The Journal of Popular Romance Studies is dedicated to publishing scholarship on romantic love in global popular media, now and in the past, along with interviews, pedagogical discussions, and other material of use to both scholars and teachers. With this second issue, we make good on that mission in several new and exciting ways. We expand internationally, and into cyberspace, with essays on web-based Chinese romantic fiction, on single women in British middlebrow novels of the interwar years, and on debates at the popular Smart Bitches, Trashy Books website about “plus-size” heroines in popular romance fiction.
Alongside these, we have our second author interview, this time with groundbreaking science fiction author Joanna Russ, reflecting on her decades-old engagement with slash fiction and fandom. And this issue inaugurates what we hope will be an on-going series of “Pedagogy Reports,” this one focused on the challenges and rewards of “embedding” Georgette Heyer’s romance novel Sylvester in a University of Tasmania course on historical fiction, teaching it alongside canonical literary texts.
With their overt and implicit connections to queer theory, fat studies, and middlebrow studies—as well as to the established disciplines of communications and comparative literature—these pieces hint at the range and excitement of our emerging field. We welcome comments on all of these contributions, and we hope that you will find ways to put them to use in your own research and teaching. If you do, please let us know!
Our next issue (2.1) will include conference proceedings from the second annual International Conference on Popular Romance Studies, “Theorizing Popular Romance,” held in Brussels last August. The third annual International Conference, hosted by the Fales Library and Special Collection of New York University, is coming up this June 26-28 in New York City, and features as its keynote speaker Laura Kipnis of Northwestern University, author of Against Love: A Polemic. Things could get lively—we hope to see you there.
Eric Murphy Selinger, Executive Editor, JPRS