Dru Pagliassotti, Ph.D.
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"Boy's Love" in the Western World
The "boy's love" genre (slash, yaoi, shounen-ai) of male/male homoerotica, primarily written and read by heterosexual women, has been steadily growing in the Western world, most recently with the rapidly increasing importation of yaoi manga from Japan. Why has it become so popular, what kind of women read and write it, and what, if any, cultural differences exist in its fandom between various countries?
"Dr. Dru" Pagliassotti is the chair of the Communication Department and teaches classes in news writing, copy editing, website design, and film theory; she also supervises student internships. Dr. Pagliassotti has co-taught several travel courses, including the art/communication course Imagining Venice, which took students to Venice and Florence in 2011 and 2013, and will again in 2018; and the history/communication course Faces of India, which took students to India in 2006. She also co-taught a course on the history, sociology, and creation of comics: ComicComm.
Dr. Pagliassotti's research interests involve the portrayal of gender and sexuality in popular culture. Her past research examined the development and growing popularity of boys' love (yaoi) manga in the West. More recently she published a chapter on the role of technology in steampunk romance and erotica for Steaming into a Victorian Future, and a chapter about female mad scientists in Neo-Victorian Humour: Comic Subversions and Unlaughter in Contemporary Historical Re-Visions. She currently has a manuscript under review that analyzes people's motives for reading yaoi, co-written with researchers in Hungary. Dr. Pagliassotti serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies and Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural and often reviews for the Journal of Graphic Novel and Comics.
Dr. Pagliassotti's interest in fiction and publishing arises from her own experience as the published author of four novels and a number of short stories. She was the owner and editor-in-chief of The Harrow, an online literary magazine for fantasy and horror, for 11.5 years, and The Harrow Press, a publisher of print horror anthologies, for seven years. Her past professional experience includes editorial work on print books, journals, and trade magazines; freelance website design; and serving as a content provider on roleplaying games for About.Com. Dr. Pagliassotti also holds a black belt in kempo.