About the Conference

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eighth International Conference on Popular Romance Studies did not take place in summer 2020. Instead of meeting in person for a full conference, IASPR organized the IASPR Digital Forum on July 10-17, 2020. 

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lynda Gichanda Spencer

Whose love matters in popular romance culture? Who is represented as capable of love, or worthy of it? How do popular romance media—books, films, TV, web series, popular music, comics, etc.—promote and/or resist (neo) imperialism, (neo) colonialism, white supremacy, ethno-nationalism, ableism, and compulsory heterosexuality? How do innovations in publishing and media creation and/or distribution help to diversify popular romance, making it more inclusive, and what innovations are needed in popular romance studies to bring this diversity—or its continuing absence—into our critical discourse?

The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance’s 2020 conference planned to feature papers and posters on the popular culture of romantic love, now and in the past, from anywhere in the world. For this conference we were particularly interested in papers, posters, panels, and workshops focused on issues related to diversity, inclusion, and innovation. Planned topics included:

  • Social justice themes and efforts at broadening popular romance media, including issues related to race, sexuality, gender, class, disability, age, religion, etc.
  • Love and romance in the context of mass migration and displacement.
  • Popular romance in colonial and post-colonial contexts.
  • Romance beyond the Anglosphere: traditions, texts, translations (literal and metaphorical).
  • Changes in romance genres and innovations in popular romance creation, marketing, and sales.
  • Resistance to change in popular romance.
  • Popular romance media communities and controversies.
  • Panels on individual authors/creators and individual texts (books, series, films, shows, etc.)