. 2011. 
"'True-To-Life': Romance Comics and Teen-Age Desire, 1947-1954." Forum for World Literature Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, Apr. 2011, pp. 118-128. 
Kamble, Jayashree, 2017. 
"From Barbarized to Disneyfied: Viewing 1990s New York City Through Eve Dallas, J.D. Robb’s Futuristic Homicide Detective." Forum for Interamerican Research 10.1 (May 2017): 72-86.[Available free and in full online.]
 
Zhou, Yanyan, Bryant Paul and Ryland Sherman, 2017. 
"Still a Hetero-Gendered World: A Content Analysis of Gender Stereotypes and Romantic Ideals in Chinese Boy Love Stories." Sex Roles. Abstract

Thursday, May 04, 2017

And the Winner Is... (First Annual Francis Award)

The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR) is proud to announce the winner of the first annual Conseula Francis Award for the best unpublished essay on popular romance media and / or the logics, institutions, and social practices of romantic love in global popular culture. The winning essay this year is “The Stable Muslim Love Triangle – Triangular Desire in Black Muslim Romance Fiction," by Layla Abdullah-Poulos of SUNY Empire State College: a groundbreaking study of "the amalgamation of Islamic, Black American, and American notions of love, courtship, and sexual dialogue" in this emerging textual corpus. 
As the winning essay, "The Stable Muslim Love Triangle" will receive a $250 USD cash prize and be published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Popular Romance Studies. Abdullah-Poulos will also join the the panel of judges for next year's Francis Award.
The Francis Award is in honor of Conseula Francis, whose work on popular romance fiction focused on African American authors and representations of Black love. Essays submitted to the competition may focus on work in any medium (e.g., fiction, film, TV, music, comics, or advice literature) or on topics related to real-world courtship, dating, relationships, and love; priority for the Francis Award will be given to manuscripts that address the diversity of, and diversities within, popular romance and romantic love culture: e.g., diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, class, sexuality, disability, or age.
Associate provost and professor of English and African American Studies at the College of Charleston, Francis was the author of The Critical Reception of James Baldwin: 1963-2010 (2014) and the editor of Conversations with Octavia Butler (2009). In 2010, she was awarded a research grant by the Romance Writers of America for “Uncommon Pleasures: Textual Pleasure and Female Sexual Agency in Contemporary African American Romance and Erotica,” a project focused on the work of Beverly Jenkins and Zane. An essay drawn from this research, “Flipping the Script: Romancing Zane’s Urban Erotica,” was published shortly before her death in Romance Fiction and American Culture: Love as the Practice of Freedom?  Francis wrote about Zane for the NEH-funded Popular Romance Project, as well as about romantic representations of Barack and Michelle Obama during the 2012 presidential campaign.
The annual deadline for submissions for the Francis Award is December 1, and the winner will be announced in April or May of the following year.  All submissions should be sent to Erin Young, Managing Editor of the Journal of Popular Romance Studies, at managing.editor@jprstudies.org. Please put “Francis Award” in your subject line.  All submissions must be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format; in keeping with JPRS publication guidelines we will consider essays of 5000 to ~10,000 words in length.  Please remove your name or the name of any co-authors from the submitted manuscript; in your cover-letter email, please provide your contact information (address, phone number, e-mail address) and a 150-200 word abstract of the submission.
The judges for the Francis Award will be a mix of established and emerging scholars in the field of Popular Romance Studies, chosen by IASPR; each winner will be invited to join the judging team for the following year. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

CFP: Women’s Writing in the 21st Century - Sheffield, 8-9 September 2017

From the Postgraduate Contemporary Women's Writing Network (UK)

Fast Forward: Women’s Writing in the 21st Century

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.“ (Zadie Smith)

Zadie Smith’s debut novel White Teeth was published in the January of 2000 and marked the beginning of a new millennium of women’s writing. Considering that this and other texts released around the turn of the century are soon to be the same age as current undergraduates, it seems timely to move on from well-worn discussions of literature produced in the 1970s onwards and focus on women’s writing in the twenty first century.
The contemporary, as a liminal temporal space, marks the transition between past and future and as such is not only notoriously hard to frame but its fluid and ephemeral nature continues to present a challenge in literary studies and beyond. Contemporary literature, in many ways simultaneously ‘with the time’ and then quickly outdated, presents a curious and exciting paradox to think through questions of literary form, the literary market place, the role of authors as public intellectuals and contemporary readers. The need to focus on the present and contemporary state of women’s literature seems particularly poignant in a post-Brexit and Trump era in which laws and ideas surrounding the future state of gender, race, and class politics are ever more obscure and uncertain.
Join us on the 8th and 9th September 2017 as we seek to position the most recent work (post 2000) of established authors alongside the field’s newer voices in order to facilitate a conversation about the present state – and possible futures – of women’s writing.
Possible conference themes:
  • the resurgence of women’s confessional writing
  • the recent rise in popularity of erotic and romantic fiction
  • the emergence of genres such as autofiction and autotheory in women’s writing
  • writing at the intersection of creative and critical/writing across genres
  • writers as public intellectuals and agents of change
  • new directions in writing by canonised authors
Please send abstracts of 250 words and a short bionote to conference@pgcwwn.org until 30th June, 2017.


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Details from here.

Monday, April 17, 2017

CFP: Seventh International Conference on Popular Romance Studies (2018 conference; September 1 deadline)


http://iaspr.org/wp-content/themes/heavingbosom2/img/iaspr.jpg
The Seventh International Conference on Popular Romance Studies
 
Think Globally, Love Locally?
 
Sydney, Australia
27-29 June, 2018
 
Space, place, and romantic love are intimately entwined. Popular culture depicts particular locations and environments as “romantic”; romantic fantasies can be “escapist” or involve the “boy / girl / beloved next door”; and romantic relationships play out in a complex mix of physical and virtual settings. The romance industry may be globalized, but popular romance culture is always situated: produced and circulated in distinctive localities and spaces, online and offline. Love plays out in real-world contexts of migration and dislocation; love figures in representations of assimilation and cultural resistance; in different times and places, radically disparate political movements—revolutionary, reactionary, and everything in between—have all deployed the rhetoric and imagery of love.

For its seventh international conference on Popular Romance Studies, the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance calls for papers on romantic love and popular culture, now and in the past, from anywhere in the world. We are particularly interested, this year, on papers that address the relationship between love and locality in popular culture:  not just in fictional modes (novels, films, TV shows, comics, song lyrics, fan fiction, etc.), but also in didactic genres (advice columns, dating manuals, journalism), in advertising, and in both digital and material culture (wedding dresses, courtship rituals, etc.). 

The conference will be held at Macquarie University’s city campus, 123 Pit Street, Sydney. The venue is in the heart of Sydney’s CBD shopping and dining precinct, a 15-minute walk away from the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and historic Rocks area.

Topics of interest might include:

  • Geographies of love and sexuality
  • Love’s Settings: e.g., the imagined Outback of Rural Romances; the Scottish Highlands; romantic cities; small-town and island romances; the communal space of “Romancelandia”
  • Romantic Chronotopes: times and places when love is imagined to be “truer” or “deeper” than the here-and-now (e.g., Regency or Victorian England; medieval Provence; Tang Dynasty China; the Joseon settings of Korean TV-drama, etc.)
  • Honeymoon travel (past and present) and romantic tourism, including fan pilgrimages for romantic texts and films, destination weddings, and the like
  • Locality and LGBTQIA romance culture
  • Courtship in public and semi-private spaces: e.g., paying visits, dating, office romance, romance and car culture
  • Love’s Architectures: Hotels, Fantasy Suites, Clubs and Restaurants, Domestic Spaces (kitchens, bedrooms, Red Rooms of Pain, etc.)
  • Local, National, and Transnational Book Industries
  • Local Romance Writer Groups, Reader Groups, or Media Fan Groups / Events
  • Romance and the (Local) Library or Bookshop
  • Local Love on Television (e.g., Farmer Wants a Wife) and online (Tinder, etc.)
  • “Escapist” reading and the places / practices of romance consumption
  • Place and Race in Popular Romance
  • The “Phone-World” and other Virtual Spaces for Love
  • Off the Map: Emerging and Under-Studied Settings and Romance Cultures
·         Material locations and imaginary spaces for love, and the combination of the two in Edward Soja's concept of "thirdspace"
·         Migration and love: migration for love, love hampered by distance, love in migrant and refugee communities
·         Non-geographic love (e.g., love experienced entirely online) and the intersections of technology with long-distance love, now and in the past
·         Lieux de memoire in the context of romantic love (as opposed to national identity)
·         Love and nationalism, love and regionalism, love and (local) political struggle
 
All theoretical and empirical approaches are welcome, including discussions of pedagogy.

Submit 250-300w proposals for individual papers, full panels, roundtables, interviews, or innovative presentations to conferences@iaspr.org by 1 September 2017.  All proposals will be peer reviewed.

Friday, April 14, 2017

New Issue of the Journal of Popular Romance Studies

Eric Selinger writes:

Now that we've switched to a rolling publication format in JPRS, new pieces will appear both individually and in thematic or "special issue" groups. Today, we begin rolling out Volume 6 of the journal with a new Special Issue on Critical Love Studies, edited by Amy Burge and Michael Gratzke. The table of contents is below, and you can find the whole issue here: http://jprstudies.org/issues/volume-6. 

Enjoy! And spread the word!

E

Romance Event in Evanston, Illinois, on 29 April 2017

There's a notice in Evanston Now that there's going to be a film and Q&A session:
Love Between the Covers: Film Screening and Discussion will be held Saturday, April 29, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., Community Meeting Room, Main Library.

Every year romance lit outsells mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy combined. Yet until Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Laurie Kahn turned her camera on the genre, no filmmaker had ever taken an honest look at the amazing global community that romance writers and readers have built.

So why is romance the best-selling genre in publsihing? Do romance novels exploit women or empower them? Following the film three local romance writers, Amy Jo Cousins, Kate Meader, and Julie Ann Walker, will be on hand for a panel discussion moderated by romance scholar, Professor Eric Selinger, of DePaul University. Come for the film, but stay for the Q&A and the chance to ask all your burning questions about contemporary romance novels.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

New Disability and Romance Project

Ria Cheyne is
excited to announce the launch of the Disability and Romance Project!  Please check out the project website at www.disrom.com or follow on Twitter @DisRomProject.

As some of you know, I've been researching the representation of disability in romance for a while now; this new project will gather data from romance readers, writers and other industry professionals with the aim of better understanding how readers respond to depictions of disability in romance, what motivates authors to write disabled characters, and if there are any barriers to publishing romance novels featuring disabled characters.  

I'm delighted to have received funding from the RWA Academic Research Grant for the second phase of the project, which focuses on writers.  The first phase focuses on readers, and our reader survey is now available at:


Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Free Romance Conference, Open to the Public: Williamstown USA, 22 April 2017


Reading for Pleasure: Romance Fiction in the International Marketplace 

Saturday, April 22 at 8:00am to 4:15pm

Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, Bernhard Music Center 54 Chapin Hall Dr, Williamstown, MA 01267, USA

Free and open to the public.


8:00 - 10:00 am:  Panel 1:  Theories of Pleasure (Brooks Rogers Auditorium on the Williams campus)
Chair:  Leyla Rouhi, Williams College
  • Laura Frost, Stanford University:  “Stories of O:  The Language of Orgasm in Women’s Romance”
  • Julie Cassiday, Williams College:  “A World Without Safe-Words:  Fifty Shades of Russian Grey”
  • Eric Selinger, DePaul University:  “Xenophile’s Paradox:  Reading for Pleasure Across the Great Divides”

10:15 am - 12:15 pm:  Panel 2:  New Subjects and Audiences (Brooks Rogers Auditorium)
Chair:  Alison Case, Williams College
  • Sonali Dev, author:  “Genre Structure and Learning to Dance Within its Boundaries”
  • Hsu-Ming Teo, Macquarie University:  “Tigresses, Tang Dynasty, and the Ten Commandments:  The East Asian Romance Novels of Jade Lee, Jeannie Lin, and Camy Tang”
  • Jayashree Kamblé, LaGuardia Community College:  “When Wuxia Met Romance:  The Pleasures and Politics of Multiculturalism in Sherry Thomas’s My Beautiful Enemy
  • Len Barot (Radclyffe), author and publisher:  “Lesbian Romances and the International Market in the Digital Age”

2:15 - 4:15 pm:  Panel 3:  New Media Platforms and the Global Marketplace (Brooks Rogers Auditorium)
Chair:  Greg Mitchell, Williams College
  • Mary Bly (Eloisa James), Fordham University, author:  “Romancing the World:  How and Where American Romance Sells”
  •  Katy Regnery, author:  “From Stay-at-Home Mom to NYT Bestseller in 30 Months:  A First-Hand Perspective on the Digital Revolution in the Romance Publishing Industry”
  • Sarah Wendell, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books:  “The World is So Big; the World is So Small:  The Global Community of Romance”
  • Patience Bloom, Harlequin:  “Harlequin’s International Program:  A World of Romance Readers”
More details here.

Monday, April 03, 2017

RWA Academic Grant Awarded, What's New to the Wiki and a Couple of Other Links


The 2017 RWA Academic Research Grant has been awarded to:

Dr. Kate Brown, Huntington University
Dukes, Dowers, Devises, and Demesnes: The Paradoxical Place of English Law in the Historical Romance

RWA awarded funding to Dr. Kate Brown's project, which explores how English common law and constitutionalism give fundamental structure and substance to the historical romance genre.


Dr. Ria Cheyne, [Liverpool Hope] University
The Disability and Romance Project

RWA awarded funding to Dr. Ria Cheyne's project, which seeks to advance the scholarly conversation about disability and romance and will also engage with romance readers, writers and other industry professionals to encourage new conversations about romance, disability and representation.

I've only added a couple of items to the Romance Wiki bibliography recently, so I thought I'd add a few blog posts to today's post:

Anne N. Bornschein took a look at "a romance novel that deals with the history of women’s academic work—particularly in the sciences—and how it has often been erased, dismissed, or appropriated by male colleagues."

Olivia Waite observes that "writers make millions upon millions of tiny, instinctual decisions that add up to internally consistent structures" and suggests it's important to start "recognizing the partly hidden pattern[s]."

And new to the Wiki are:
Cheyne, Ria, 2017. 
"Disability Studies Reads the Romance: Sexuality, Prejudice, and the Happily-Ever-After in the Work of Mary Balogh." Culture - Theory – Disability: Encounters between Disability Studies and Cultural Studies. Ed. Anne Waldschmidt, Hanjo Berressem and Moritz Ingwersen. Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript. 201-216.
 
Matthews, Amy T., 2016. 
'Entangled: the exegetical process of a romance writer', Arts and Humanities as Higher Education December 2016.
Dr Amy T. Matthews also writes literary fiction as "Amy T Matthews" and romance fiction as "Tess LeSue." She is hoping to bring her three personae together:
The HEA is a non-negotiable element of romance and one I want to use in my literary romance novel (it is already a staple in my historical romances). The parameters I am giving myself for the literary romance is that it must be structured around at least one romantic relationship between a man and a woman (although there may be more than one), and that it must end optimistically, with a happy ending (although not necessarily the same kind of happy ending as a traditional romance). I do not want to sidestep the inevitability of suffering. I want my characters to experience love and romance in the context of real world pressures – infidelity, mental illness, bereavement  – and I want to face up to the inescapable finality of death, while still (somehow!) managing to reach that optimistic ending. This will be a point of difference between popular romance and my literary novel, and I hope it’s one I can navigate without slipping from ‘romance’ into ‘love story’.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Call for Papers: Happiness


This is a call for papers from Writing from Below:

Emergent research into happiness is still largely situated in fields such as sociology, psychology, and neuroscience. Traditionally the uncontested domain of the Humanities, the question of “How should we live?” is too rarely approached in contemporary literary and cultural studies. Indeed, even in a thriving field such as affect studies, research still largely focuses on negative emotions, ugly feelings (Ngai), shame (Probyn), paranoia (Sedgwick), failure (Halberstam), and the cruelty of optimism (Berlant). But perhaps the critical tide is turning. Scholars are beginning to theorise the end of our well-rehearsed “hermeneutics of suspicion,” and conjecturing what comes after (Felski). They are mapping the potential path for a “eudaimonic criticism” (Pawelski & Moore) and an “ethics of hope” (Braidotti), looking towards a more positive future (Muñoz). Critical and historical studies on empathy (Meghan; Keen), joy (Potkay) and happiness itself (Ahmed) are also emerging.
Inspired by the growing body of scholarship on optimistic representations or gender, sexuality, and queerness, Writing from Below enters the fray with this invitation to explore and interrogate positive, successful, fulfilling, life-affirming expressions of gender and sexuality in contemporary or historical literature, culture, and society.
Papers could engage with (but are not limited to):
  • Pleasure, joy, jouissance, delight, splendour, enchantment, empathy, and kindness
  • Love, passion, and amour fou
  • Middlebrow pleasure
  • Living the queer life, and queer(ing) happiness
  • Eudaimonia, mindfulness, and wellbeing
  • Eudaimonic reading, and the eudaimonic turn in cultural and literary studies
  • The hermeneutics of suspicion, paranoid and reparative reading, and their aftermath
  • Ethical criticism, the ethics of hope, and hopelessness
  • The body as site of happiness, joy, pleasure, etc.
  • Affect, the theories and/or histories of positive emotions
  • Celebration, and celebration as protest
  • Burlesque, clowning, circus, carnivals, and the carnivalesque
  • Kitsch, camp, and drag
  • Sex and play, sex lives, fun
  • Vitality, verve, vigour, and liveliness
  • Biological life, bios, zoe, survival, sur-vivre [living-on], affirmation
  • The utopian tendencies of gender studies and queer theory
  • The (queer) future, queer futurity, and happy endings
Gender studies and queer theory are located across and between disciplines, and so we welcome submissions from across (and outside of, against and up against) the full cross-/inter/-trans-disciplinary spectrum, and from inside and outside of conventional academia.
Do not be limited. Be brave. Play with form, style, and genre. Invent, demolish, reimagine.

Submissions

The deadline for submissions is 29 May 2017.
To submit, visit our website: www.writingfrombelow.org.au
Written submissions, whether critical or creative, should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words in length, and should adhere strictly to the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.
All submissions—critical, creative, and those falling in between; no matter the format or medium—will be subject to a process of double-blind peer review.
For editorial enquiries, or queries about unusual submissions (we adore the unusual, the unexpected and unfamiliar!), please contact our guest editor, Dr Juliane Roemhild: J.Roemhild@latrobe.edu.au

The call for papers can also be found here.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

New to the Wiki: J D Robb, Katherine V. Forrest and Feminism

A short list of what's new to the Romance Wiki Bibliography:

Ali, Kecia, 2017. 
Human in Death: Morality and Mortality in J. D. Robb's Novels. Waco, Texas: Baylor UP. [I've written a response to this book on my personal blog.]
Betz, Phyllis M. 2017. 
Katherine V. Forrest: A Critical Appreciation. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. [See Chapter 2, "Diana and Lane: From Pulp to Passion" excerpt here. ]
 
Matthews, Amy T., 2016. 
'The Hopeful Romantic', Kill Your Darlings 27: 44-56. ["Is it possible to be both a romance writer and a feminist? And if so, how might the romance genre contribute to the advancement of women's rights?" (from here)]


Thursday, February 23, 2017

News and Events: Indian romance, CFP for Genre Fiction conf in Brisbane,

Bowling Green State University's Popular Culture Scholars Association hosted a talk today by Kristen Rudisill

You might be able to read that if you click on it but if not, here's a transcript of the abstract:
Post-Colonial Romance Reading and Writing in India

At the end of the 20th century, India was the "largest sales outlet in the world" for the Mills & Boon romance novels produced primarily in English. The post-colonial nation flirted with its own English-language romances in the mid-1990s, but Rupa's & Company's Indian romance line was considered "fake" and "unrealistic" by contemporary Indian women readers. Then in 2008, Mills & Boon opened an Indian office, which started soliciting manuscripts from Indian writers. In 2009, avid romance reader Sandhya Sridhar started Pageturn Publisher, with the label "Red," to publish English-language novels that she billed as "full blooded desi romance." This paper looks at the shifts in the Indian cultural imaginary that took place across that fifteen year period to think about why Red has been able to connect with India[n] readers while the Rupa novels flopped. This paper examines the idea of "desi romance" as a new sub-genre of romance novels, and explores the boundaries of the sub-genre as defined by Red. It also takes into consideration issues of representation, culture, and identity to argue that Red is filling a niche that exists in the Indian market in addition to those filled by Mills and Boon and regional-language romances.
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Genre Worlds: Popular Fiction in the 21st Century

CALL FOR PAPERS

Academic Conference in association with GenreCon
State Library of Queensland, Brisbane 10 November 2017
Abstract Deadline: 21 April 2017
Convenors: Dr Kim Wilkins, Dr Beth Driscoll, and Dr Lisa Fletcher
All artistic work… involves the joint activity of a number, often a large number, of people…. The work always shows signs of that cooperation” – Howard S. Becker, Art Worlds.
Popular fiction is one of the most dynamic cultural and commercial divisions of twenty-first century publishing. Internally, it is organised along the lines of genres, creating what we call ‘genre worlds.’  This conference will consider the ways that contemporary genre worlds function as sectors of the publishing industry, as social and cultural formations, and as bodies of texts. Who is publishing popular fiction? Who is reading it? How do genre communities form, and how do texts circulate within them? How are terms like popular fiction, genre fiction, commercial fiction and trade publishing used, and what do they suggest about the way that popular fiction is conceived of and valued, by the industry and academy alike?
We invite abstracts for presentations on aspects of Australian and international popular fiction genres, industries, markets and communities. Submissions are welcome from scholars across the humanities and social science disciplines, including those working in cultural studies, publishing studies, sociology, cultural economics, literary studies and creative writing.
Possible topics include:
  • Close and distant reading of works of contemporary popular fiction
  • Career trajectories and models of authorship in popular fiction, within and across genres
  • Social media and popular fiction
  • Distribution and routes to readers, including studies of booksellers, libraries, and the use of advanced reading copies
  • Popular fiction readers, reading practices, and fan cultures
  • Pleasure and popular fiction
  • The material formats of genre texts and paratexts, including studies of ebooks, print books, and audiobooks
  • Systems of value and gatekeeping in popular fiction, including blogging, reviewing, booktubing, bestseller lists, prizes, festivals, and events
  • Genre writing and reading groups, both online and offline
  • The spaces and places of popular fiction, including studies of book tourism
  • The economics of genre fiction: persistent and emergent business models, including self-publishing, author services, marketing strategies, and sales patterns
Plans for publications arising from the conference include a special issue of Australian Literary Studies. To be considered for inclusion, full papers of between 5,000 and 10,000 words will be due by 9 December 2017.
200-300 word abstracts should be sent to Kim Wilkins at the School of Communication & Arts, University of Queensland, at k.wilkins@uq.edu.au, by 21 April 2017.

[The call for papers came from here.]

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No mention's made here of romance, but in case it's of interest:

Call for Proposals: 21st Century Genre Fiction

The Bloomsbury 21st Century Genre Fiction series seeks new titles addressing innovative trends and development in contemporary genre writing, considering the function of genre in both reflecting and shaping sociopolitical and economic developments of the twenty-first century. The series provides exciting and accessible introductions to new genres in twenty-first-century fiction for fans and critics alike. Exploring the history and uses of each genre to date each title in the series analyses key examples of new genres since the year 2000.

More details here.

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And finally, new to the Romance Wiki bibliography is:
González-Cruz, Maria-Isabel, 2016. 
"Discourse Types and Functions in Popular Romance Fiction Novels ("Work in Progress")." On the move: Glancing Backwards To Build a Future in English Studies Ed. Aitor Ibarrola-Armendariz and Jon Ortiz de Urbina Arruabarrena. Bilbao: Universidad de Deusto. 265-271.