Hard Core Romance, or, Why Fifty Shades of Grey  Became a Best-Seller

Hard Core Romance, or, Why Fifty Shades of Grey Became a Best-Seller

Streisand Professor Lecture Series
  • Date:
    Monday, January 27, 2014
  • Time:
    4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
  • Campus:
    University Park Campus
  • Venue:
    Ronald Tutor Campus Center (TCC)
  • Room:
    227
  • Cost:
    free
  • Email:

Summary:

Noted sociologist Eva Illouz places E.L. James’ trilogy in the context of best-seller publishing and seek  to understand the intense reading pleasure it provides by examining the ways in which the structure of modern relationships is inscribed in the narrative of sado-masochism.

Description:

RSVP required. RSVP to gender@usc.edu.

Beginning as Twilight fanfiction and reaching record-breaking sales as an e-book and paperback, the erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey (and its two sequels) became an international best-seller, selling over seventy million copies worldwide since 2011. But why have these particular novels — poorly written and formulaic as they are — become so popular, especially among women over thirty?

In this talk, Eva Illouz places E.L. James’ trilogy in the context of best-seller publishing and seek  to understand the intense reading pleasure it provides by examining the ways in which the structure of modern relationships is inscribed in the narrative of sado-masochism. The Fifty Shades trilogy is at once romantic fantasy and  self-help literature — two of the most popular genres for female readers — and provides a key to understanding the structure of women’s emotional worlds.

Celebrated sociologist Eva Illouz is the author of numerous books, including Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism; Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery; and 2013’s Why Love Hurts, which Laura Kipnis has praised as a “tour de force…that etches a whole new emotional atlas.”

  • Britta Bothe
  • University of Southern California
  • Taper Hall 353
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway #255
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-4353