Understanding the Pleasure: An Undergraduate Romance Reading Community

Publication year

From page 9 of the Introduction to the volume:

“Understanding the Pleasure: An Undergraduate Romance Reading Community” (Chapter Thirteen) is my description of the ways in which students in my “Women’s Romance Fiction” course negotiate with the romance narrative. Some of the students taking the course, which originated at a women’s college, have entered without believing that they will ever truly be romance readers. They have entered out of curiosity, for a needed requirement, or because they want to understand the romance’s appeal. Others are romance readers already or discover quickly that they enjoy the texts immensely, and so they appreciate the class as a way to understand their own attraction and somehow make it feel legitimate academically. All of these students negotiate with a variety of texts as they balance their attraction or aversion to romance with what they learn about the popular genre’s connection to the literary canon. A sample syllabus for the course is attached as a chapter appendix.