Monday, 15 August 2011
As the piles of paper and books increase on my desk, as I'm forced to bring in further desks into my 'study' to accommodate my rising pile of work, as my lists of deadlines span over a few pages in my notebooks, as my emails with editors rise to the hundreds, as I collect things from the garden (a habit I have when I'm stressed) and decorate my desk(s) with numerous cups of coffee, days old, I'm reminded, every once in a while, that there is a reward for all these hours consumed by research and work: a published book. Not entirely my own, but I contributed to a book collection of critical essays. Let me put on my 'academic' hat for a while and tell you all about this book.
Theorizing Twilight is a collection of 15 essays on Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga. They are scholarly, critical essays that seek to explore the cultural meanings within her books. Examining aspects such as gender, sexuality, love, religion, race and literary inheritance, these essays not only take Meyer's novels seriously, but seek to explore why they are so exceptionally popular. I think it's so easy to dismiss such books, but I don't really see the point in doing so. After all, if something is extremely popular, cultural theorists should explore why, and try to understand the social impact of such a popularity.
My essay in the collection is called 'A Post-Feminist Romance: Love, Gender and Intertextuality in Stephenie Meyer’s Saga'. In my essay, I analyse the Twilight saga by contextualising it within the history of the romance genre (from the middle ages to the present times), and I focus on issues of gender as they relate to contemporary feminism. I'm particularly interested in what these types of popular novels, marketed toward teen girls, say about the current state of gender politics and the role of feminism in modern culture. But if you want to read more, you'll have to buy the book ...
Thanks to Maggie and Natalie for being such great editors. I've worked with, and I'm still working with, numerous great editors. But I have to admit to having a soft spot for these two lovely and intelligent ladies.
You can pick up a copy of the book here ... (and numerous other places):
:: McFarland :: Amazon :: Book Depository ::