Love, Language, Place, and Identity in Popular Culture : Romancing the Other
Maria Ramos-Garcia and Laura Vivanco are co-editors.
Maria Ramos-Garcia is a contributing writer : Representations of Otherness in Paranormal Romance: Race and Wealth in Nalini Singh and J. R. Ward. [127-144]
Love, Language, Place, and Identity in Popular Culture: Romancing the Other explores the varied representations of Otherness in romance novels and other fiction with strong romantic plots. Contributors’ approaches range from sociolinguistics to cultural studies, and the texts analyzed are set on four continents, with particular emphasis on Caribbean and Atlantic islands. What all the essays have in common is the exploration of representations of the Other, be it in an inter-racial or inter-cultural relationship. Chapters are divided into two parts; the first examines place, travel, history, and language in 20th-century texts; while the second explores tensions and transformations in the depiction of Otherness, mainly in texts published in the early 21st century. This book reveals that even at the end of the 20th century, these texts display neocolonialist attitudes towards the Other. While more recent texts show noticeable changes in attitudes, these changes can often fall short, as stereotypes and prejudices are often still present, just below the surface, in popular novels. The understudied field of popular romance, in which the Other is frequently present as a love interest, proves to be a fruitful area in which to explore the potential and the realities of the treatment of Otherness in popular culture. Scholars of literature, communication, romance, and rhetoric will find this book particularly useful.
Representations of Otherness in Paranormal Romance: Race and Wealth in Nalini SIngh and J.R. Ward
María T. Ramos-García draws attention to the dual and often contradictory dimensions of racial and ethnic diversity in paranormal romance: the "real" one based on the race of the characters, and the metaphorical one based on the supernatural species represented and their dynamics. In this context, she analyzes J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and concludes that Ward’s texts offer a disturbing social and racial subtext of separation and prejudice, while Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series appears to offer a utopian near-future alternative-reality world in which physical differences in skin color, facial features and origin have lost all meaning, however this happens at the expense of cultural diversity. Furthermore, drawing on Amira Jarmakani’s observations on the sheikh novel after 9/11, Ramos-García demonstrates how in Singh’s work humanistic liberalism is conflated with neoliberal economic values. (7)
Rowman and Littlefield
Ramos-Garcia, Maria T. and Vivanco, Laura, "Love, Language, Place, and Identity in Popular Culture : Romancing the Other" (2020). School of American and Global Studies Faculty Books with a Focus on Modern languages and Global Studies. 13.