About the Conference

Keynote Speakers: 

For its 2010 conference, the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR) featured panels, papers, roundtables, discussion groups, and multi-media presentations on romantic love and its representations in popular media throughout the world, from antiquity to the present.

The conference goals were:

  • To bring to bear contemporary critical theory on the texts and contexts of popular romance, in all forms and media, from all national and cultural traditions
  • To foster comparative and intercultural analyses of popular romance, by documenting and/or theorizing what happens to tropes and texts as they move across national, linguistic, and cultural boundaries
  • To explore the relationships between popular romance tropes and texts as they circulate between elite and popular culture, between different media (e.g., from novel to film, or from song to music video), between cultural representations and the lived experience of readers, viewers, listeners, and lovers


Conference Presentations


  • Romance and Repetition: Testing the Limits of the Love
    Lynne Pearce (Lancaster University, UK)
  • The Comic, the Serious and the Middle: Desire in Contemporary Film Romantic Comedy
    Celestino Deleyto (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
  • Criticizing Romance: The Last Quarter Century”
    Pamela Regis (McDaniel College, USA)
    Respondent: An Goris, (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium).


Special Events:

  • Romantic Comedy / Chick Lit as a Transmedia, Immersive and Participatory ‘Experience’ for Women
    Allison Norrington (De Monfort University, UK)
  • Francophone Perspectives on Romantic Fiction: From Academic Field to Readers’ Experiences
    Séverine Olivier and Agnes Caubet (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)


International Romance

  • Expressions of Romance in Comics: Young Romance and Oniisama e…
    Natalie Pendergast (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Shame, Postmodernity and the Poetics of Popular Romance Fiction
    Eric Selinger (DePaul University. USA)
  • Romances: Novels Ceaselessly Evolving. What Mechanisms Are at Work?
    Magali Bigey (Université de Franche Comte, France)


Romancing History: Echoes of Times Past

  • “Weird and kinky and medieval”: The Idea of the ‘Medieval’ in Contemporary Popular Sheikh Romances
    Amy Burge (University of York, UK)
  • “Pride in the Ancestors”: Beverly Jenkins and the Historical Romance
    Piper Huguley-Riggins (Spelman College, USA)
  • There Be Dragons: Romance and the History of Stories
    Sandra Schwab (Johannes Gutenberg-University, Germany)


Paratextual Identity and Reclamation of Ephemeral Texts

  • Nora and J.D.: Identity in Nora Roberts’ Romance Fiction
    Faye O’Leary (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
  • Paratextually Yours: Story Papers, Seriality, and the Shape of Late-Nineteenth-Century American Romance Fiction
    William Gleason (Princeton University, USA)
  • Love for a Dime – A History and Taxonomy of the German “Liebesromanheft”
    Cora Buhlert (Universität Vechta, Germany)


The Language of Romance

  • “Is that another crack about my weight?”: Using Discourse Analysis to Study Romantic Fictional Dialogue
    Stephanie Moody (University of Michigan, USA)
  • Translated Romances: The Effect of Cultural Textual Norms on the Communication of Emotions
    Artemis Lamprinou (University of Surrey, UK)
  • The Signs of Romance: Visualizing Love and Romance in German Soap Operas
    Heike Klippel (Hochschule fuer Bildende Kuenste, Braunschweig, Germany)


Power, Gender, and the Female Gaze

  • Indian Popular Romance: Devdas in Bollywood and Reading Three Screen Adaptations
    Pradipta Mukherjee (University of Calcutta, India)
  • Alpha Male: Power, Confession and Masculinity in Popular Romance Fiction
    Sarah S. G. Frantz (Fayetteville State University, USA)
  • The Queer Theory of Eve Sedgwick and Homoeroticism at the Edges of the Popular Romantic Imagination
    Pam Rosenthal (Independent Scholar, USA)


Film, Genre, History, and the Construction of Identity

  • From A Royal Love Story to Whatever Love Means: The Charles and Diana Biopics as Soap Opera
    Giselle Bastin (Flinders University, Australia)
  • Romancing the Past: Historical Fictions and the Fear of Nostalgia
    Roger Nicholson (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
  • Shakespeare and the Modern Romance of Adolescence: 10 Things I Hate About You
    Claudia Marquis (University of Auckland, New Zealand)


Life Stages in Romantic Comedies

  • “The Bells Are Ringing for Me and My Gal” or How the American Rom Com ‘Wedding Cycle’ Found its Way into Greek Cinema
    Betty Kaklamanidou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
  • Romance and the Single Parent in Contemporary Hollywood
    Claire Jenkins (Warwick University, UK)
  • Hollywood Construction of Middle-Age Romance in the Films of Nancy Myers
    Margaret Tally (State University of New York, USA): “It’s (Not That) Complicated”


Romance Forms: Perspectives on Sex and ‘New’ Romance

  • Violent Sex or Sexual Violence? The Gendered Language of Sex in Contemporary Romance Novels
    Ashley Greenwood (San Diego State University, USA)
  • “When my lust hath dined”: Rape, Ravishment and Forced Seduction in Romance
    Angela Toscano (University of Utah, USA)
  • Who is the Ideal Hero? Consuming Web-based Time-Travel Romances
    Jin Feng (Grinnell College, USA)


Sex and Gender in Vampire Romances

  • Theorising Virginity in the Romance
    Jonathan Allan (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Finding True Love and Finding Her Sexuality in Vampire Romance Novels
    Chiho Nakagawa (Nara Women’s University, Japan)
  • Gender, Romance and Performance: Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga and the Female Knight Errant
    Tom Ue (McGill University, Canada)