Researching the Romance Conference

beverly-jenkins-books

Researching the Romance Conference Coming This Spring

The Browne Popular Culture Library at BGSU will host an academic conference focused on various aspects of the romance genre on April 13-14, 2018.

The “Researching the Romance” conference will be held in two locations over the course of the weekend. Friday’s sessions will be held in the Jerome Library on the campus of Bowling Green State University, while Saturday’s events will be held at the Wood County District Public Library in downtown Bowling Green.

The guest of honor for the conference will be 2017 RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Beverly Jenkins, who has published more than 30 novels and is well-known for the level of detailed research she puts into each of her books – making her the perfect guest for this conference. She will be speaking and signing books Saturday afternoon at the Wood County District Public Library.

Saturday afternoon’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Kate Brown, assistant professor of political science at Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana.  Brown is a 2017 recipient of the Romance Writers of America Academic Research Grant for her work, which explores how English common law and constitutionalism give fundamental structure and substance to the historical romance genre.

Dr. Eric Selinger, professor of English at DePaul University and executive editor of the Journal for Popular Romance Studies, will be in conversation with Beverly Jenkins on Friday afternoon. Selinger has a long history of research in romance fiction and has frequently taught courses using Jenkins’ work. 

It’s been 20 years since the Browne Popular Culture Library at BGSU held one of the first academically oriented conferences on the genre of popular romance fiction. Titled “Re-Reading the Romance,” the 1997 event included authors and academics from around the country sharing their experiences and love for the genre.  A follow up conference titled “Romance in the new Millennium” was held in 2000, featuring even more thoughtful looks at romance. 

In the years since the last conference at BGSU, the romance industry has grown to more than $1 billion per year in sales, and the study of popular romance has grown by leaps and bounds along with it.