3rd Apr 2013 - 4th Apr 2013
At the motivating core of this two-day conference is a need to re-engage with questions about feminism, ‘post-feminism’ and anti-feminism in the fields of past and present popular culture – in particular the arena of fiction (erotic , romantic, pornographic) written ‘for’ women. To do so, we will, inter alia, interrogate the popularity of E.L. James’s texts amongst millions of (mostly) women readers, and the belligerence of critical responses to the novels’ representation of female sexuality. James’ trilogy knit together the long narrative romance tradition of women as ‘fixer’ of broken/dangerous/attractive male, with the historically more recent yet just as powerful narratives of erotic fiction which think of themselves as being written ‘for women’. As such, the trilogy is perfectly placed for those who wish to embark on a broad and deep exploration of the contradictory conservatism of contemporary popular culture when it comes to the representation of gendered lives, in particular to the representation and interpretation of female sexual and literary desire.