The Romance Novel: History, Culture, and Form


Explores the history, development and form of the modern romance novel and its role in popular American culture. Birth of the novel; reception and criticism of early romance novels; historical and literary contexts. Britain and the U.S. Authorship: women-authored vs. men-authored, and legitimacy. Standardization of the form of the romance novel and the genre; expectations and innovation. Gender roles: models of femininity and masculinity. Female agency, sexuality, class and race in romance novels and their readership. Late twentieth-century/early twenty-first century boom in the romance industry: Why and to what end? There is a significant writing component to this course.

Curriculum Codes: 


Theme (Concentration)

Emotions and Psychology of the Self, Women, Gender and Sexuality


United States and Canada