The Wild Heart of the Continent: Love and Place in Sherry Thomas’s Silk Road Romance Novels

Eric Murphy Selinger (DePaul University) Session 11.1: Subversions of Race, Culture and History Abstract: Chinese-American novelist Sherry Thomas sets two acclaimed books in the Silk Road regions of Central Asia: Not Quite a Husband (2009; RITA 2010), set in the Swat Valley during the 1897 Pathan Revolt; and My Beautiful Enemy, set partly in Chinese […]

In conversation with Mina V. Esguerra – #romanceclass

Kat Mayo (Bookthingo) and Mina V. Esguerra (#romanceclass) Session 10.2: South / South-East Asian Romance Communities Abstract: Author Mina V. Esguerra has single-handedly defined the English-language romance genre in the Philippines through the #romanceclass initiative, which has helped over 100 Filipino authors publish over 200 new titles. This interview will explore the evolution of #romanceclass […]

Romance in Chinatown: The Love Stories of Edith Maude Eaton (1865-1914)

Dr Erin S.Young (SUNY Empire State College) Session 9.4: Romancing Chinese Worlds Abstract: This project will explore romantic relationships in the short fiction of Edith Maude Eaton (Sui Sin Far), with a particular focus on her 1912 collection of stories, Mrs. Spring Fragrance. Since the critical rediscovery of Eaton’s writings in the 1970s, her work […]

Life Is Elsewhere: The Economy of Food and Sex in Chinese Web Romance

Professor Jin Feng (Grinnell College) Session 9.3: Romancing Chinese Worlds Abstract: It is stated in the Confucian classic The Book of Rites: “Food and sex are the primary desires of human beings.” However, little can be taken for granted about what food and sex mean in any particular context. Anthropologist Jack Goody sees the cooking […]

On the Way to a Better Life: Countryside themed romance in recent Chinese Television

Huike Wen (Willamette University) Session 9.2: Romancing Chinese Worlds Abstract: Thousands of romantic stories are told in East Asian media landscape while few of them happen in a rural area. Romantic love seems only belong to the city folks, which probably because romantic love is highly embedded in metropolitan consuming culture and media audience’s imagination […]

Topography of Romantic Love: Journeys, the Fantasy of Love, and Identity Crisis

Dr Fang-Mei Lin (National Taiwan Normal University) Session 9.1: Romancing Chinese Worlds Abstract: Taiwanese author Wu Zhuo-Liu’s novel, Orphan of Asia, was written during the end of WWII and Japanese colonial rule. This celebrated novel, which depicts the hero Taiming’s unsuccessful pursuit of identity among three options: the Japanese, the Chinese, and the Taiwanese, has […]

Girls of Riyadh and Desperate in Dubai : Reading and writing romance in the Middle East

Dr Amy Burge (University of Birmingham) Session 8.4: Muslim and Middle Eastern Romances Abstract: The Middle East has long held a romantic fascination for the west, characterised by the popular sheikh romance. Yet, as myself and others have argued (Burge 2016; Jarmakani 2015; Teo 2012) in these novels Middle Eastern women are often depicted as […]

The Kitchen and Beyond: Romantic Chronotope of Pakistani Popular Fiction

Javaria Farooqui (University of Tasmania) Session 8.3: Muslim and Middle Eastern Romances Abstract: This paper aims to explore the popular romance reading culture of Pakistan which includes, but is not limited to, magazines designed specifically for female readers. It is [Farooqui’s] contention that the works of fiction, published in these magazines, focus on imbuing the […]

Reading and Writing Muslim Romance Online

Claire Parnell (University of Melbourne) Session 8.2: Muslim and Middle Eastern Romances Abstract: Participatory media production through online self – publishing platforms affects the publishing field in interesting and important ways. In particular, the call for diverse representation in genre fiction has been growing in online communities, such as Wattpad, for some time. Narratives that […]

Muslims reading romance: Bruneian considerations of “Halal” and romance novels

Dr Katrina Mohd Daud (Universiti Brunei Darussalam) Session 8.1: Muslim and Middle Eastern Romances Abstract: In 2017, Bruneian writer Aisha Malik self-published “Jewel: An attempt at a Halal Romance:, the first Anglophone romance of its kind by a Bruneian. The novella traces out a burgeoning relationship between the newly religious Prince Danial and the hal-American, […]