ENGH 309 The Popular Romance Novel

Spring 2017

ENGH 309 The Popular Romance Novel 

T/TH 12:00 – 1:15 PM, Robinson Hall B224

This course investigates one of the best-selling genres in adult fiction, but one that gets little respect from literary critics and mainstream media: the popular romance novel.  We will read a range of romance novels as well as critical studies of the genre and its readers in order to examine the diversity of romance fiction, the ongoing debates about its literary merit, and the influence of gender on a genre written primarily by women for women. 

We will be reading Indigo (1996), by Beverley Jenkins, a historical romance about the Underground Railroad. To supplement our reading of this novel, students will be asked to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Thursday, February 16th. This field trip will grant participating students extra credit that will factor in to the final grade in the course. 

Below is the final list of required novels for this course. In addition to these novels, I will provide students with selected readings from the scholarship of romance studies.

 A Prior Engagement (2013), by Karina Bliss; Indigo (1996), by Beverley JenkinsFlowers From the Storm (1992), by Laura Kinsale; Naked in Death (2004), by J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts);  Dark Lover (2005), by J. R. Ward; and Attachments (2011), by Rainbow Rowell.

Students are welcome to purchase these novels in e-book or paper. Note that A Prior Engagement is only available in e-book format not unless you purchase the book from a third-party seller.

Major assignments: Fan fiction/literary analysis paper (20%); scholarly article summary and response (15%); Discipline-Specific Research Project Proposal (15%); Discipline-Specific Research Project (30%); Class participation: homework, reading responses, class discussion (20%).

Course syllabus and schedule coming soon.


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