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Thread by @BookThingo: " session 6 is on "Power and Patriarchy" chaired by @dramyburge The first paper is on “The Soft Power of Popular Romance” by Heather […]" #IASPR18

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#IASPR18 session 6 is on "Power and Patriarchy" chaired by @dramyburge
The first paper is on “The Soft Power of Popular Romance” by Heather Schell (George Washington University) #IASPR18
Hard power refers to familiar modes of military and economic might. Soft power refers to the ability to persuade rather than compel. Heather doesn't think there's anything inherently soft or insidious about soft power. But it's a useful lens. #IASPR18
Soft power provides language for potential cultural effects. Cultural products such as books, TV shows have soft power due to their cultural reach (eg Middle East soap opera where a rape survivor fights for justice in the courts). #IASPR18
TV shows can introduce feminist ideas to female audiences. But this can lead to accusations of cultural imperialism. #IASPR18
Heather is talking about Turkish TV show Fatmagul: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatmagül%… #IASPR18
Don't underestimate the value of being liked, of saving the cat or the polar bear. In romance, love is itself a form of soft power. #IASPR18
Q on Western soft power influence on romance genre. Heather: Soft power useful as a lens for thinking about how that's working. #IASPR18
The idea that romance readers have come to believe that Regency period on a lovely but small island is the most interesting thing to read about is a form of soft power. #IASPR18
Historically, soft power is embedded with ideas of the west. But soft power doesn't require a western background. #IASPR18
Next paper is “Dangerous Loves Endangered: Nationalism, Violence and Territorialization in US Paramilitary Romance Fiction” - Nattie Golubov (Centro de Investigaciones sobre América del Norte, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) #IASPR18
These novels usually focus on the men. They are featured on the cover, and the male character changes the most in the story. #IASPR18
Nattie is quoting books where the hero describes settings abroad that are very derogatory: "bumfuck Mexico", "hell hole", etc. #IASPR18
Study looked at books from various authors, including Cindy Gerard, Maya Banks, Elle Kennedy, Lisa Marie Rice, Lorraine Foster + 1 more. All published after Bush presidency. #IASPR18
Paramilitary romances set abroad enact a scenario of never-ending war where paramilitary intervention is required to advance US interests. #IASPR18
Heroes of paramilitary romance are ex-military who are now capitalist businessmen motivated by money. #IASPR18
Heroes operate outside military/government control and are therefore unregulated by the conditions in place to control military violence. #IASPR18
In paramilitary romance, the heroes are masculine. Heroines are victims of brown men. #IASPR18
Heroes are capable businessmen who exercise their power to keep others safe. #IASPR18
Invariably, these white heroes use military masculinity combined with rebellious masculinity of the cowboy hero. Nattie refers to them as "warriors" rather than "soldiers" - sacrifice is key. #IASPR18
Warrior has a personal covenant with his peers which form norms, covenants and conventions,. Covenant is unconditional and therefore more moral than a contract. #IASPR18
Villains are Argentinian, Middle Eastern, Colombian, even Italian - own brown men. #IASPR18
Homosocial relationship between corporate warriors is paramount: first duty is to the group. Brotherhood in spirit if not in blood. Commitment to the team rather than the state. #IASPR18
Domesticity is associated with a large geographic area (compound) rather than, say, a house. Similar to a military-like base. Whether on US or foreign land, the men have an isolated place to hang out and train. #IASPR18
Spaces they inhabit are a combination of command space and a club with a homosocial environment disrupted only by the heroine. #IASPR18
Girl next door trope is idealised. Heroine's femininity balances out the hero's hyper masculinity because it provides a version of normal. #IASPR18
Protection of the home is no longer the purview of the state, but of the private sector. #IASPR18
Cultural shift recognising PTSD resulting from war and decreasing public appetite for war are reflected in paramilitary romance. #IASPR18
Nattie doesn't have a conclusion. When she was working on it, border detention in the US came up and when she looked at it, border security is run by private companies. A subgenre that emerged in response to 9/11 has become an increasing disturbing subgenre. #IASPR18
Q on the appeal of this subgenre to readers. Nattie: There's a pervasive low-key fear of (brown) foreign men. Also a genuine fear of male violence and a way to process men's potential for violence and the ability to domesticate it through love. #IASPR18
Q on how paramilitary subgenre links to immigration. Nattie: What changed is my reading of them. They made more sense after 9/11. In Trump era, I had to shift my reading. What is about them that allows me to connect to such historical moments? #IASPR18
Nattie read a book on white supremacist militias. A lot of the ideology in these novels are shared by them. something she wants to explore bc there's a political vocabulary that can be used in various ways. White supremacists can use this for their own discourse/ideology #IASPR18
Q on Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters. Nattie: Paramilitary differs from military because paramilitary has the cowboy element. That distinction is important. #IASPR18
Next paper is “The Single-Mother and the Law: Romance Novels Making Room for Female Voices in Patriarchal Spaces” by Therese Dryden (University of Newcastle) #IASPR18
Therese opens with Harper Valley PTA quote. #IASPR18 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harper_Va…
Therese’s corpus. #iaspr18 Maid for Love by Marie Force<br />
Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox<br />
A Single Kiss by Grace Burrowes<br />
I’ll Stand by You by Sharon Sala<br />
Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr<br />
The Inn at Eagle Point by Sheryl Woods<br />
Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips<br />
Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
Shelter Mountain: heroine is a battered wife on the run. Conversation with nurse on what happened when the heroine contacted the police. Hero's internal narrative considers outcomes of reporting for battered women & reveals inequities in the system. #IASPR18
Stakes are high in this novel: the heroine is fighting for her life. Heroine is urged not to go underground & to use the law. The story reveals consequences fo heroine: husband finds and beats her, he gets a light sentence, and she's told to "watch her back". #IASPR18
The law cannot guarantee her safety. When legal system proves ineffective, the heroine's community moves to save her. It takes a hardened group of ex-military mountain men to keep her safe! #IASPR18
Subtext is that if law were efficient & fair, ordinary citizens wouldn't have to move outside its parameters to keep people safe. There's an idea of justice. Heroine forced to endure hardships an unfair legal system inflicts. Creates empathy and identify common humanity. #IASPR18
Law and literature have often assumed that, if not absent, women are the other & subject to the male gaze. In romance, the woman is centred & it is her journey we see. #IASPR18
Romance novels can provide a window into the lives of women and can provide a tool into better understanding the struggles of women. #IASPR18
Q on whether there's any conflict with a romance that nails female experience but kind of ruins it with man saves the day. Therese: In this book, there are 2 contradictory impulses: feminist, an unfair system, but this is resolved by hypermasculine men who are nurturers #IASPR18
It's like the author has created super masculine men with super feminine sensibilities. But at the end of the day, the power still belongs to the men. #IASPR18
Next paper is “One of the Guys? Eve Dallas as a Masculine Worker Heroine in J.D. Robb’s In Death series” - Jayashree Kamblé @jayu77 (LaGuardia CC, City University of New York) #IASPR18
Reading JD Robb is possible Jayashree's longest running relationship to date. 😂 #IASPR18
Eve's body is presented (in cis-heteronormative framework) as masculine, lean, sleek, in contrast to the other women in the story. As though Nora Roberts is writing Nancy Drew without Nancy and George is Eve! #IASPR18
Fascinating look at history of policing women's appearance, including haircuts, and women in pantsuits as fitting into a "man's world"! #IASPR18
Dallas's sartorial indifference functions as a way to make her a part of the dominant masculine group, as established at the start of the series. She is cast as part of hegemonic masculinity. #IASPR18
Dallas resists emotional work. She practises riskier, physically dangerous work, even though she's a detective and doesn't need to. Her actions are more in line with how men's work is imagined. #IASPR18
(There's a lot in this paper, but I'm not fast enough to paraphrase properly. Sorry!!) #IASPR18
The series challenges stereotypes of women in a male-dominated workspace. Eve Dallas is identified as being within male work culture, not outside of it and not trying to renegotiate it. #IASPR18
This series is up to book 44??? #IASPR18
Eve's home office represents her masculine and feminine sides (the latter is tied pretty heavily to Roarke and their relationship). #IASPR18
Q on Roarke being "the wife at home" and if Roberts has just transferred the feminine self into the husband. Jayashree: He's the one who coaxes the work space to use more feminine elements. #IASPR18
Q on whether Dallas's sexuality is challenged. Kecia Ali & Jayashree share the answers. Very few references to Dallas's sexuality. Eve is never misgendered. She's portrayed as an attractive cis-gendered woman. #IASPR18
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