Romance in the Digital Age

Romance in the Digital Age

Saturday 4 July

12.15 – 13.15, FREE

Panel discussion featuring Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Ndinda Kioko and Kiru Taye. Chaired by Emma Shercliff, publisher and researcher.

How does one define a romance novel? What is ‘African romance’? Can the romance genre truly be used to empower as well as entertain? Our panel discusses contemporary romance publishing across Africa – debating what ‘romance’ means within an African context, and looking at the production of romantic fiction in East, West and South Africa.

Discussing the changing nature of romance publishing, we examine how current modes of digital distribution are opening up new possibilities for authors and publishers across Africa. How can social media be engaged to promote emerging writers, and how much does this marketing and promotion actually impact on sales? Which best represents romance in the digital age: the modern yet idealized relationships depicted in the novels published by Ankara Press or the gritty encounters portrayed in Jalada’s Sex Anthology? Despite the potential of e-books and digital platforms, is the African reading public truly ready for romance in the digital age?

Click here for the RAS Mixcloud recording.

Image credit: Michael Pollak