The closing date for early-bird registration for the IASPR conference is 31 March. There's a hybrid as well as an in-person option.
The BBC has published an article with the annoying premise that, as the most formulaic genre of popular fiction, romance is presumably the most at risk of being produced by artificial intelligence. However, the article does also mention that
Last year, sales of romantic fiction in the US shot up by 52.4%, compared with an increase of just 8.5% for adult fiction overall.
Meanwhile, sales of the genre in the UK have increased more than two fold over the past three years.
Erin at The Smut Report explores the preponderance of penetrative sex in m/m romance and concludes that
Sexual fantasy and wish fulfillment is all over the place in romance. But while wish fulfillment and smoothing out rough edges (I mean, is douching sexy? Apparently not, because—while showers are prolific—these guys never do it.) is one indisputable component of genre romance, it also often contributes to certain groups of readers feeling invisible. Fantasy is great and all, but sometimes it would be nice also to stop the barrage of input that maybe something’s broken because one hasn’t met one’s perfect Romance Novel Partner yet, and that’s why one struggles to orgasm / doesn’t enjoy penetration / doesn’t enjoy sex at all / fill in the blank.
And on the topic of inaccuracies/fantasies, Scientific American offers a reminder that wolves generally do not behave the way that shifter/werewolf romances imply they do: "The idea that wolf packs are led by a merciless dictator, or alpha wolf, comes from old studies of captive wolves. In the wild, wolf packs are simply families."
This year's issue of the Journal of Popular Romance Studies has begun to appear online, and includes:
- Genre-savvy Protagonists in Queer YA Rom-comsAlex Henderson
- Literary Fiction from the Perspective of Romance: Normal PeopleFrancesca Pierini
Other recently published works on romance are:
"Beyond Outlander: Annie S. Swan and the Scottish popular romance novel." Scottish Literary Review
14.2:1-19 [I've linked to the entry at the Romance Scholarship Database as there's both an official version (behind a paywall) and a free, pre-print version.]
Cannon, Emanni N (2022). Contemporary Romance and the Question of Literary Value. Master of Arts in English Literature, San Francisco State University.
"Diversity Sells: Uzma Jalaluddin’s Muslim Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice."
English Studies. Online First. [Abstract]
Lindström Kruse, Miranda (2022). Pinsamma läsningar: En affektteoretisk studie av #SpicyBooks på TikTok. Masters thesis, Uppsala universitet.
McDade, Monique (2023). California Dreams and American Contradictions: Women Writers and the Western Ideal. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. [There is a chapter on Eva Rutland, and though the focus is not on her romance novels, this is the first significant academic work about her. See the RSDB for more details.]
Pupipat, Apisak (2023). "Should a Book Be Judged by its Back Cover? Some Written/Formal Features as Observed in Happily- Ever-After Women’s Novel Blurbs." LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network 16.1:604-630.
"Time Is on Our Side?: Homo Economicus in Time-Travel Romance."
Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. [Abstract]