Thursday, July 31, 2014

Journal of Popular Romance Studies Seeks New Managing Editor

The Journal of Popular Romance Studies, an international peer-reviewed academic journal publishing scholarship on representations of love in popular culture, is seeking a new Managing Editor. Duties include:

-          managing the journal’s main email account

-          coordinating the submission, review and publication procedures of papers submitted to the journal

-          preparing and reporting on (skype) meetings of the journal’s editorial team (bimonthly) and editorial board (annually)

-          working closely with the Executive Editor in the daily management and further development of the Journal.

The ideal candidate has a PhD (in any field; late stage doctoral students will also be considered), knows the field of popular romance studies (or is willing to become familiar with it) and/or has an interest in academic publishing.  We are looking for someone who is flexible, enthusiastic, and discreet, since the Managing Editor will be in possession of confidential information about the status of manuscripts, the names of peer reviewers, etc. This is a volunteer position – there is no salary connected to it. However, it affords ample opportunity to  develop transferable skills, gain experience in publishing, network with scholars around the world, and contribute to the further institutional and scholarly recognition of the field of popular romance studies.

If you are interested, please send a letter of motivation and a brief CV to Eric Selinger (Executive Editor) and An Goris (Managing Editor) at  no later than September 1 2014. Questions may also be sent to this address.

Friday, July 04, 2014

New PhD Thesis: Roles, Representations of Age, and the Non-traditional Romance Heroine

Sandra Barletta (who writes romance as Sandra Antonelli) recently completed her PhD and the thesis is now available free online. In it she issues a "call to arms to other authors, besides me, to speak out, to rally and write romance novels about older heroines" (62).

In one chapter she states that
romance publishing is profit-focused and wary of undertaking anything that challenges its revenue. The chapter reveals through interviews conducted with various romance publishing editors [...] that there is an inherent conservatism at work in the industry that makes it less willing to take risks with publications valorising older women in the role of romance heroine. These editors consider Women’s Fiction as the ‘proper’ home for female protagonists of a certain age. While publishing profits play a large role in limiting the role and story for older women, there is also an industry resistance to the idea of a sexually active older women [sic] who is beyond childbearing age. (53)
For the author who wants to take risks in presenting older women as worthy participants in the romance paradigm, there are considerable obstacles to negotiate in a largely risk-averse industry. (57)
Sandra would, however, appear to have negotiated them successfully as
during the course of my research, I had two romance novels accepted for publication by Harlequin Escape. In no way does this suggest this outcome was not a long and frustrating enterprise. In the four years it took me to be offered a publishing contract, vast changes occurred within the publishing industry. The demise of brick and mortar book stores, the ongoing rise of Amazon, and the explosion of e-books, are all indications of a shift away from traditional models of publishing, and an accompanying shift in thinking among readers, authors and publishers. (57)
Her A Basic Renovation and For Your Eyes Only were published in 2013 as e-books by Escape Publishing (an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia).

Barletta, Sandra A. Cougars, Grannies, Evil Stepmothers, and Menopausal Hot Flashers: Roles, Representations of Age, and the Non-traditional Romance Heroine. PhD thesis in Creative Writing and Literary Studies, Queensland University of Technology, 2014.