The new academic organization, International Association for the Study of Popular Romance, is up and running and doing some exciting things:
1. The Members’ Forum on the IASPR website is a standing messageboard where IASPR members (and non-members) can interact, sharing news of and discussions about popular romance studies. Anyone can register as a member of the board but members of IASPR will have access to a members only section of the forum.
2. IASPR has a Cafe Press store where you can buy shirts, mugs, and pins with our logo as well as fun slogans like “Romance Readers Make Better Scholars,” “Romance: Think About It,” “In UR bodice, analyzin UR literachur,” and many more.
3. A few IASPR Officers and members will be at the annual conference of the Romance Writers of America in Washington D.C. next week at various events:
- President Sarah Frantz, Vice-President Pamela Regis, and NYT best-selling author Sabrina Jeffries will be presenting “If you like the Classics; Or, How to recommend romance to Literature Snobs in your library” at the Librarians’ Day on June 15, 2009.
- Sarah, Pam, and IASPR member, Jessica Lyn Van Slooten, will be presenting on “The Wit, Wisdom, and Writing Advice of Jennifer Crusie” on Friday, July 17, 3:15-4:15pm, in Washington 3. IASPR Board Member Jenny Crusie herself will be responding to the panel!
- After this panel, IASPR will have a get-together from 4:30-6:30 in a room to be announced. Watch the IASPR Twitter page for announcement.
- IASPR will have a table at the Moonlight Madness Bazaar on Thursday, July 16, 8-midnight. We’ll be handing out IASPR swag to members: a tote bag, a membership pin, pens, a lanyard, bookmarks, etc.
4. The first IASPR conference will take place next month in Brisbane, Australia, 13-14 August, 2009 with a truly international list of speakers. Registration is open. The conference has been generously sponsored by Samhain Publishing, the Romance Writers of America, DePaul University, the University of Queensland, Queensland Institute of Technology, and the Fryer Library.
5. The IASPR conference next year will be in Belgium, 5-7 August, 2010, on the theme of “Theorizing Romance.” The Call for Proposals has been posted.
6. We plan to have our 2011 conference in New York City, NY on the theme of “The Business of Romance,” and our 2012 conference in Los Angeles, CA, on the theme of “The Music and Movies of Romance. If you are interested in being involved in the planning and organization of either of these conferences, please email Sarah Frantz.
7. The Journal of Popular Romance Studies has posted its Call for Submissions. Our first volume will be released on February 14, 2010.
8. Finally, do you know anyone else working on popular romance studies? Don’t forget other fields: anthropology, sociology, art, film, business, marketing, computer science, philosophy, psychology, etc., even neurobiology? We’d love to hear about them or have them hear about IASPR. Post about them here, or send them the web address of IASPR so that they can discover who we are and what it is that we do.
9. As always, feel free to email any questions about IASPR. You’ll get a quick response.