I've become a member of a group for romance scholarship, and they're doing a little fundraiser to advance romance scholarship. Academic interest is an essential part of getting romance accepted as more than just a cash cow by the wider publishing world, and it's worked for mystery and science fiction before. So if you'd like to help advance scholarship in romance fiction, see below. This is a great group of scholars-- I hung out with them at the Popular Culture Association conference, and they're fascinated with the themes and history of romance fiction, and much fun to talk to. Anyway, here's a clever fundraiser -- name your favorite romantic "two", and contribute $2. Erica is a professor at DePaul and a tireless advocate for taking romance fiction seriously, as you can see here, where he's willing to match contributions with his own hard-earned $. :)

You'll probably guess which couple I chose:

From Eric:
I've called the campaign "It Takes Two," and my hope is to get romance readers and authors, as well as scholars, to pitch in a two dollar donation to IASPR via our website: http://www.iaspr.org. The donation is in honor of your favorite romance couple, fictional or real; once you make it, you swing by Teach Me Tonight (http://teachmetonight.blogspot.com) and leave a comment. (The official post explaining this is at http://teachmetonight.blogspot.com/2009/05/it-takes-two-erics-iaspr-fundraiser.html.)

I'm matching the first $250 in donations, so your money counts twice!

My primary goal is to build an IASPR Travel Fund for the upcoming Brisbane and Brussels conferences, and also to leverage funding for honoraria (for Brussels and later conferences) from universities and other sponsors. But this fundraiser will also invite romance readers and authors--people who might not ever want to come to an IASPR conference or publish in our journal--to support the academic study of romance in a small, symbolic way.

A dozen supporters might not quite equal one new member, financially speaking. But that's a dozen folks who might mention our existence to the right person at the right time to bring in a new member, or let a promising student know that we're out there! (I've already had two colleagues at work support us without joining, for example, and I hope more will follow.

Between the $2 and larger donations, so far we've raised $99 in honor of Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe, Eve and Roarke, Jake and Adrien from Adrien English Mysteries, Elizabeth Bennet and Mark Darcy (!), Cole Latimer and Alaina MacGaren from Woodiwiss' Ashes In The Wind, and Emma and Jake from my book SMART GIRLS THINK TWICE, among others.

Please help by spreading the word of this fundraiser to colleagues and friends, and please feel free to donate yourself!




May 2009

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