New Frontiers in Popular Romance: Essays on the Genre in the 21st Century

McFarland & Company
Jefferson, North Carolina
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In the twenty-first century, the romance genre has gained a growing academic response, including the creation of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance. Popular romance has long been so ignored and maligned that seemingly every scholarly work on it opens with a lengthy defense of the genre and its value for academic study. Even the early scholarly works on the genre approach it in ways that, while primarily respectful, make sweeping generalizations about popular romance, its texts, and its readers.

This essay collection examines the position of the romance genre in the twenty-first century, and the ways in which romance responds to and influences the culture and community in which it exists. Essays are divided into six sections, which cover the genre’s relationship with masculinity, the importance of consent, historical romance, representation, social status and web-based romance fiction.

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