“The politics, aesthetics and marketing of literary formulae in popular women’s fiction: History, Exoticism and Romance” (HER) focuses on an extensive corpus of popular historical romances written mostly by contemporary Anglophone female authors and addressed to a female audience. The works under study exploit the well-known literary conventions of popular romances and are all set in “exotic” locations mostly in the historical period which corresponds to the expansion and consolidation of the British Empire. As the project’s tittle suggests, our aim is to explore how history, exoticism and romance are conveniently repackaged in these novels to meet the needs of the contemporary literary marketplace. Our objective is to revisit these texts from a postcolonial and gender perspective, critically engaging with the patriarchal ideological patterns weaved into the narrative, their (mis)use of historical material, and the (in)conspicous neo-orientalist approach to their respective cultural and geographical contexts. Departing from the literary analysis, we also concentrate on the role that the new mechanisms of cultural production and distribution have with regards to the marketing and reception of such texts and, by extension, to the way questions of identity and alterity are dealt with in the framework of new power relations and access to representation resulting from cultural globalization.
The project is financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (Ref. FFI-2016 75130-P) (AEI/FEDER, UE)