Beyond the Novel

Go beyond the novel to explore depictions of romantic love in movies, television, comics, popular music, advertisements, and more. How are romance stories told off the page?

When life imitates art

Oil on canvas, Two Strings to Her Bow, 1887, John Pettie, Original in the collections of the Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove

Would the actual Regency allow the polyamorous and queer happy endings she imagines? asks author Ann Herendeen.

Presidential romance

Film still, Happy 20th Anniversary Barack and Michelle, 2012,

What does positive media coverage of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle’s marriage mean for black Americans?

Where is the love?

Promotional Image, Baker King Kim Tak Goo, 2010, KBS

Not every couple in Korean dramas has a happy ending. At least, not by American standards, says scholar Crystal S. Anderson.

What’s it all about, Arnold?

Alex, "after a journey," Flickr, 2009

We’ve all heard that ‘true love conquers all,’ but when did love become a near-religious ideal? asks scholar Eric Selinger.

Play it again, Selena Gomez

Film Still, Love You Like a Love Song, 2011, Selena Gomez and the Scene, Hollywood Records

More often than not, we love and romance ‘by the book,’ say poetry and love songs from throughout time.

Medieval sheikhs

Gentile Bellini, Mehmed II, Wikimedia, 1480

Stories of love between Eastern men and Western woman stretch back as far as medieval romances like The King of Tars, says scholar Amy Burge.

Questioning bridal boudoir

Photograph, Bridal-Boudoir, 10 June 2011, T.G. Williams, Flickr, creative commons

Bridal boudoir: sexy bedroom photos of the youthful bride. Scholar Karen Dunak questions this new trend.

Pick-ups and petting

Comic, I was a Pick-Up!, Young Romance #1, September/October 1947, Feature Publications: 1/1, Writer: Joe Simon, Artist: Jack Kirby, Library of Congress

Romance comics told stories designed both to appeal to and instruct young woman readers, according to scholar Jeanne Gardner.

Troubadours and fin’amor

Miniature, Herr Konrad von Altstetten, 249v, Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift, c. 1300-1340, University Library Heidelberg

The medieval troubadour composed poetry about the transformative power of love that still resonates today.

True love’s kiss

Photo, T2i - Yellow frog, 21 April 2010, @Doug88888, Flickr, creative commons

Were fairy tales originally all that romantic? Not by modern standards, says scholar Linda J. Lee.