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Thread by @BookThingo: "Last session for the day is chaired by @JPRStudies and the topic is “Romancing Popular Fiction Studies: A Theory of Genre Worlds” by @Beth_d […]" #IASPR18

32 tweets, 12 min read
Last session for the day is chaired by @JPRStudies and the topic is “Romancing Popular Fiction Studies: A Theory of Genre Worlds” by @Beth_driscoll (University of Melbourne), @lmfletcher72 (University of Tasmania) and @KimberleyTweets (University of Queensland) #IASPR18
Scholars of romance fiction limit the impact of their research when they don't recognise commonalities with other branches of fiction and other disciplines. #IASPR18
GenreWorlds allows for close reading as well as broader networks in which popular fiction exists. #IASPR18
GenreWorlds looks at 3 genres: crime, fantasy and romance. Fundamental premise that these genres share structures to the extent that they can be contextualised as a "GenreWorld". #IASPR18
Looks at 3 layers of popular fiction: as a sector of the publishing industry; as a social formation; and as a body of texts. Current analysis has a textual bias. The scale of the GenreWorlds project has required a cross-disciplinary team. #IASPR18
"A genre world is a social and industrial complex in which people work together to create and circulate specific types of texts." A current of anti-elitism runs through Becker's, which is part of its appeal to the researchers. #IASPR18
Anything the artist can't do themselves, must be done by someone else in a collaborative world. #IASPR18
GenreWorlds is a methodology for a better understanding of genre fiction. Looks at cast of characters, cooperative links between them, and how they influence the final product. #IASPR18
Key characteristics of romance in Australia. The genre world of romance is:
1. both national and international
2. highly professionalised
3. built on a dynamic real and imagined sociality
#IASPR18
Selection of study subjects and texts has not been easy. The fast-changing world of romance fiction has not been perfectly compatible with slower moving speed of academic study. #IASPR18
The study deviated from their original intention to focus on single title texts. They now look at series and entire bodies of work. Over 100 interviews looking at works by authors, including Keri Arthur, Anna Campbell, Stephanie Laurens, etc. #IASPR18
Stephanie Laurens, Carol Marinelli, Kylie Scott don't primarily think of themselves as specifically Australian romance authors. They're authors of romance with international readership. #IASPR18
Case study of The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie. Books are written, edited and published for US market. In 2010 @PenguinBooksAus acquired ANZ rights to the series, requiring repackaging to C-format targeted to Kmart, Target, etc. #IASPR18
Fourth book in the series didn't have an AU edition. In an industrial sense, Gracie may be thought of as an international author. Local identity may be of interest but not a characteristic of how her books are produced. (Sorry, paraphrased heavily!) #IASPR18
Category romance is an intense example of how Aus genre world is both local and international - locally reflected, but always internationally aware. (Stefanie London's cover for Only the Brave Try Ballet - HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS BOOK?) #IASPR18
Reading romance has become the path towards writing romance. This is reflected in other genres - sff, crime. Structured mentoring is highly developed in romance compared to other genres. Professional relationships often evolve into friendships. #IASPR18
Genre writers appreciate that craft develops in a network. Genre world is a social entity that involves interactions with its participants, directly and indirectly. #IASPR18
Writing buddies offer feedback in two categories: development (explores possibilities; not a collaboration but freely given) and refinement (direct feedback on what has already been written). #IASPR18
Writing competence is passed on from one writer to another. Other authors act as editors to help shape works. Feedback based on knowledge of genre conventions and their reaction to the work as a reader. #IASPR18
I should mention that Lisa Fletcher, Beth Driscoll and Kim Wilkins also tweet under @PopFicDoctors. #IASPR18
The borders of the genre world of romance fiction in Australia are not fixed. Adaptable and dynamic sector of the publishing industry. #IASPR18
GenreWorlds hopes to demonstrate a framework for analysing popular fiction through a multi-disciplinary, broad-view approach. #IASPR18
Q on how they fit the readers into the research. Panel: The definition of the genre work includes readers. Strategic decision to focus on production of texts for pragmatic reasons. Readers are folded into the genre world at more and more points. #IASPR18
Q on concept of Romancelandia as community space. Do AU writers perceive themselves as being in a genre world. Panel: Most rom writers are aware of being in a network. In fantasy, a lot of writers self-identify as fans. In crime, more writers see themselves in a garret. #IASPR18
Q on diversity/inclusion. Panel: Canon is traditionally exclusionary. Spaces are emerging, especially in digital spaces. Some authors of colour do feel the pressures. #IASPR18
Q on sexism. Does it shape their careers? Panel: Issue of sexism comes out frequently in romance author interviews. Where they're positioned in the broader cultural landscape is often a function of sexism against romance fiction. #IASPR18
Q on resistance from crime and fantasy against romance: Panel: Not from fantasy. Some from crime. #IASPR18
Q on translated works. Panel: Big market in Germany for translated works but generally out of scope of the project due to magnitude of work required to track the data. #IASPR18
Q on production of fanfics because similar mechanisms seem to be at work. Panel: Big name genre writers have come out of fanfic communities. But this work was out of scope. #IASPR18
Q (mine) on interaction w/ broader literary community. Panel: Not yet sure how to incorporate findings into framework. Some authors have different publishers for genre work vs literary work. For Kim, this was an industrial decision, not out of shame. #IASPR18
Notion of genre defiance. Kim mentions fantasy parody, which sits within the genre and not outside of it. << Makes me think of reviewers like SBTB where criticism sits within our love for the genre, rather than from a position of contempt or from outside. #IASPR18
That's it for the formalities. Unofficial after party at the Arthouse! #IASPR18
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