I went to the Representations of Romantic Relationships and the Romance Genre in Contemporary Women’s Writing symposium/mini-conference yesterday and I've written up my notes over at my blog.
There were papers on Harlequin Mills & Boon and on Mary Balogh, some on works which might (or might not) be classified as romance and papers which discussed other works of fiction by women in relation to popular romance fiction. They included:
Veera Mäkelä, Independent Researcher (previously studying at the University of Helsinki) - Acting for Herself, by Herself: Learning, Regaining, and Employing Female Agency in Mary Balogh's Dark Angel, Lord Carew's Bride and The Famous Heroine.
Dr. Amy Burge, University of Edinburgh - Beyond the Alpha: Sex, Masculinity and the Exotic in twenty-first century Harlequin Mills & Boon romance.
Val Derbyshire, University of Sheffield - "In these modern times": Reading Harlequin Mills & Boon Romantic Novels as Signs of the Times