Thursday News: on the contemplation of women, genre fiction, and life in general
And yes, fiction is about stepping into other people’s shoes, but right now those shoes are almost exclusively the shoes of white men. Why are women and minorities expected to suck it up and always take the leap of putting themselves into the mind of someone of a different race or gender, while white male readers see themselves reflected in book after book? Surely, if fiction is about stepping into other people’s shoes, that’s an argument for more diversity, not for maintaining the fantasy status quo. Female readers should have the same opportunities as male readers — not to completely dominate a story to the point of ridiculousness, but to see their gender exist, to be important, to be protagonists and antagonists and helpers and random customers in inns. And male readers should be able to step into their shoes and see female characters in those roles. –Feminist Fiction
While I LOVE smartass, I don’t like inequality, I don’t like stereotypes or preconceived notions about others. So, I figured it was time, what with being a defender and all, that I take up my shield and wield the awesome power that is my PhD in romance fiction. Yes, wielding my ongoing scholarly interest is all because of my name, and you know, my research was titled PhD’s title Cougars, Grannies, Evil Stepmothers, and Menopausal Hot flashers Roles, Representations of Age and the Non-traditional Romance Heroine, which is all about the woman over 40 and her place in society, and her portrayal as a whole, real person in romance fiction, rather than as a secondary character or stereotype of what, or how a ‘mature-aged woman’ or ‘woman of a certain age’ is ‘supposed’ to be. With me it’s all about diversity and equality, kids. –Sandra Antonelli
- How might scholars fruitfully pair the study of popular romance with other areas such as race and gender studies, sexuality studies, history/historical reception, disability studies, post/colonial studies, religious studies, anthropology, sociology, and comparative literature?
- What are the limits of a hero/heroine? Are there any attributes or actions that are wholly incompatible with romance protagonist status, and how have responses to this question changed over the past thirty years?
- How are both the series-format and trends in e-publishing destabilizing our traditional understanding of what a novel is?
- Across various subgenres, how are systems of power and authority represented, upheld, critiqued, or subverted?
- How does language function differently in romance as compared to other literary genres? What do close readings reveal?
- How does the genre reflect changing attitudes toward alterity, and in particular toward sexual difference? Based on today’s texual production, who belongs in romance, and to whom does it belong? –Penetrating Analysis
From January 15 until the end of the month, the famously reclusive author will offer life advice to fans who send questions to Murakami-san no Tokoro, or Mr Murakami’s Place.
No URL has been listed as yet, but the writer’s publishers, Shinchosha, say that he will accept questions on any subject. Fittingly for an author whose work is published in nearly 50 languages, questions will be invited in more than Japanese. –The Telegraph