Shelf Love

Romance Adaptations & Genre Perceptions: Teaching The Hating Game

Short Description

Ever wondered how "The Hating Game" fares in a classroom setting? Dr. Diana Filar is back to discuss her experiences teaching The Hating Game book and film in a class about popular genre fiction. We discuss the challenges of translating romance novels into films, how stereotypes of genres are formed and challenged, and what it's like introducing non-genre readers to romance. Learn about Dr. Filar's approach to incorporating popular genre fiction like romance, horror, and suspense into her curriculum, how class conversations resembled a Battle of the Sexes as they explored texts that engaged with gender in different ways, and why it’s so hard to both adapt romance and teach romance novels as a genre in the classroom.

Class texts also included Gone Girl, Arrival, and The Exorcist.


teaching popular culture, contemporary romance, romance novel discussion, genre discussions

Show Notes

Ever wondered how "The Hating Game" fares in a classroom setting? Dr. Diana Filar is back to discuss her experiences teaching The Hating Game book and film in a class about popular genre fiction. We discuss the challenges of translating romance novels into films, how stereotypes of genres are formed and challenged, and what it's like introducing non-genre readers to romance. Learn about Dr. Filar's approach to incorporating popular genre fiction like romance, horror, and suspense into her curriculum, how class conversations resembled a Battle of the Sexes as they explored texts that engaged with gender in different ways, and why it’s so hard to both adapt romance and teach romance novels as a genre in the classroom.

Class texts also included Gone Girl, Arrival, and The Exorcist.


Guest: Dr. Diana Filar

Website | Twitter

Listen to Dr. Diana Filar on the #1 most-downloaded episode of Shelf Love: 

092. I've Got No Roots: White Immigrant Assimilation & (Romance) Adaptation



Andrea Martucci: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to Shelf Love, a podcast about romance novels and how they reflect, explore, challenge, and shape desire. I'm your host, Andrea Martucci, and on this episode, I'm joined by Dr. Diana Filar, back for round two, but this time to discuss teaching The Hating Game. Dr. Diana Filar, how are you?

Dr. Diana Filar: I'm well, Hi Andrea.

Andrea Martucci: You were here a bit ago, maybe over a year, maybe two years ago?

Dr. Diana Filar: I actually just looked it up. I don't know if it says the year on here, actually, but the episode, I have been told, is one of the most popular.

Andrea Martucci: It is. Your episode is the literal number one most downloaded episode of Shelf Love by a wide margin,

Dr. Diana Filar: Oh my gosh, I'm so proud.

Andrea Martucci: And I think it's a really great episode. It's called I've Got No Roots.

Dr. Diana Filar: White immigrant assimilation and romance adaptation.

Andrea Martucci: Yes. Okay. Yeah. So we're talking about romance adaptation today once again,

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah. interestingly, we talked a lot about how Christina Lauren's, we talked about Roomies back then, and that book, I guess it had been optioned, but that film has yet to see the light of day, which I guess happens all the time in Hollywood but we're gonna talk a little bit about The Hating Game adaptation, and I know this is a special topic for you.

Andrea Martucci: It is. I've actually talked about this on someone else's podcast. When I was on Pod Culture Oz, I talked about The Hating Game adaptation among other romance adaptations in an episode about adaptations. And I've also covered adaptations on The Shelf Love Substack. I have a lot of thoughts about adaptations.

Dr. Diana Filar: I feel like your whole research about stereotypes came out from Bridgerton being adapted.

Andrea Martucci: That's very true. Yeah. This will be interesting as we start getting into you teaching this book, both the book and the movie, and also teaching students who are not necessarily genre readers about the genre, how adaptations are like this way where genres get exposure outside of their normal quote unquote audience.

So it's interesting how people respond to romance once it jumps into this other format then it's interesting how people form ideas about the genre based on that as well.

I'm excited to get into it. Okay, so I think when we last spoke, you had just become a doctor? Is that accurate?

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, I think so. I graduated in 2021. So it was three years ago, probably,

Andrea Martucci: Yeah. Okay, and so since then, since you became a doctor, what have you been up to? What's going on? And I think this is going to lead us into today's topic.

Dr. Diana Filar: For a little while, I was working in administration at a university and then I was lucky enough to be chosen for a tenure track assistant professor position. I [00:03:00] say that because, so much of it is a crapshoot.

Andrea Martucci: It's, a hard job market, especially for tenure-track positions. you were looking for like English jobs or literature jobs?

Dr. Diana Filar: Yes, I was mostly looking for teaching English general literature, or American literature, which is my sub specialty. And then I was also still looking at teaching writing jobs as well, but nowadays a lot of the positions include both, which is, actually what mine is.

I teach in a general education department, so no one majors in English at the university where I teach, and in many ways it's a technical college, even though it's not. So there's only like a couple of majors, but then there's the general education curriculum, which is what I'm a part of, and all the students have to take I think three English classes and a bunch of history as well.

So we're in the humanities department with history. And usually I teach like a bunch of entry level freshman writing. And then I also teach introduction to literature, which is just less composition focused, but then every now and again, and for the first time this spring, I got to teach an elective to seniors.

Andrea Martucci: Ooh, an seniors!

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah. And so I guess ostensibly you'd think, Oh, okay. I'm going to teach my research specialty. And I was like, no, that's not the way to go at this place, because that's like too niche and hyper focused. As the previous episode suggests, my research is focused on U. S. immigrant ethnic literature and I work that into pretty much all my classes, but for this sort of senior elective, it's also their last trimester. And it's shortened because they have a bunch of other stuff happening. They have to take an elective at this particular time, particularly in humanities.

Andrea Martucci: And was your class the only choice?

Dr. Diana Filar: No, but that has happened

in the past. No, they actually had a lot of choices. But I ended up with a pretty small group which had its pros and cons.

But ultimately they told me that they were happy that it was a smaller group because I think many of them were on the quieter side. And I think they felt like they could participate more because they were otherwise usually not the participating type.

Andrea Martucci: Well, you've totally buried the lead here. What is the class about?

Dr. Diana Filar: totally. Love, Fear, Thrills, and the Future, Genre, Fiction, and Popular Culture, or something like that. So it was basically, I wanted to explore genre fiction. And I thought, these kids are graduating, they're going into these fields that don't really have anything to do with reading or whatever. As a baseline, just reading. And I thought, let me teach about the things that actually most people read, if they read.

This is gonna sound derogatory, but I don't mean it that way, like the airport novel, in a way, and so I was like, okay, horror romance, obviously, I don't know why I didn't leave with romance. I think the whole thing was like, I want to teach a romance book, and then how can I make it not just romance because the school is also 80 percent male.

But I am so [00:06:00] happy to say that for the first time and one of probably the only times in the school's history did I have a class that was majority female.

The men in the class were just like, this is weird. And it was essentially almost 50 50, but slightly split in the other direction.

So that led to some interesting conversations and a lot of battles of the sexes in a weird way. But yeah romance, horror, sci fi, and thriller is what we did.

And I also really wanted to have them be texts that had been adapted. To have that as like a sort of subcurrent running through the whole class.

We watched two films and read two novels, but the films originated as books or short stories or something.

So we read Gone Girl first and then obviously there's a film of that. We watched The Exorcist, which was originally a novel written by William Peter Blatty, who also adapted the screenplay. Then Arrival, which is a film from 2016, I think. There's aliens involved and is a short story with Amy Adams. Yeah. It's probably one of my favorite films of all time.

I was like, let's end on a high note with romance. And I taught Hating Game!

And so here's the thing, about adaptation. I guess I should start with the fact that I'm supposed to teach this class again next year. Which doesn't always happen.

But. I'm not gonna be teaching the Hating Game next year

Andrea Martucci: Really?

Dr. Diana Filar: Spoiler alert, everyone. Yeah, no, I don't think so. The students did not respond well.

Andrea Martucci: To both the book and the movie or one more than the other?

Dr. Diana Filar: I think the book, because only a couple of them had to watch the movie because they got to pick which adaptation of what text they wrote about in a very complicated convoluted logistical nightmare for me. So like only a couple people had to watch the film. For the most part they really didn't like the characters, they found especially Lucy the narrator and female main character quite annoying. I mean, they also found him annoying

Andrea Martucci: Okay, fair. gender equality.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, I don't know if you talked about this on that podcast which I listened to but that it's partly a perspective thing because it's only her narration and they're like, we don't understand why she so hates him, or why she so actually likes him, which is what the hate is masking.

And then all of a sudden he's like, I like you too. They were just like, it's not believable. And they said, you know, we know we're supposed to like, at a certain level, suspend disbelief for this type of thing.

Andrea Martucci: Before you started reading the book, did you first start by introducing the genre?

Dr. Diana Filar: So we had been talking about genres and our expectations of them since like day one, and for each text, yeah, we had a discussion like what is the genre about and that kind of thing.

So on the first day, actually, what I did After getting your permission I had them take an adapted version of the survey that you wrote for your [00:09:00] PCA paper, which was ostensibly about Bridgerton, but not

Andrea Martucci: it was like stereotypes about romance readers.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, so I had them rate you think romance readers are

Andrea Martucci: It's basically like competent or warm

Dr. Diana Filar: yeah, exactly. And so then I actually made them tell me what their answers were to each one. I was like, this is not anonymous, you're just going to tell me right now. And so we like talked about it and saw where like our own data was.

And then I had them watch your PCA presentation and they actually found it really fascinating. One student for their final, they had to like, do some sort of creative thing at the end, and one student he was so inspired, that he wrote his own survey, that was back in the day, I guess they probably still do this in magazines, where you're, it's like a, if this, then that and the end they tell you like, What bikini to buy but it was basically like, if this, then this is the genre that you should explore next. What kind of things do you like?

So I thought that was really cool.

But yeah, in many ways they were like unsurprised by the ways that they thought about romance.

And some of the girls were romance readers historically speaking. Probably like a little more YA, a little maybe I guess what people who aren't romance readers think of as romance, which is like Nicholas Sparks and like that, if that makes sense.

But I think at least one of them was like really in the genre.

Andrea Martucci: And did you notice a difference in survey responses or their initial approaches based on how much they read romance?

Dr. Diana Filar: Yes, and the women were more likely to give, what you would think are more quote unquote positive responses about competence or whatever. Obviously the sample size was very small.

But like I said in terms of the battles of the sexes, like it all just played out. But my job was to push them and make them think about, okay what of these would you assign to someone who just reads horror or just reads sci fi?

And in a way because this was, like, at the end of the course, it was also my way of wrapping up, like, where do genres come from, and what role does marketing play, and all this, and a couple of the men, at least, confessed to liking to watch rom coms. One of them did a presentation about one of our favorite films, 10 Things I Hate About after which I proceeded to watch it for the 10 billionth time. was like, and this is part of my job.

Andrea Martucci: It's so good.

Dr. Diana Filar: So he was like, okay with that but he was probably student in general, which is good. You need one,

Andrea Martucci: You need that one.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah. But he was not a fan of mostly the explicit sexuality in The Hating Game and the explicit sexuality in Gone Girl, the film, either.

So I guess it's across genres, the explicit sexuality

Andrea Martucci: out of curiosity I can't remember in The Exorcist is there violent sexuality in The Exorcist? How do you feel about that?

Dr. Diana Filar: so you know, that was all part of my master scheme as well, when I picked these texts, [00:12:00] was that they all, and at the end I was kind of like, guys did you get it? Muwuhahah you know, they were like you're a nerd.

Where I was like, all of these books have to do with gender. Like, Yeah, so the Exorcist is the devil what's the word, possesses a young girl. So she's 13? 12, 13. My interpretation, and I think this is shared by Sarah Marshall from You're Wrong About who did an episode on the Exorcist, is that so much of the film is about peoples, and especially religious ideologies, obsession with female sexuality, young girls as sexuality, puberty, the transition from girlhood into womanhood.

I mean, she's like right at that age, and one of the most upsetting and violent scenes is that while possessed by the devil, she masturbates with a crucifix and it is bloody and the students definitely were like, we watched that in class together. Very fun. They were like, like they were just, and a few of them like covered their eyes and stuff, but yeah, I guess now that you mention it, they didn't like it, but it wasn't like this doesn't advance the plot, which is like, what the quote unquote kids these days say about sex right.

I mean, there's all this hand wringing, however much it's true that like Gen Z isn't having as much sex and that, whether or not that's related to the fact that they don't like seeing sex in media. I don't know. I did try to tell them, you know, there's clean romance, it's a spectrum, there's Amish romance.

Andrea Martucci: But I think you bring up a very interesting point there, right? Which is that there is this complaint that sex doesn't advance the plot and therefore why is this here in romance but like only when it's loving romantic sex but when there's like violent sexuality, that's not necessarily questioned as much like it's okay know that why this is here you know.

Dr. Diana Filar: There's like a scene in Gone Girl where Ben Affleck is like going down on Rosamund Pike. I don't remember the character names. Nick and Amy. That's right. And that was like a flashback to like when they met, which was like a good sort of time. I mean, That's why you get invested in them, right?

Is because you're like, are they going to succeed? You know, like we talk a lot about how the genres cross over.

Andrea Martucci: yeah

Dr. Diana Filar: But then at the end, there's a sex scene in which she murders Neil Patrick Harris, and I feel like it's the first that's supposedly not essential to the plot, whereas the one where she's having sex only to murder him unsuspectingly, that one is okay, that one is the plot, because that's how she escapes, and like, da da da da. That just occurred to me now. Wow.

Andrea Martucci: Wow.

Dr. Diana Filar: Look at us cracking this nut wide open.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah, like truly live nutcracking going on right now. I was just this morning because I was thinking about this once again because I was watching a bunch of Harlequin adaptations on YouTube. I was reading these articles from 1994 [00:15:00] when CBS had made for TV movies on Sunday afternoons because lost the NFL.

And they were like Fox has the NFL now. We're not going to get men. Let's see if we can get women to tune in, at least. So they were like, okay, we're going to have four Harlequin movies and then four Hallmark movies. And the movies that they chose without fail were romantic suspense type books because they were like I think it's like too boring if there's just the romance. It's like, there's not enough plot.

Dr. Diana Filar: And maybe they're still hedging their bets that the man will be like maybe it's slightly interesting to me because it's action y.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah. It was very interesting too. Cause they it was like all these men pontificating on like they're like we'll see if we can get women in but you know what we're not going to have the Fabio type heroes because that's just unbelievable and women don't really want that, that's just like too boring and I was like oh okay so you like shot this whole endeavor in the foot because of your like prejudice and misogyny.

Dr. Diana Filar: Which is so wild because now you can't have any leading man not have a six pack. I saw this tweet recently about Jonathan Bailey from Bridgerton is gonna be in whatever the next Jurassic World movie is, and he's ripped and stuff.

And people were like, wait, but in the original Jurassic Park, it was just like, a guy in khakis. Like, He wasn't. wasn't like, on steroids, yeah but now that's our expectation, is that any of these leading men is gonna be, yeah, it's like the romance novel hero, ripped and a billionaire and whatever.

I guess I started off by saying I don't think I'm gonna teach The Hating Game again also because, partly because they didn't respond to it. because many of them were not interested t Because them not being interested in sex, or complaining about.

In other classes entirely unrelated, I've taught books where young teens have like, made out and there's been like, some slight petting.

Students, apparently, it got back to me that they did not like that, and for that stuff, I'm like I'm about to lean in harder I, my stubbornness comes out, and so I'm like, no, guys, I'm not about to teach a Nicholas Sparks novel.

There's like a level to which I'm trying to cater to my audience, but stay true to who I am as a scholar and what I think they actually need to confront and learn and think through critically, which is my whole job.

And I'm like, okay, it makes you uncomfortable. Like, why? You know, Or like, why do you think it doesn't advance the plot?

So the first thing that came up was because this is like somewhat early in the novel. Maybe our second day of reading is like the elevator scene, which is when you figure out that, he maybe does, in fact, not hate her.

Andrea Martucci: by the way, we've gone into this a whole conversation, like we've not said anything about what this book is about, but for those of you who are listening, if you're unfamiliar with the plot of The Hating Game, it is a novel by Sally Thorne. It takes place at a publishing company where essentially there's been a merger between like a very artsy publishing company and like more of like a [00:18:00] cutthroat business, like we're just publishing bestsellers type, so like basically it's almost like literary versus populist or like highbrow versus lowbrow in a way.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, like it, it's like weird because yeah, it's like highbrow, lowbrow or artsy versus commercial. Yeah. Because in my mind, on the one hand, the artsy one is publishing literary, fiction, people's quote unquote masterpieces. And like the other guys they're publishing like athlete memoirs or something, which is like different, I think, than just publishing genre fiction or like self help or something.

Andrea Martucci: Exactly, and so these two companies have merged and basically our hero and heroine are in the same position at each respective publication before they merged and so the heroine is at the like artsier one and the hero is at the capitalist one and that reflects their styles and they like, are in this hate type feud with each other, and they, argue in the office a lot.

Dr. Diana Filar: It's called The Hating Game because they have these games, which, I think they're both aware of where they'll just stare at each other, who's gonna blink first, or copying each other, like if I, scratch my nose you would scratch your nose or whatever, just to annoy each other.

Andrea Martucci: So it was published in 2016 and then there was a movie adaptation a few years ago. It was a very popular book when it came and then like obviously because then they made a movie adaptation based on it. But, something that is interesting about this, just from thinking about this as is this representative of romance novels in some way, is that it's told in the first person, and so we only have access to the heroine's point of view.

And so I think this is something you started talking about, and this is kind of like my beef with the book.

Dr. Diana Filar: Okay.

Andrea Martucci: it doesn't give you enough access to Joshua's perspective. And I think the book suffers for it because you just, you don't get a sense of his internality and like how he feels about her.

And my take on Pod Culture Oz, is I think that the movie does a much better job of giving Joshua's perspective and helping you understand that he does really like her really from the beginning. Like you can see it a lot more. Yes.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, you can see the book, maybe she's like, oh, and he looked at me weird or whatever, but obviously, as a literature professor, I'm not here to tout a picture is worth a thousand words I mean, yeah in the film, you can see his like, his pining glances his smirks, et cetera but yeah, in the book, and I think maybe that's part of what the students weren't responding to.

They were just like, is she making this all up? Because we couldn't, they're like, why is she doing this? That's an annoying thing to do in an office. I was like, fair enough.

Andrea Martucci: So I guess just from a meta perspective, thinking about some of the things they were picking up on, from the outside, I do think that if you're not aware of romance novel conventions, The Hating Game kind of is a little bit of an outlier with the first person perspective.[00:21:00]

And like I think the third person I don't want head hopping, but yeah going back and forth between the perspective of characters so you have access to the inner thoughts and feelings of both characters is both much more representative of the majority of romance, and I think also plays to some of the strengths of romance.

So like that you're like okay I know they they didn't like the sex, but you're not going to let that influence necessarily the next book you choose, but you should probably choose one with like third person like switching perspectives.

Dr. Diana Filar: I think so too. And you know, I picked it because it has an adaptation. And It has one of my favorite tropes, which is enemies to lovers, and I don't know, I guess that's like internal bias, or I don't know, whatever that's called, where you think like everyone thinks the same way you do.

But also like that it was such a sensation because I wanted to like build that in too, so if we started off with the sort of survey of what their stereotypes and things were like later on we started to talk about the materiality of genre and so I went to the library and they have a whole mass market section and it's not just romance in there like it's everything so I just like threw them all in a bag and then so this is a trade paperback.

But I brought in a bunch of older mass market romance and thrillers and sci fi type stuff, too. So a bunch of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, that kind of stuff. And I had them actually look and touch and feel and turn over and some people we did dramatic readings of , like the back of the book and would you read this? Would you not? Why?

And so, one book had like, a step back, but it was, a devil, and then sexy lady, but it was, like, a detective book, it, and the plot, it sounded so convoluted, it was, like, bonkers bananas and they were just like, absolutely not, but then, I tried to find step backs and clinch covers.

A different episode that you had. Andrea, you should get a cut of my teaching money.

And then we just talked about how the books are trying to get you to read them. I had them go online and be like, all right, go on TikTok, start Googling, go on Instagram and stuff.

And so we talked about BookTok, Bookstagram, like all that stuff. Because this book was huge on those platforms in its moment. So I had them look up what people were saying. And so then we talked about not just okay, the genre fiction are the types of books that most people read, I think, in the broader world, but also that there are these communities outside of a college classroom.

I guess whether or not they end up pursuing any of those avenues, like part of me just wants them to know that. That's a thing, in case they do ever want to be part of a book community. Romancelandia, yes.

Andrea Martucci: Oh dom? Horrordom?

Dr. Diana Filar: My god, yeah. Romantacy..

Andrea Martucci: What are some things that stood out to you when the students were reading the back covers [00:24:00] or what did they seem to be drawn to from, like the promotional aspects? What do you call that? What were they responding to in the paratext of the books?

Dr. Diana Filar: Oh, so I guess I should say, too, that I brought in literary fiction well, and hard covers which, most of the time, genre, does somewhat appear in a hardcover, but like, not as much. And across the board, I would say they did respond a lot to suspense, or things where it seemed there was gonna be, something to solve, or some kind of action, or intrigue.

Yeah, even with some literary fiction, they were like, no, that sounds boring. Or things that were just like, too crazy a plot, like I was saying some of them had previously read Dan Brown, like that kind of stuff. So they were just like, yeah, I'm like, pick this up, whatever.

They did not respond to the clinch covers. They're just not used to it. Cause now we have these animated covers, but also like eBooks so much that no one sees what you're reading. Which, in and of itself is a problem, right?

Okay, if you see someone reading, I don't know, a devil sexy lady book, that's less risque than a Fabio situation.

Andrea Martucci: like yeah like a romantic embrace. I'm curious if that even remained the same with the readers who read romance already, if they were also responding that way. And then what degree do you think the fact that you're having this conversation in a classroom with their peers, to what extent do you think that's influencing like how students are responding?

I mean, this is kind of like the whole point of my research is that the stereotype it's like this awareness that other people have a feeling about this and then changing your response publicly to align with that because you don't want to be embarrassed by liking something that you know other people look down upon.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, so I think in your survey, maybe one of them was like, brave, or I don't know if my students came up with that on their own, but they were just like, yeah the people who read romance are brave, because everyone thinks whatever about them, and they just do it anyway, or whatever.

It was interesting because some of them were like well, I knew girls who read romance in high school and they were just nerdy and stuff. I'm like yeah but you said that they weren't competent but they're like nerdy.

Andrea Martucci: Make it make sense.

Dr. Diana Filar: There's a weird yeah the math isn't mathing right and I was like i don't know we all we all have those things that we don't necessarily share.

I was also trying to like get them to talk just about in general, like things that maybe were stereotyped negatively in the past that nowadays were more mainstream. And so one of the biggest things that I've noticed since since starting this job and like being back in the classroom after a little time away, and also just like in general, like at libraries, like public libraries around is that anime and like manga.

are huge. And I'm just like, you don't understand. Back in my day, that was like, you [00:27:00] were the nerdest of nerds. You were a social outcast.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah.

Dr. Diana Filar: Not because of that, but it was like a closed loop, you like a what came first, the chicken or the egg situation. I was like, yeah, that was considered like supremely uncool.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah,

Dr. Diana Filar: And now it's just the cool thing. And I don't know, like maybe romance is on way there.

Andrea Martucci: well,

That's what all the media pieces seem to be saying

Dr. Diana Filar: that's what they keep saying. Yes.

Andrea Martucci: but sorry, this is just like another one of like the tangents of things that I care deeply about.

There's a lot of this oh, romance is on the upswing. And I'm like, what percentage of this upswing? quote unquote, is driven solely by a handful, if not less than a handful, of authors? Because all it takes is one Colleen Hoover to get shelved in the romance genre, and all of a sudden romance sales are up. Because, and I proved this,

Dr. Diana Filar: I like the way I proved

Andrea Martucci: I proved this.

No, I did the nerdiest deep dive into trying to figure out if the early pandemic boost in romance genre sales, what amount of that be attributed to Julia Quinn and Bridgerton, because Bridgerton, the adaptation came out very early in the pandemic. And, from what I could tell, I don't know if I ever actually published anything about this on Substack or on

Dr. Diana Filar: don't think you did. I haven't heard anything about this, and I'm one of your biggest fans.

Andrea Martucci: This is sitting in drafts right now, but I literally did a deep dive pulling data together from multiple sources, and as far as I can tell, basically all of the gains in the romance genre basically just went to Julia Quinn, and everything else essentially is remaining flat, right?

Dr. Diana Filar: Really? Even the like, Emily Henrys?

Andrea Martucci: So Emily Henry, she's a little bit more recent. Maybe not like only publishing more recently, but like became much bigger more recently, but again like she's another one of those authors who in my opinion seems to be like straddling women's fiction

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah.

Andrea Martucci: gets shelved in romance, which is fine. That's cool, but Emily Henry sells a lot of books like if you take the top five selling romance authors, they account for a massive amount of total romance sales.

So all it takes is a few authors like that and like all of a sudden the genre looks like it's changing massively, but then, maybe Colleen Hoover's on the way out and the next big author happens to be a suspense author and now, oh, suspense is booming. Everybody cares about suspense.

And it's like, no, these are just like the hot books. And it's just where they're falling.

Dr. Diana Filar: that was popular and so then other people are gonna ride the coattails in a way and maybe they'll see a bump. This is like partly what we talked about in my class about Gone Girl, the sort of Gone Girl effect which has also been parody, like it's just Gone Girl in the Wind, like the sort of like girl in the Girl on the Train.

Yeah, and then it was like that parody movie with what's her name?

Andrea Martucci: Kristen Bell.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yes, Kristen Bell. It was like the [00:30:00] Woman in the House Across the Street in the Window it was like all of the titles in one. It was, and I just thought the titles the movie was very mid, As the kids say, which I love to say to said kids and they find it so cheesy

Andrea Martucci: it's like when I said drip to Jodie Slaughter, and she was honey, no.

Dr. Diana Filar: They're like, that's cringe. Yeah, because Gillian Flynn so much success that like, everyone is trying to like ride that, Girl on the Train to the bank, if you will. And now that's become like a whole subgenre of the missing disappearing woman or whatever.

And I think that happens to some extent in romance, but no one's reaching the that height of those top five or whatever.

Andrea Martucci: and I guess sas omebody who's been reading romance for a while, I very interesting that the books that are really popular today that are being called really spicy and sexy people are calling them fairy smut. And it's romantacy that in my opinion, is very vanilla sex, like very mid, and that's fine, I'm not saying that romance writ large is all about the sex, but just in terms of like a spice scale, the stuff that's most popular right now from what I can tell, like the Emily Henry or Colleen Hoover or Sarah J Maas.

It's like, okay, Yeah. there's some sex in there, but it's not that adventurous, it's not actually that frequent, it's,

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah.

Andrea Martucci: I'm just sitting there and I'm like, I don't know why people are acting like this is like the smuttiest stuff they've ever seen, and tee hee heeing, and I wanted to come back to the puritanical bent, of the kids these days.

Because- and everybody's on their own journey. If people are reading these books and they're enjoying them and they're not like at the deep end of the spice spectrum, that's cool. That's fine. It just feels like the spice spectrum is a little bit broken

Dr. Diana Filar: Oh, yeah,

Andrea Martucci: Like, where I'm just kind of like, okay like, you're enjoying it, that's great, but let's just be real about what this is and where this falls in the spectrum here.

Dr. Diana Filar: yeah, I feel like, often I'll see a book that's being hyped up and then I get it and I'm just like, oh, because I prefer, I prefer some spice. Not like erotica level,

Andrea Martucci: I think your palate has been developed

Dr. Diana Filar: Yes, oh you

Andrea Martucci: you can appreciate complex and diverse flavors of spice.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yes, but so like I hate it when I like get these books and then there's no sex at all. So like I've taken to searching the Goodreads reviews for spice level, for the keyword spice level. But then just as with Goodreads ratings themselves, it's also so highly subjective, right? Because my students are just, they love to be like, what's your favorite book? I'm like, first of all, no. That's not a question I can answer. Second of all, I'll tell them about Goodreads, because, again, reading communities, [00:33:00] etc. But they're just like, what makes you rate a book a five? I'm like, a variety of things. That's the thing. Even within myself, the scale is not standardized.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah, read book one day and you're just like in a particular mood and you're like, this hit the spot, five stars. And then you could have read the book next week and just depending on the mood you're in, you could have hated it.

Dr. Diana Filar: Exactly. Right, or sometimes too, like you go into something with low expectations and it exceeds those expectations, so that sort of gives it like a positivity boost or whatever, but the same thing goes for spice. So if people would be like, one out of five chili peppers, and I'm just like, but what's your baseline?

Andrea Martucci: Yeah, have you never had food with salt in it before? Like is salt going to blow your mind right now? Or are we getting in a little bit of paprika? Like, where are we?

Dr. Diana Filar: Okay so, related to that. This is why I thought that, so I've, watched the movie twice now and read the book, twice. So I read it once like for fun and watched the adaptation and then I did the whole thing again for class prep.

My first gripe with the adaptation was like I was so mad about the elevator scene because for me that was like a pivotal moment in the book and I like it was needed for the plot. Okay. And I thought so that the tension and the sort of enclosedness and the, yeah, so many tropes, but then in the movie, it doesn't have that same level of tension. And also, in the book, he makes the first move. And in the film, she kisses him in the elevator.

Andrea Martucci: Oh, okay. Alright, that, does make a big difference.

Dr. Diana Filar: And so I feel like that really skewed my perception first time around. I was just so enraged by, and I'm not usually, I understand, so that's part of what we talk about with adaptations is does something need to be entirely faithful, like the level of fidelity, blah blah blah it's a whole different medium, etc.

And so usually I let those things go, but I couldn't, I just couldn't. But the second time around, I still wasn't happy about it, but the film did grow on me.

I thought it was better than originally anticipated. the, I guess the problem with picking a new book too, is that related to what we were just talking about, despite the quote unquote rise of romance so okay, we've got Bridgerton, but I don't have time to be like, guys watch, first of all, I don't want to teach Julia Quinn

Andrea Martucci: book

8 hours.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, first of all, I don't want to teach a Julia Quinn book, and second of all yeah, I don't want time to make them watch a whole show. And also but like every other again, I was trying to think of things that are like, I guess for better or worse very popular. I'm not gonna teach Colleen Hoover because, no. But Roomies is still not out Like, Almost every single Emily Henry book is in production, but will it have been released by the time that I teach next year? No.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah.

Dr. Diana Filar: it doesn't work that fast. Just like that whole question of like, oh, is this going to lead to more romance adaptations?

Maybe, I don't know, but these [00:36:00] things take time, and so far there haven't been as many,

Andrea Martucci: Yeah. no, I do think this is, I think this is the challenge. And I'm just curious, As you continue teaching this course in the future, how important do you think the adaptation component is? Because I feel like romance is so hard because I think, whatever, there's so many things at play here not least of which is that I think the things that are chosen to be adapted don't reflect the best parts of romance?

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, that makes sense.

I mean, Because the whole enterprise is just to make more money.

so they're like, well, this made money you know, that will also make money.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah and also there is like a bias towards the more suspense end of the spectrum because there is this idea that something else has to be going on, we can't just have a straight love story. And then I think like the best most romantic movies I have enjoyed were either not romance novels I enjoyed, or not based on a romance novel like,

Dr. Diana Filar: They were just like original screenplays, you mean?

Andrea Martucci: Yeah. or, think like Set It Up, which has what's his face in it? Powell, who's in everything now. Lucy

Dr. Diana Filar: love that movie

Andrea Martucci: Diggs, it's so good.

Dr. Diana Filar: I've seen it so many times.

Andrea Martucci: It's, it is the perfect rom com. And it's not based on a book. But that movie does what you want a romance novel to do, and like, what, if a romance novel did, you would want to have It's an adaptation of it.

But do you know what? Have you ever seen The Outsider? Which is based on a book by Penelope Williamson.

Dr. Diana Filar: No.

Andrea Martucci: Okay. It has Naomi Watts in it, and Tim Daly.

Dr. Diana Filar: Okay.

Andrea Martucci: It must be from the early 2000s. And it is the sexiest movie. Like, the chemistry is off the it's just I'm literally just like, I love this.

It is so sexy and she's like literally Amish or something like that, it's historical like western ish, and he's a gunman. Gunfighter type guy I won't even like go into it, but it doesn't sound like it's gonna be that good but it is just the romance in it is just like off the charts, and think it's got some interesting things going on and great acting.

I guess just like when I think about something that really works as the things I enjoy about romance I think that movie hits the spot there.

I went and I got the book. And the book I don't know what genre you would call the book. But like, I tried to read the book and I was like, I am bored. I do not give a shit about this. But that's why I'm just like, what is going on here? Because, this movie is so good but like, who looked at this book and came up with this movie?

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah it's so hard because, the term in which I have to teach this class is condensed. So it's only nine weeks and we only meet twice a [00:39:00] week for two hours each which is like a long time.

The odds are really stacked against us because you're forcing people who aren't English majors to take a two hour, twice weekly seminar. I was like I took classes like this in college, but I was a literature major and, they worked us up to it. These guys are like seniors who haven't taken a literature class in a hot minute and then you're just like, okay, take this sort of like somewhat intensive class.

And so I was like, all right, we're gonna watch films and books. Cause if I tried to make them read four books in nine weeks, I would have a mutiny. So that's where that part came in, because I was just like, I want to have some other thing tying these things together to talk about how genre works across mediums.

Andrea Martucci: Mm

Dr. Diana Filar: But yeah, I think there's definitely something to what you're saying about, maybe that has to do with it, is that the version in which an adaptation works is rare that both the things are like reviewed and like beloved. I think Gone Girl actually does like people like that movie. and my students loved that book. I was shocked it was, and it's long. It took about half the class we only had nine weeks, and we read that for four of them.

Andrea Martucci: But so I guess this just makes me think of Jayashree Kamble's theory about the romance novel which and she you know she talks about adaptations in Making Meaning in Popular Romance Fiction and she's talking about like the difference between a novel and a movie- so Jayashree Kamble's thesis, and this is my summary of it, is romance novels tell events and show thoughts and feelings. Romance films, show events and tell thoughts and feelings. So it's the difference between telling and showing and events versus thoughts and feelings. And so much of the things I enjoy about romance novels is about showing the thoughts and the feelings, and so I just think it's really hard to jump the format and maintain the thing that is really intrinsic to the romance novel,

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah.

Andrea Martucci: and The Outsider does it, right? It does what the book didn't do, in my opinion.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah.

Andrea Martucci: But I think it's like really hard and I think that it's much easier to do a suspense or a horror, Right because the events and the action that you show is so much the plot. But like in romance novels, the thoughts and feelings are the plot.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, that's so true.

And I think we didn't get there, but, they did come to some conclusions that reading lets you imagine what's happening on your own terms.

But then once it's adapted, that almost inevitably the image that's given to you overtakes what you've created in your head. That's why people get mad at adaptations.

But there's also a way in which the [00:42:00] students are just like yeah, I preferred coming up with this on my own. Which, this same, similar conversation comes up in my intro to literature class, because we read a graphic novel, and some of them just really don't like the format.

They're like, I don't want to see it, I just I don't want to see it and read I just want to read it or see in a weird way. Yeah which I find so funny. But. yeah, because they're just like, I, yeah, I like imagining it myself or something, which I'm just like, I find that wholesome.

Andrea Martucci: And I wonder if there's an element, too, though, where individuals' preferences get to come to the forefront where if you're watching The Hating Game movie and you don't find the hero attractive and he's not really your fantasy and you're putting yourself in the perspective of the heroine that like maybe it's gonna fall flat for you versus if you're reading the book and you like oh josh is hot and you're like okay and then you like picture somebody hot in your head, who you think is hot

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think the same thing goes for not just preferences with what, who, whatever we think is attractive, but for me, when I read, and I think when I watch stuff too I'm always like, skip this boring suspense stuff.

OK, so my husband several years ago he started watching the x files and I would always be bugging him I'd be like so when are Mulder and Scully gonna make out and he was like Diana that is not the point of this show and I was like but it is.

And I was like, and that is all I care about. Like every episode I'd be like, when does it happen? When does it happen?

And I think that's always just how I've been is I'm always reading for the romance. Even in just like regular sitcoms, like the will they won't they subplot, like that's all I care about. I'm like the rest of this is fine and entertaining, but I don't care.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah, stop wasting time get to the good stuff.

Dr. Diana Filar: And I think like, even in Bridgerton, which is like, so much about that I'm just like, whatever this sort of not even B plot, like sometimes they're, we're in like an F plot, and I'm just like, ugh, can we get back to the main romance?

I haven't seen those guys in several scenes now.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah, totally. I agree. Okay, if you think about like specific to romance, you went into teaching this class what were your goals as a teacher? What did you hope your students would either think about or realize or what were your goals and then like where do you think you did get to?

Dr. Diana Filar: I'm gonna, I'm gonna ignore your question and zoom out.

Andrea Martucci: I love it's very scholarly of you to do so.

Dr. Diana Filar: I'll come back to this, mainly in the specifically romance part. My goal, I don't want this to sound like I'm discrediting my students or something, or like that the bar is low, because that is not how I think about it at all. It's just that I want to teach a class wherein I was like, maybe they will consider reading more.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah.

Dr. Diana Filar: In the future. Because I just think so many people after they leave college or after whatever English class they take don't, and even if they were readers when they were young like, you know, just life gets in the way or [00:45:00] And to possibly have that sort of option wedged in the back of their mind somewhere.

Andrea Martucci: Like reading is like a thing that can be fun and is not just associated with school and papers

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, I mean we talk, first we talk about like why we read or whatever and you know, a lot of them say like, they know that it could be for entertainment, but I don't,

Andrea Martucci: Have they experienced that?

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, like a lot of them, and I teach at a very specific place where people are just like very I guess I don't know, maybe this is other places too, and I just don't know, because that's not my experience.

But they are like very committed to like self improvement, and yes, just it's hustle culture meets like, positivity culture meets like self improvement and just like constantly be bettering or whatever, so they read a lot of they'll be like, my favorite book is like, whatever.

Military general said about leadership

Andrea Martucci: Mmhmm. that book by the like, the Navy General about

Dr. Diana Filar: David Goggins.

Andrea Martucci: on the submarine to it's like leadership

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah. And like, but also like inspirational kind, yeah. yeah, I'm like, things other than that. And then I guess at the level of romance, yeah, my goal was to just be like, yeah this is fun,

Andrea Martucci: it can be fun.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah,

Andrea Martucci: that's the value.

Dr. Diana Filar: my goal for them, yeah, but also, just to think about I knew that Romans would be the one that people had trouble with.

I mean, they had trouble with the Exorcist, too, I think, in some ways, because many of are religious.

Andrea Martucci: Okay.

Dr. Diana Filar: and it was older,

That's the oldest text we did. It's from the 70s. So I think that was hard. They said it was to The Hating Game, cringe.

Andrea Martucci: It's like relying on like a set of social rules and a context that they don't live in,

Dr. Diana Filar: yeah.

Andrea Martucci: so it's particularly foreign.

Dr. Diana Filar: And I think the special effect, like just even the way that the film was made, it looks so different than the way things are made now. Like at one point, like the mom is like calling a switchboard operator

Andrea Martucci: and they're like, what the

Dr. Diana Filar: and I was like, I was like, did they know what this is? I asked. I couldn't help myself. I was like, do you guys know what's happening? Someone was like, yeah, it's like they're doing the operator. And I was like, look at you

Andrea Martucci: Wow, look at you guys.

Dr. Diana Filar: Exceeding stereotypes about your generation. Which I don't, I don't buy in to because I teach these young people and they, they're all over the place .

But yeah, but just like to get them to think about what the stereotypes are and to think about the gender dynamics. I have a very playful demeanor in the classroom. I was always razzing them about the sort of like battle of the sexes. It first started to come out in Gone Girl where the women were entirely on Amy's side.

And then the guys were like, but Nick's not so bad. He's just he's just a good guy. Like he hasn't done anything. He's just a nice guy. I'm like, and at this point I know what's about to happen, but in the meantime, I'm like defending a serial killer. This woman, but I'm just like, is that why he was [00:48:00] like negligent?

I had one student. Oh my God, she cracked me out. She was so committed. Even after she found out about Amy's violence she was like, you know what, he deserves it. And I was like, you know what, I, sure, power to you.

Andrea Martucci: I like that interpretation. It's impassioned.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yes, absolutely. And so that continued down the line.

But just to get them to notice that those things are happening and to think about, why, and how they've all been socialized in a way that makes them interpret texts differently, or side with one character versus another, or find certain stories more objectionable than others.

I don't know. I don't know if I got there. The end of the term was rushed. I did try to somewhat, I have to admit, pivot away from The Hating Game itself.

And more toward discussions about the genre so that we could get at these bigger problems.

Andrea Martucci: I guess part of this is just, especially when you have a very short term, but even if you had an entire semester and you focused exclusively on one genre and not four. Let's just be real like, I mean, the issue inherently in this is that genres are complex in the sense that you don't, you can't really understand them until you have read more than four books, Right. And so even if you spent the entire semester, however long it is, nine weeks or twelve weeks or twenty four weeks, talking about just one genre it's hard to consume enough of it to actually start to get a well rounded enough opinion just to like for the things to start to make sense.

Dr. Diana Filar: Right, because it's just like, okay, I have them read this one romance, and they either like it or they don't, and then that's gonna be it. I think so much, probably even in literature classrooms for people who major in English it's hard to get past the I liked it, I didn't like it wall.

For whatever reason. And to get them to think about Okay fine. But like, what else? You know?

Andrea Martucci: Well, I guess what's also difficult about that is when you're trying to use one book as representative or an example of a genre that If you want to then expand out okay, you liked it, you didn't but like, what does this make you think this genre is about? It's still like an N of 1, again, unless they're one of those students who already had read other romance novels, where I think it's just really difficult to have a broader conversation because the student's experience in the genre is just so limited.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah. And I think, too that's part of where picking super popular things is a way to alleviate that, because we're at least told these things have like, cross genre, that they have crossover potential, because they're popular, they're expanding out of their niche .

Whether or not that's the case, I don't know, but [00:51:00] like the Harlequin movie guys

Andrea Martucci: yeah. we don't want to intimidate men who are watching this. But are you glad you did it, Diana?

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, We'll see. I mean, course aren't out yet.

Andrea Martucci: Not that I want to put

Dr. Diana Filar: too much stock in them because that's a whole other can of worms about the sort of toxicity of course evals and their bias. But sometimes, there's still, I try to make of them what I can.

And from what they told me directly, they enjoyed the class and that they. Even though my class had the fewest students out of any of the electives, they were like, all our friends are jealous

Andrea Martucci: Tell them to tell the juniors that.

Dr. Diana Filar: Oh in addition to the senior class, I had two sections of juniors in my literature class who listen, I've been hyping it up. I'm like, next year, guys.

Andrea Martucci: You can start spreading the propaganda then.

Dr. Diana Filar: I have been spreading the propaganda, because I'm just like, guys, if you can't get enough of this one woman's show up here, guess what? We can do it all again.

Andrea Martucci: We do it again. Yeah.

Dr. Diana Filar: And this time, less talking about immigrants, if you didn't like that too much.

Andrea Martucci: Is there anything else you can think of where you're like, this is something I would definitely change next time?

Dr. Diana Filar: I don't think I'm gonna do The Exorcist again. So horror's hard just because I don't like it.

Andrea Martucci: know think you should lean into just doing things you like

Dr. Diana Filar: I know, I know

Andrea Martucci: Model that for your students.

Dr. Diana Filar: that's true, that's true. That's a good point,

Andrea Martucci: Oh, you're what I'm here for. My goal is that the next time you teach this, there's even a larger percentage of romance and also like source materials that come from me. I think you can create an entire syllabus of sub stack posts, podcast episodes from Shelf Love.

Dr. Diana Filar: yeah, I was thinking like, oh, it'd be cool to have a podcast sort of, supplementary texts because the You're Wrong About The Exorcist is so good And then I was like, but then I'll know where I'm getting all my information

Andrea Martucci: Oh, I see, I see.

Dr. Diana Filar: In addition, obviously to my doctoral degree I think it's fun to teach classes on things that like I didn't necessarily write. I have done research on the Gone Girl but that I haven't necessarily spent so much time on cause I like to turn all things I love into a work project.

Andrea Martucci: mean, it's like pros and cons right? On the one hand, you get to do something you actually enjoy, and it's work, so it's like double duty, but then as soon as it starts becoming work, probably starts to suck some of the joy out of it

Dr. Diana Filar: yeah, but it's also I think, for me, it's just it's good to keep learning. And I think a lot of professors do that. At least that's what they told me. Like my former professors were always teach a book I've never read before I'll put on the syllabus, . I'm just like, what?

Like, that is, yeah that's too much for my anxious brain. But yeah I mean, see, I guess I'll keep you posted, but I'm excited. I'm gonna teach it [00:54:00] again, a slightly different version, I think this time, since I've been really talking it up, it's gonna fill. I think I'm gonna have a wait list.

I'm putting it out there. I'm manifesting.

Andrea Martucci: Well and Diana would you like people who listen to this podcast episode to send in their suggestions for

Dr. Diana Filar: yes.

other books

Andrea Martucci: or books and adaptations that

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah, that they think might teach well or yeah, absolutely.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah. And and if you are somebody listening to this and you're like yelling at your phone right now UGH, SHOULD BE TEACHING THIS! Okay, you have to say why, right.

Have to say this is why I think this would solve some of the things that you guys were talking about, cite your sources, make a case. What's your thesis?

Dr. Diana Filar: I don't, we didn't, nobody go that far. I just, you really made, I was fine with suggestions, you made it more

Andrea Martucci: trying to turn this fun thing into work.

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah. no, a suggestion and then even like a thing about why you thought of that with regard to all the, obviously the variety of problems I had while teaching this class.

Overall it was a joy. and some of their final projects the sort of creative adaptation, like I was. I was just crying, like it was just they were they're so creative and insightful and like someone made a kind of like Gone Girl esque short film took place on campus. Yeah, like someone drew a composite of all of the sort of women from our different texts.

You know, that kid did that survey. I had one kid just like wrote some songs and played them on guitar.

Andrea Martucci: Are they trying to give Emerson students a run for the money?

Dr. Diana Filar: Yeah. And it's just so funny because they'll be like, we're not creative, and then I'm

Andrea Martucci: you're like, au contraire.

Dr. Diana Filar: And what, oh my gosh, one student, one student crocheted it looked like a ghost. Because, get this , I was like, why is it a ghost ? Because she's gone, girl.

Okay, no, but one side was like it was like a white ghost, and it had like a smiley face or whatever, and so the student was like this represents the external facade that Amy's putting up or whatever, and then you could flip it inside out.

And it was like a whole different color and like an angry face . And it was like, this is her like internal ink. And she, they had to do a writeup. You can't just present me with a crocheted ghost and be like, this represents Gone Girl. And I'm like, check, you know,

Andrea Martucci: plus.

Dr. Diana Filar: like you said, yeah cite your source, explain.

Andrea Martucci: You gotta make a case for it, you gotta convince me.

Dr. Diana Filar: But no, I was just like, Yeah, and so now that's in my office forever and ever. Obviously, I'm gonna cherish it. So I think just based on their responses to that final thing it went well. Whether or not, Was it the best version of the class it could have been? Maybe not,

Andrea Martucci: but like, I taught briefly I, my passion is not teaching in the way other people's is but every time I taught a class as soon as I taught it, I was like I have a lot of ideas about how I would do this differently, [00:57:00] and, and then when I had the opportunity to teach the same class multiple times you know I would never teach the same thing the same way twice like I just think I mean I'm sure that people who did this a lot longer than I did it and have been doing this for a really long time would say if you taught it, and you're like that was perfect like that's probably a problem Like I bet there are people who've been teaching for 40 years who are If they're still passionate about what they're doing probably still tweaking things. At the very least you have to tweak it the way students change or like your individual class that you're teaching.

Dr. Diana Filar: One would hope. I don't know if I can say that for sure, but

Andrea Martucci: Okay, let's set a timer and we'll check in, in 30 years,

Dr. Diana Filar: yeah, we'll see what I'm up to. Yeah.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah.

All right. Dr. Diana Filar thanks thanks so much for being here tonight. Really appreciate it. Where can people find out more about you and your academic work or plug?

Dr. Diana Filar: I Google Scholar. I have a recent article that it's been in the works for forever, but it was just published in the Polish Review. About a similar topic as our previous podcast about white immigrants and race called Pseudonymic Passing and it's about this Polish American immigrant novel in which the protagonist pretends to be, she tries to quote unquote pass, so it uses the language of passing, which we associate with African Americans and Black tradition. To, as like a Polish person, to pass as Russian.

And it talks a lot about just the different, shades of whiteness in a way for immigrants. And the long history of that in, in the U. S. And how it's related to Blackness, obviously. So yeah, that, that just came out.

You could follow me on Twitter At Diana Filarski. I don't tweet that much but I'm still there

Andrea Martucci: Yeah.

Dr. Diana Filar: in,

Andrea Martucci: I like that your Twitter handle leans into the Polishness. Wow.

Dr. Diana Filar: It's because so many people used to ask me, somewhat ignorantly if I changed my name when we

Andrea Martucci: Mm.

Dr. Diana Filar: came to America. As if, in 1992, we were still going through Ellis Island.

Andrea Martucci: Yeah.

Dr. Diana Filar: And I was just like, no, so Filar, Filar, really It just means pillar in Polish. It's a noun. It's just a noun. Everyone was like, did you take the ski off the end? So I was just like, Filarski that's funny. So that's my Twitter handle. And a lot of my research actually is about names and naming.

So I that like, I came up with the handle way before I knew was going to do that research. But it's fitting think.

Andrea Martucci: Thanks again for being here, and I think, I'm gonna keep an eye on this one, see if it rises up in the charts and maybe overtakes current number one spot.

Dr. Diana Filar: We can only hope.

Andrea Martucci: We can only hope. and dream.

Dr. Diana Filar: Maybe I've gotten a lot less interesting in three years .

Andrea Martucci: I'll be honest, not to be cynical because I think it's a really great episode that everybody should listen to but just the way these things work is I wonder if there's like an SEO [01:00:00] aspect to it

Dr. Diana Filar: Because it's like a song. the other one. Yes. yeah, I've got no roots, I'm nothing.

Andrea Martucci: I've never,

Dr. Diana Filar: We're gonna get sued.

Andrea Martucci: got no

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