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Elizabeth Jolley Conference

Conference abstract summary

By Lesley Ann Smith 22 April 2013 Research Students No Comments »

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Abstracts on a wide range of subjects have been accepted for the 2013 Elizabeth Jolley Conference: Reading and Writing Romance in the 21st Century. Following a keynote address by Professor Imelda Whelehan on the relationship between romance writing and feminism, the Conference will offer three concurrent sessions of 9-10 papers.   

Abstracts have been received on the analysis of contemporary novels including Stephanie Laurens’ Black Cobra Quartet, Toni Jordan’s Addition, and Silhouette Bombshell’s Athena Force series. The “Happily Ever After” was the subject of several abstracts which examined this story event from the perspectives of cultural politics, narrative structure, feminist critique, and gender studies. Sub-genres also attracted attention. Romantic comedy, chick-lit, historical romance, rural romance, crime, paranormal, and erotic fiction will be examined in presentations. Abstracts were also received on Australian fiction, including the work of Elizabeth Jolley, and Indian popular romance fiction. Some papers examined romance novel writing with screen-writing and reality television and compared findings and user experiences, while others reflected on the experience of writing and publishing.

Papers from authors and academics, some double-hatted, explored popular romance fiction from many perspectives and identified issues and challenges for the future confirming …”there is no one representative romance novel.”

At the time of writing, the papers to be presented at the Conference included:

  • “I love you, and want you and only you as my wife…”: Happy Endings and Heterosexuality in Stephanie Laurens’s Black Cobra Quartet
  • Counting on love?: mental illness and romantic engagement in Toni Jordan’s Addition
  • Polar Bears and Evil Scientists: Writing a romantic comedy about climate change
  • Romancing Feminism: From Women’s Studies to Women’s Fiction
  • Make Love, Not War: Baby Boomer Romance Fiction in the Australian Context
  • Writing history, reflecting history: Georgette Heyer’s regency novels in context
  • Sex and Sensibility: The pursuit and recognition of reality through an analysis of romance fiction in popular culture
  • Romance, Romantic Love, and the “want of a fortune”
  • Exploring women and modalities of power in fiction: escaping the straightjacket of genre into digital space
  • Warrior women – hit or myth?
  • Australian Rural Romance as Feminist Romance?
  • Sex and Symbiosis in Women’s Paranormal Porn Fiction
  • Is the Resurgence of Rural Romance an attempt at the Great Australian Novel?
  • The interdependent journeys of the hero and heroine in popular romance fiction
  • Dissolved in a mutual fire: Heroines, Heroes, Desire and Compulsory Demisexuality in the Romance Novel
  • Doing Love Differently: How creative nonfiction can create a dynamic portrayal of romantic love for contemporary young women
  • Pepper Tree Bay: red dust and riding boots
  • Happily-ever-after: Is the contemporary romance plot a modern version of the marriage plot, or its opposite?
  • Queering the romance plot: The trouble with happy endings
  • The Distance Between: Romance readers, authors, publishers and the book industry in Australia.
  • Why all the dust?: The recent proliferation of rural romances in Australia
  • ‘Desi’ Love Stories: Harlequin Mills & Boon’s Indian Enterprise.
  • Are Weredevils as Good as Werewolves?
  • Romance as Fairy Stories: Eloisa James and the Idealisation of Love
  • Transcending genres: romance and crime in wartime Perth
  • Love After the Closet:  Transforming the Lesbian Romance Plot
  • Swashbuckling girls and foppish men: the unusual pleasures of Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances.
  • “He may not be human, but at least he’s not sexist”: gender politics in contemporary paranormal romance
  • Romantic realisms: Australian literature and generic paradoxes

We’ll be profiling speakers and providing more information about their papers in future blogs.

You can register for the 2013 Elizabeth Jolley Conference: Reading and Writing Romance in the 21st Century at:

 Register for the 2013 Elizabeth Jolley Conference: Reading and Writing Romance in the 21st Century

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