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 teaches news writing, copy editing, website design, and film theory, and supervises student internships. Dru's co-taught classes include the art/communication travel course Imagining Venice, which took students to Venice and Florence in 2011, 2013, and 2018; the history/communication travel course Faces of India, which took students to India in 2006; and an art/communication course on the history, sociology, and creation of comics, ComicComm. Dru served as the Communication Department chair from 2013-2019.
Dru's research interests revolve around the portrayal of gender and sexuality in popular culture. Past research examined the development and growing popularity of boys' love (yaoi) manga in the West, including a recent article published in PLOS that analyzes people's motives for reading yaoi that was co-written with researchers in Hungary. Other research included 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. Dru serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies and Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural.
Dru is the author of four novels and a number of short stories; owned and edited The Harrow, an online literary magazine for fantasy and horror, for 11.5 years; and ran The Harrow Press, a publisher of print horror anthologies, for seven years. Dru's past professional experience includes editorial work on print books, journals, and trade magazines; freelance website design; and serving as a content provider for a roleplaying games site on About.Com. Dru's hobbies include kempo, yoga, and hiking.