Romance Scholarship

Scholars study popular romance from many disciplines. Learn about their work, including the study of romance worldwide and the establishment of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR).

Advice from the lovelorn

Painting, Mary Elizabeth Maxwell (née Braddon), 1865, William Powell Frith, public domain

Can a heroine win if she doesn’t get her man? In Louisa May Alcott’s Behind the Mask and Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, the ‘losers’ win.

Many paths to romance

Film still, Sarah Frantz interview

Sarah Frantz, scholar-turned-editor, describes how her changing relationship to romance novels over the years.

Studying Nora Roberts

Film still, An Goris interview

Scholar An Goris focuses on how Nora Roberts’ work has changed as the genre has changed—and how that work has changed the genre in return.

Unhappily ever after

Alan Weiss (cover art), “I Was a Girl Who’d Stop at Nothing” from My Love #17, Stan Lee (writer) and George Tuska (illustrator), 1972.

Can unhappy endings be idealistically romantic, too? Jacque Nodell takes a look at a tale of squandered opportunity penned by Stan Lee.

The changing HEA

Film still, Eric Selinger interview

Scholar Eric Selinger argues that every romance novel presents a unique HEA—or even HFN (Happy For Now)—that fits that particular novel and no other.

Roots of romance

Film still, Jessie Matthews interview

In her romance literature class, professor Jessie Matthews compares romance novels’ structures to those of ancient archetypal myths, legends, and folktales

Professors writing romance

Film still, Catherine Roach interview, Popular Romance Project

Professor/romance author Catherine Roach shares what it’s like following in the footsteps of professor/authors such as Eloisa James/Mary Bly.

One more glass ceiling

Film still, Jayashree Kamble interview

Scholar Jayashree Kamble got her first academic job as a popular romance scholar.

Overcoming stereotypes

Film still, An Goris interview

Scholar An Goris read English-language romance novels in Dutch translation as a child. Today, she studies popular romance.

Enjoying the paranormal

Film still, Jayashree Kamble interview

Paranormal romance lets writers explore more than realistic subgenres.