Elizabeth Jolley Conference: Reading and Writing Romance in the 21st Century

Organization: Curtin University

Venue: Esplanade Hotel Fremantle

Location: Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia

Event Date/Time: Aug 16, 2013 / 8:30 am - (GMT +8:00 hours) End Date/Time: Aug 16, 2013 / 5:30 pm - (GMT +8:00 hours)
Abstract Submission Date: Jan 31, 2013
Paper Submission Date: Jun 30, 2013
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Among the questions the conference seeks to ask are: Has the increased connectivity and social networking enabled by the internet and e-publishing helped bring romance fiction into the mainstream? Or have its readers just become more vocal, connected and better able to share their passion? How well does contemporary romance fiction reflect shifts in relationships, marriage and sexuality? Is romance fiction bound to reflect normative social narratives, or can it offer more challenging representations of gender, race, sexuality and class? To what extent does contemporary romance fiction reflect key socio-political concerns such as indigenous issues, ethnicity, multiculturalism or Pacific Rim relations?  

Potential topics include:

• Explorations of the contemporary audiences for contemporary romance fiction  •    Beyond the pseudonym: who is writing romance fiction today?

• The relation and position of fanfiction in the genre  

• The impact of e-publishing and social networking on romance fiction writers and readers  

• Changes to the marketing, packaging and branding of contemporary romance fiction  

• The demographic  breakdown of romance fiction readers and writers  

• The impact of e-readers on the public/private impacts of reading romance fiction  

• The treatment of LGBQT themes and non-traditional sexualities in romance fiction

• Explorations of genre boundaries: the relation of romance fiction to women’s fiction,  chick lit and other genres  

• Cross-genre pollination: the impact of paranormal romance on the genre and its readership  

• The relation of romance fiction to mainstream and literary fiction  

• Analyses of contemporary romance fiction covers and cover art  

• Explorations of the ideal romance fiction reader  

• Explorations of romance fiction sub-genres such as historical romance, medical, gothic, paranormal romance  


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