Proposal Title

Outlandish romance: Fan and author navigation of romance genre boundaries

Presenter Information

Spring Duvall, Salem CollegeFollow

Start Date

13-4-2018 4:05 PM

End Date

13-4-2018 5:05 PM

Proposal Type

Individual Presentation

Abstract

When the first novel in the international bestselling Outlander series debuted in 1991, it was marketed as a quintessential historical romance - complete with a highly stylized cover - and shelved in the romance genre sections of bookstores and libraries. Cementing its status as a romance novel, Outlander won the Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best Romance of 1991. Yet, even though author Diana Gabaldon courted romance fans and accepted the community’s awards, she also insisted that her novels were not just romance novels and struggled for years to have her books moved into general fiction sections and to be recognized as more than just a romance writer.

This in-depth critical analysis of Gabaldon’s body of work examines her uneasy position within the romance genre and the tensions among her critics and fans who seek to define her as a romance writer or establish her as a general fiction writer. This presentation will discuss a textual analysis of the Outlander books and the television adaptation of the series, as well as a critical analysis of online fan communities and media critics who review the books and television series. In this research, I position myself as both a feminist media scholar who studies and teaches scholarship on romance novels and as a long-term fan of Gabaldon’s work who is deeply familiar with the Outlander fan community.

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Apr 13th, 4:05 PM Apr 13th, 5:05 PM

Outlandish romance: Fan and author navigation of romance genre boundaries

When the first novel in the international bestselling Outlander series debuted in 1991, it was marketed as a quintessential historical romance - complete with a highly stylized cover - and shelved in the romance genre sections of bookstores and libraries. Cementing its status as a romance novel, Outlander won the Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best Romance of 1991. Yet, even though author Diana Gabaldon courted romance fans and accepted the community’s awards, she also insisted that her novels were not just romance novels and struggled for years to have her books moved into general fiction sections and to be recognized as more than just a romance writer.

This in-depth critical analysis of Gabaldon’s body of work examines her uneasy position within the romance genre and the tensions among her critics and fans who seek to define her as a romance writer or establish her as a general fiction writer. This presentation will discuss a textual analysis of the Outlander books and the television adaptation of the series, as well as a critical analysis of online fan communities and media critics who review the books and television series. In this research, I position myself as both a feminist media scholar who studies and teaches scholarship on romance novels and as a long-term fan of Gabaldon’s work who is deeply familiar with the Outlander fan community.