Sample Abstract

Your abstract should specify the text(s) you propose working with, the theoretical framework you will employ, and the practical logistics for how you plan to complete your project.

The following is a sample abstract that should give you an idea of how you might approach writing your project proposal.

SAMPLE ABSTRACT: E-Mail Order Brides: The Transnational Mediated Consumption of Love and Sex in Love Like Hate (Blog)

Though not a “new media” text, Linh Dinh’s print novel Love Like Hate (2010) presents a tale of digitally mediated romance between a Vietnamese woman and a Vietnamese American, or Viet Kieu, man, across expansive geographic and national boundaries. This blog proposes to examine Love Like Hate within the larger context of transnational networks of marriage and romance. Informed by network theories (using the work of Manuel Castells and Tiziana Terranova), critiques of neoliberal globalization (e.g. Saskia Sassen and Aihwa Ong), and scholarship on transnational marriage (Hung Cam Thai), I propose to situate the story of Jaden and Huyen Nguyen within a larger ecology of mediated marriage networks like AsianDating.com and AsianBeauties.com, along with parody sites like BigBadChineseMama.com. Throughout the blog, I argue that Dinh presents readers with an updated microcosm of the online marriage markets that have their roots in earlier “Picture Bride” systems, but through the use of dark wit and irony, he underscores the dangers of digital utopianism that results in conflicts that necessarily emerge when sex is facilitated with networked technology and (the promise of) capital.

The blog will focus on the online marriage exchange and the ways in which they are manifest or critiqued through these particular examples. The introduction will locate Love Like Hate in relation to the historical Picture Bride system to the present-day Asian dating/marriage sites, which both lead to forms of international exchange and migration. The novel will serve as a launching point, and from there I will provide a brief historical background of the Picture Bride phenomenon. Several individual posts will do close readings of specific websites playing particular attention to promotional language, national affiliation, the spatial design of the site, and readings of individual profiles. I will conclude with a reading of the comedy site BigBadChineseMama.com, and argue for the need of critical humor to unsettle orientalist notions of nationality, ethnicity, and gender.

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