Friday, June 3, 2011

Romance Writing as a College Course and Twilight Has Become Required Reading at College

We all know how cool Nora Roberts is, but this takes it all. The Huffington Post is reporting that Nora Roberts has donated $100,000 to start an academic minor in romance literature at McDaniel College in Maryland.

"President Roger Casey says the college aims to raise the profile of romance novels. He says serious study of the subject will reinforce Roberts' reputation as a master and champion of the craft.

The school also will build a library collection of American romance literature, including all of Roberts' more than 200 novels.

And the college will hold an international conference on romance novels in November."

How I wish I could have had this type of course when I went to school.

But then on the other hand...Twilight is becoming required reading for some college level honors English classes. From Good Education:

At Ohio State University, where the tuition is around $20,000 a year, Twilight has become required reading for a spring 2011 honors "introduction to fiction" course.

"According to Associate Professor Amanpal Garcha's syllabus, the class will read and discuss "important, influential narratives about the supernatural—Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight as well a few minor works."

Some will most likely frown down upon Twilight being required reading material, (I can just hear the jokes now) but look at it this way, if you're a parent paying for your child to go to college, Twilight may jump start them into reading many different types of books, including classic literature. I cannot tell you how many stories I have heard from people where they would read Twilight, or someone they knew would pick it up and then wanted to read more. Mainly they go on to read Paranormal Romance and even classic books like Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice.

If you were a student in college, or perhaps are, would you take a writing course in romance? What would your reaction be if your professor told you one of the books you must read and do a paper on is Twilight?

I would have a field day discussing the characterization and motivation of pale Elmer Glue looking sparkly emo bedroom stalker versus eight pack furry abs who can't keep his shirt on and the girl who loved them both.



Lily of Darkness said...

Katie, we would have to sit next to each other in class.

I would totally take a romance writing course too!

KB/KT Grant said...

One class could be on how not to write purple prose. Or maybe there should be a purple prose writing class?

lustyreader said...

why not Harry Potter?!?! why Twilight, why?!??? i find this highly disturbing.

but i do wish in any of my english courses, college, highschool...we read more recent popular fiction, i think that is a GREAT idea, but still, NOT Twilight, please!

Michele Lee said...

At first I was disturbed, but it does sort of make sense if the aim is to introduce students to popular fiction (though they could have picked a better example, and um, why is the focus also on Dracula/Frankenstein etc, which while are must reads for those trying to understand the roots of the genre aren't modern best seller-types).

But in the end what really really disturbed me was finding out that tuition is $20k a YEAR. That is absolutely insane. Seriously we need to fix the higher education system. It's beyond broken and into disgustingly mutilated.

Janicu said...

I think that Twilight in that course makes sense. It's a popular book with supernatural elements that you could probably compare with the rest of those books on that syllabus.

I overheard a lot of book bloggers talking about how Harry Potter got them into reading. Made me feel old, but yeah, there you have it. These YA phenomenons have positive results in turning kids into readers for life.

Blodeuedd said...

Considering how poorly written Twilight was I would not like it

Amanda said...

My grandma, turning 96 tomorrow, is a 1932 alum of this school, back when it was Western Maryland College. She wold hate to know that there was a romance section. Then again, I'm convinced that she hasn't had any sex since 1949. Poor Granddad.

Darlynne said...

Twilight? I would demand a refund of my tuition for that class, sorry. There is so much great, well-written contemporary fiction available, why that one? Also, if my college-age student isn't reading by that time, I'm not sure Twilight is going to jump start anything.

Ally said...

This is a really interesting post Katie!
I would love to be able to do a romance writing course and have Nora Roberts library at my University! But this will never happen as romance novels are really frowned upon in my Uni unless there written by Jane Austen and the like :(

I understand the idea of getting students to read twilight so they may read other books but wouldn't that be more high school relevent than college because if that was required on my course I would leave, especially if I had to pay 20,000 to study there. It sickens me in some ways to know that may possibly happening, college's getting students to study Twilight.