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Thread by @BookThingo: "Session 3 theme is "Places and Spaces of Love" chaired by Amy T Matthews. The first paper is “Finding One’s Place, Making a Home in […]" #IASPR18

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Session 3 theme is "Places and Spaces of Love" chaired by Amy T Matthews. #IASPR18
The first paper is “Finding One’s Place, Making a Home in Nora Roberts’ Divine Evil (1992) and The Obsession (2016)” by @kecia_ali (Boston University) #IASPR18
Sorry, I've started a bit late for this paper due to technical issues. But Kecia is talking about home spaces that reflect the characters. #IASPR18
Home renovation becomes a major thread in The Obsession. There's more home reno than sex! The location & views of nature that the home offers makes it her place at the start. Through renovation, the house itself comes to have meaning. #IASPR18
White protagonists occasionally wonder about gendered violence, but never about whether they'll be harassed due to racial issues. #IASPR18
Q on Roberts' latest work. Kecia: Roberts is increasingly preoccupied by mass violence & there's a way she explicitly thinks about this (eg villain watches Fox News). But she comes back to shelter & place, home & family as counterweight to explicitly political violence. #IASPR18
Next paper is “For the Love of the Farm: Romance and Locale in TV’s Queen Sugar” by Jacqueline Jones (LaGuardia CC, City University of New York) #IASPR18
Queen Sugar "disrupts and complicates popular images of the south by providing a narrative that merges romance with sociopolitical concerns". #IASPR18
Landscapes are treated like characters in the series. Radical to see black person in context of farmland - we associate black people with only urban life. Queen Sugar characters are informed by relationship with the weather, their history & generations. #IASPR18
White southerners are typically associated with having an emotional or romantic connection to nature. Black southerners are more frequently associated with slavery or segregation. Queen Sugar shows black people with spiritual or romantic connection to nature. #IASPR18
Queen Sugar ties land to legacy. Draws from romantic conventions - eg nature as nurture for soul, land as connection to heritage. #IASPR18
Films with black romantic protagonists are increasingly portraying heroines who are financially secure, highly educated. Hero demonstrates value? suitability? through education narrative - giving trusted advice on areas in which she has little experience. #IASPR18
(Sorry, that last point was much more nuanced but I forgot to type while listening!) #IASPR18
In Queen Sugar, Charley is an NBA wife whose fairytale marriage collapses when her husband cheats & is accomplice to rape. Remy (hero) offers path to healing that requires Charley revisioning her happily ever after. #IASPR18
Q on generational inheritance. Jacqueline: In Queen Sugar, the focus is on generational legacy, not just generational wealth. #IASPR18
So I think I didn't make this clear, but this paper was positioned in terms of post-Katrina narratives. Queen Sugar is set in Louisiana and filmed in New Orleans. #IASPR18
Next paper is “Nobody puts romance fiction in the corner: the cognitive dalliance of physical places and digital spaces in public libraries” by my librarian @VaVeros (University of Technology, Sydney) #IASPR18
Dammit, I wasn't quick enough to take a photo of the title slide. It was fabulous. #IASPR18
Library practices have moved from SHOULD we collect romance fiction, to HOW do we collect romance fiction? Vassiliki looks at how libraries engage with romance fiction via interviews, floor placement & shelf classification, and digital records. #IASPR18
Librarians have a "cognitive dalliance" with romance fiction. It's not dissonance (rejection, detachment). They're happily collecting rom fic. But they flirt with rom fic as escapism, ephemeral, positioned against reading panic ("At least they're reading!") #IASPR18
Librarians haven't committed to seeing romance fiction as meaningful fiction. #IASPR18
Vassiliki looked at how romance was shelved in libraries (spinners or fixed shelves) and where (high profile, hard to find, etc.), and if romance fiction had digital records. #IASPR18
"Othering through digital incompleteness" Various degrees of incompleteness in digital records. In one library they had 800+ titles with digital records with no author, no title. 2 libraries had no record via user interface, just a generic barcode - ie not searchable. #IASPR18
Vassiliki looked at whether libraries shelved alphabetically or by genre. Even when by genre, some libraries shelved Mills & Boon separate fro romance collection. #IASPR18
2 ways in which people access novels in libraries: 1) known item search via library catalogue, internet or multiple search spaces (eg Amazon); 2) browsing (returned shelf, new books shelf, etc) #IASPR18
This has consequences for books with no or incomplete digital records. "We just whack on a barcode." Vassiliki calls this: "A wham-bam metadata dally." #IASPR18
The library with the subpar digital record still had 30% romance out on loan. Interviews with librarians reflect rhetoric of rom fic as escapist, light, for women, non-threatening. #IASPR18
In libraries, they look at social capital - ie how people use libraries, and how they get value from libraries. Borrowers are feeling more willing to approach staff about looking for romance books. #IASPR18
Asked about decisions around romance fiction collections, shelving, etc. some librarians refer to something like "substance". Note: RuRo treated differently. More than *just* romance. There's a sense of place. #IASPR18
Book bought using the library budget seem to be seen as higher value than donated books. Donations from readers are not valued as much as items chosen by librarians - Vassiliki is still exploring this idea. #IASPR18
Library practices sometimes reflect personal opinions or experiences, rather than more objective observations. #IASPR18
Librarians' relationship with romance fiction is just HFN. It's a trifle, but not yet seen as valuable - as fiction that can be enjoyable, but also worth a close reading. Though we're seeing a shift, it is yet to be considered a fiction of substance. #IASPR18
By contrast: James Patterson shelved in normal shelves. Penguin classics would not be in spinners or segregated. #IASPR18
All interviews were with women. Vassiliki invited some male librarians also, but they didn't even respond. #IASPR18
Q on if librarians identify as romance readers (comment on othering romance readers, not just authors). Vassiliki: A few said yes, eg Nora Roberts. But they struggled to name authors. #IASPR18
If you're othering the romance reader and the creator, you're saying the creator doesn't count. Bern convention says you have the moral right to be shown as the creator of this work. No PLR is one of the impacts - economic consequence for authors. #IASPR18
This was the slide graphic that Vassiliki used for her presentation. So excellent. #IASPR18 Patrick Swayze holds up Jennifer Grey in their iconic dance lift in Dirty Dancing. There are 2 stacks of Mills and Boon books photoshopped on Jennifer’s back.
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