4 October 2017, 15:30 - 17:00
Speaker:Dr Tory Young
It’s a truism among contemporary analysts of intimacy and online dating that the apparently infinite choice of partners available via the internet enables ‘hooking up’ but prevents partnering. Megan Poe at NYU has coined the phrase the ‘infinite swipe’ to describe the compulsion to keep looking for someone ‘better’; in Modern Romance: An Investigation, Aziz Ansari describes the ways that the internet perpetuates the idea of a soul mate and thus the endless craving to search for her. Romantic fiction has always been about this quest rather than the relationship itself, but generic convention has insisted upon the closure of marriage or faithful pairing. In this paper, Tory examines the impact of the ‘infinite swipe’ on contemporary popular fictions and the ways that they endlessly defer or jeopardise narrative closure and romantic commitment. Such texts are not afraid of depicting sexual intimacy and brief ‘hook-ups’ but it may be that relationship intimacy takes new forms.
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