CFP: Representations of Romantic Relationships and the Romance Genre in Contemporary Women’s Writing, Saturday 11th June 2016, Sheffield Hallam University

For any postgraduates interested in the hybrid genre that is Paranormal Romance, this symposium by the Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network looks an excellent opportunity to enter the much-contested debate about the Romance element. I’ve mentioned briefly before here how questions of aesthetic value surround evaluations of Paranormal Romance; gender, class, and sexuality issues may well block the appreciation of these texts. Alternatively, that may be a fashionable relativism which is over concerned with content at the expense of form or addresses the subjectivity of myriad identities rather than radical and universal aesthetic judgements. But the Frankfurt School philosopher Theodor Adorno warns us not to succumb to Either/Or thinking; the more fruitful response is to explore the dialectic between these oppositions through dialogue and critical thought. This symposium on contemporary romance fiction promises such a space for dialogue to address these themes and others.

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