Australia's Long Relationship with Romance

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Here's the abstract:

Romance is a highly contested field in Australian literary studies. It is around romance that debates over national identity, and literary form and value, have taken place. Romance has also been recognised as a repository for the colonial ideologies that saw indigenous people denigrated, and violently displaced from their land, in the name of empire, adventure and progress. At the centre of much romance is white heterosexual femininity, a flashpoint for concerns and desires relating to not only nation-building and colonial undertakings but also the role of white women in these social projects. Yet, as close readings of romance suggest, its reputation as formulaic is misleading. A historical view recognises that romance adapts to the contexts in which it is written and read; it has been called on to challenge settler colonialism and question heteronormativity. What unites scholarship on the popular romance is the recognition that it is a genre, with complex relationships to practices of readership, meaning-making, systems of value (both economic and aesthetic) and broader sociocultural interests and anxieties.