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Call for Papers

Traditions and Trajectories of Love:
The Sixth International Conference on Popular Romance

June 23-26, 2016
Salt Lake City, Utah, USAKeynote speakers: Jayashree Kamble and Amira Jarmakani

Support for travel is available–preference given to graduate students and untenured faculty.

Call for Papers:

What has the story of love been? Where is it headed? How does popular culture help shape the experience of romantic love—and how has popular romance culture been changed, in its turn, by broader social, political, economic, and technological developments?

For its sixth international conference, to be held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance calls for papers on romantic love and its representations in popular media, now and in the past, from anywhere in the world.

Open to talks on any relevant topic or text, we define “popular romance culture” broadly to include not only fictional forms (novels, films, TV shows, pop music, fan fiction, popular poetry, etc.), but also didactic material (advice columns, dating manuals, newspaper debates about love or marriage “in crisis”), and the “ideal-typical” representations deployed by advertising.

This year, we are particularly interested in papers on traditions of love and its popular representations (local and regional traditions, historical traditions, religious traditions, etc.), on the trajectories that carry popular romance culture across boundaries of region, period, genre, or medium, and on individual instances of popular romance culture which might illuminate those broader traditions and trajectories. We are eager to receive proposals on older forms of popular romance (classical, medieval, early modern, etc.) and on love and its representations in Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American popular cultures. We would also encourage proposals on popular romance culture in the classroom and in libraries: course designs, questions of pedagogy, archival collections and concerns, etc.

This multi-disciplinary conference welcomes searching questions about romantic love’s nature, history, politics, and lived experience that have been raised by emerging interdisciplinary fields such as Relationship Science, Love Studies, and the History of Emotions, as well as by history, anthropology, literary studies, psychology, sociology, neurobiology, queer theory, and cultural studies. We also invite proposals from romance authors, industry professionals, and independent scholars.

Submit proposals for individual papers, full panels, roundtables, interviews, or innovative presentations to by October 9, 2015. All proposals will be peer reviewed. The decision of the reviewers will be sent by the end of November, 2015.

Call for papers: Critical Love Studies

CALL FOR PAPERS: Critical Love Studies
The Troggs said it first. Wet Wet Wet said it. Even Hugh Grant as the UK Prime Minister said it: love (really) is all around. Love is durable and it is flexible. It is shaped and reshaped by physiological and psychological constants, by the extremely longue durée of evolutionary processes, by centuries of love doctrines, and by profound changes in society that have occurred in the last century and decades. While we tend to believe in eternal values of love and even eternal love, our experiences often feel new, unprecedented and challenging.
The growing field of critical love studies looks at experiences and representations of love. Romantic love, the type of love with which popular culture is chiefly concerned, has long been of key significance for producers and scholars of popular romance.
What is romantic love? What are its cultures, its artefacts, its residues? How do romantic love and competing concepts such as confluent love or “erotically charged intimate love” relate to each other? Is there a specifically queer type of romantic love? How does romantic love fare in the age of digital economies and consumer capitalism? What is romantic love in a post-colonial context? What are the emerging hybrid forms of love which may incorporate elements from different cultural settings such as arranged marriage and individualised romantic love at the same time? Does romantic love exclude parental love or culminate in it? These are a few, largely unanswered questions critical love studies have been asking in recent years.
The Journal of Popular Romance Studies (JPRS) seeks essay submissions for a special issue on Critical Love Studies. Michael Gratzke and Amy Burge are the guest editors.
We welcome submissions on the topics below; although all papers engaging with the subject of romantic love will be considered. We are open to submissions from a wide range of humanities and social science disciplinary contexts, including (but not limited to): sociology, philosophy, literature, cultural studies, law, psychology, anthropology, political science, management, geography, music, art.
• The (material) cultures of romantic love
• Intimate love
• Erotic love
• Romantic love and (kinky) sex
• Friendship and romantic love
• Parenthood and romantic love
• Love, romance, and form
• Love, romance, and genre
• Love and creativity
• Romantic love and normativity
• Love and intersectionality
• Love, romance, identity
Published by the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR), the peer-reviewed Journal of Popular Romance Studies is the first academic journal to focus exclusively on representations of romantic love across national and disciplinary boundaries. Our editorial board includes representatives from Comparative Literature, English, Ethnomusicology, History, Religious Studies, Sociology, African Diaspora Studies, and other fields. JPRS is available without subscription at
Please submit scholarly articles between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography by 31st December 2015. Manuscripts can be sent to Erin Young, Managing Editor, Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format. Please remove all identifying material (i.e. running heads with the author’s name) so that submissions can easily be sent out for anonymous peer review. Suggestions for appropriate peer reviewers are welcome. For more information on how to submit a paper, please visit
Feel free to contact the editors of this special issue to discuss possible topics before submission of an article:
Dr Amy Burge
Professor Michael Gratzke

Call for chapters: The Materiality of Love

Following our successful conference in the summer, we are giving colleagues another opportunity to contribute:



The Materiality of Love (edited collection)


Love Research Network ( is seeking contributions for a collection entitled “The Materiality of Love”, edited by Ania Malinowska (

and Michael Gratzke (,-linguisti/staff/german/mg.aspx)

DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS: 15th December 2015

We invite chapters that reexamine love from the perspective of materiality studies, especially new materialism and object-oriented philosophy, to sparkle a debate on a relationship between love, objects and new forms of materializing affection. We are interested in papers that analyze the role of things and material culture in practicing and conceptualizing love as well as provide an insight into how materiality (in its broadest sense) impacts the understanding of love today (its meanings and practices), and reversely, how love contributes to the production and transformation of the material world.

With a focus on rereading the emotional through the material and vice versa, the collection will attempt to revisit the already existing academic approaches towards objectification of love by addressing the following areas of interest / investigation:

  • affectionate fetishism (the ways in which objects extend or embody “the loved being” (Barthes, 1977); the forms in which people use things to attach themselves to beloved subjects; being in love with the objects of love through collecting and display)
  • cultural semiotics of love (new cultural tokens / representations of love; the development of “collective symbols and meanings [to help] people make sense of their romantic experiences” (Illouz 1997))
  • narratives of love (representations of love through objects in literature, art, film)
  • technologies of love (love’s (self)constructedness, its self-engineering and “the technology of being together” (Pettman 2006); the impact technology has on practicing love today: the new media and digital realities in practices of affection)
  • cultural transfer, cultural mobility in love practices (global flow and the circulation of “goods, signs, slogans and styles” (Appudurai 2005) in shaping the materiality of love; transcultural experiences (practices, activities, phenomena, texts) that impact geographically local contexts of love;
  • love’s physiological materiality in cultural perspective (human physiology and cultural manifestations of affection; the significance of bodily substances for communicating (objectifying) feelings, emotions and desires (Nicholson 2011)).

We are seeking for interdisciplinary perspectives and proposals from all disciplines including (but not limited to) cultural studies, cultural history, sociology, anthropology, literary studies, critical theory, philosophy, media studies, art etc. We expect chapters that explore a variety of themes and problems at the intersection of love and material cultures (as specified in points 1-6), and to engage in a debate on:

  • contemporary material discourses of love,
  • cultural history: objects and love in historical perspective,
  • philosophy of love and the material,
  • love and the digital-material: accessibility, image-making and non-contact togetherness,
  • love and/in the “old” and new media,
  • nature, senses, technology: the use of science and data in materializing affection,
  • romanticizing of the objects of love (meta-fetishism),
  • collecting as love / love as collecting,
  • love and the problem of agency,
  • the ethics of chemical intervention in relationships,
  • the form of conceptualizing / communicating love,
  • material qualities of affection,
  • objects and the forbidden love.

Please send inquiries and proposals to by 15th December 2015. Completed chapters should be submitted by 30th May 2016.

For further queries, please  contact Ania Malinowska ( or Michael Gratzke (