Traditions and Trajectories of Love:
The Sixth International Conference on Popular Romance
IASPR Salt Lake City Conference Schedule
(Sessions to be held at Ft. Douglas Officers’ Club on the campus of the University of Utah)


8-9 a.m.
Breakfast and Registration

9-10:30 a.m.
Sex, Gender, and Romance:

Elin Abrahamsson, Stockholm University, Sweden:
“Consuming Passions: a queer reading of the popular romance genre through the concept of masturbation”

Katherine Morrissey, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York:
“Keeping It Classy: Studying Sex and Romance”

Len Barot, Bold Strokes Books, New York:
“Diversity in Lesbian Romance Fiction: The Impact of Gender and Race on Marketing and Sales”

10:30-10:45 a.m. 

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
The Representation of History in Romance:

Heather Schell, George Washington University, DC:
Two Nerdy History Girls: Historical Romance Novelists as Teachers of History”

Caryn Radick, Rutgers University, New Jersey:
“Writing about History and Becoming Part of the Historical Record: Romance Writers’ Use of Archives and Archival Collections Documenting Popular Romance”

Jessica Matthews, George Mason University, Virginia:
“Romance as Propaganda: White Fantasy of Indian Love in the 19th –century ‘Civilize the American Indian’ Movement”

12:15-1:30 p.m.
LUNCH on site for all participants

1:30-3:00 p.m.
Sociological Perspectives on Romance:

Michael Gratzke, University of Hull, UK:
“Love at face value: Popular romance and the future of Critical Love Studies”

Levan Wee, University of Melbourne, Australia:
“Phenomenology of Romantic Love”

Carolina Aspillaga, Universidad del Desarrello, University of Chile:
“Experiences, Tensions and Romantic Love Ideals on Chilean Young Adults”

3-3:15 p.m. 

3:15-4:15 p.m.
Love on TV:

Huike Wen, Willamette University, Oregon:
“‘The Remarkable Woman Deserves a True Love’—the Portrayal of a Relationship between an Older Woman and a Younger Man in Chinese Media”

Katlyn Williams, University of Iowa:
“The Laws of Love, According to TV’s The Bachelor

6:30-9:00 p.m.
Public showing of documentary film: Love Between the Covers
Salt Lake Public Library, Marmalade Branch

  • Q&A afterwards with filmmaker Laurie Kahn, Boston

FRIDAY, June 24

8-9 a.m. 
Breakfast and Registration

9-10:30 a.m.
An Informal Discussion of Laurie Kahn’s Documentary, Love Between the Covers:

Moderator: William A. Gleason, Princeton University, New Jersey

Panelists: Laurie Kahn and others TBA

10:30-10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Spaces & Places for Romance:

Javaria Farooqui, Institute of Information Technology, Lahore, Pakistan:
“‘Raging Seas and Cloudy Skies’: Macro to Meso Level Psychosemantic Movement in Stephanie Laurens’ Black Cobra Quartet

Erin Young, SUNY Empire State College, New York:
“Love in the Last Frontier: An Analysis of Alaskan Romance Novels”

Estella C. Kuchta: University of British Columbia, Vancouver
“Hungry Lovers: An Appetizer of Selected Canadian Literature”

12:15-1:30 p.m.
LUNCH on site for all participants

1:30-3:00 p.m.
Mythic & Religious Frames for Love:

Margot Blankier, Trinity College, Dublin:
“‘The Sweetest Story Ever Told’: ‘Cinderella’ as American Dream Narrative”

Pavla Stefanska, Masavyk University, Czech Republic:
“Blurring the Lines: Irish mythology and symbolism in Nora Roberts’ The Cousin O’Dwyer’s Trilogy

Eric Murphy Selinger, DePaul University, Chicago:
“‘Use Heart in Your Search’: Erotic Faith, the Heart Sutra, and the Allusive Art of My Beautiful Enemy

3-3:15 p.m. 

3:15-4:15 p.m.

Assist. Prof. of English, City University of New York; author of Making Meaning in Popular Romance Fiction: An Epistemology
Talk: “Epistemes and Cultural Dominants: What Popular Romance Novels’ Heroes and Heroines Tell Us About Postmodernity”


4:30-6:00 p.m.
Structures and Theories of Romance:

Lesley Ann Smith, Curtin University, Australia:
“Understanding the Formula”

Maryan Wherry, Independent Scholar & Writer, Quad-Cities, Illinois:
“Love and the American Dream in Popular Romance”

Maria Ramos-Garcia, South Dakota State University:
“Creating the Sense of an Ending in Urban Fantasy”


8-9:00 a.m.:
Breakfast and Registration

9-10:30 a.m.
Exotic Others and Lovers:

Amy Burge, Edinburgh University, Scotland:
“‘Shipping magnates and oil sheikhs’: Decoding the exotic hero in ‘Harlequin Presents’ romance novels, 2000-2015”

Kecia Ali, Boston University:
“Triangulating Desire: Navigating Islamland, Arabiastan, and Romancelandia in Suzanne Brockmann’s Into the Night

Sarah Ficke, Marymount University, Virginia:
“When Vampires Meet Clockwork: Fantasy Creatures in Steampunk Romance”

10:30-10:45 a.m.


10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Historical Perspectives on Romance

Scott Black, University of Utah:
“Romance Beginnings”

Amanda Bohne, University of Notre Dame, Indiana:
“Medieval Romance”

Angela Toscano, University of Iowa:
“An Excessive Enquiry: Metonymy and Misrecognition in Haywood’s Love in Excess”

12:15-1:30 p.m. 
LUNCH on site for all participants

1:30- 3:00 p.m.
Intercultural & Inter-racial Romance:

Maria-Isabel González-Cruz, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain:
“Intercultural and interlingual relations in a corpus of popular romance fiction novels”

Mallory Jagodzinski, Bowling Green State University, Ohio:
“Playing Tricks: Neoliberalism, Postfeminism, and Postraciality in Theresa Romain’s Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress”

Hsu-Ming Teo, Macquarie University, Australia:
“When a Jew loves a Nazi: Romance novels and the Holocaust”

3-3:15 p.m.

3:15-4:15 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: AMIRA JARMAKANI
Women’s Studies, San Diego State University; author of An Imperialist Love Story
Talk: “Radioactive Love: Mapping Desire from Agrabah to Abbottabad”