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Editor’s Note: Issue 1.1

Is there an academic field of Popular Romance Studies?

Certainly scholars from many disciplines have studied the ways that love is represented in—and has been reshaped by—global popular culture.  Serious, peer-reviewed work has been published on the politics, aesthetics, and appeal of romance in romance novels, romantic comedies, manga, telenovelas, and digital media.  The on-line bibliography of English-language research in romance fiction alone includes nearly five hundred entries: some of this work focuses on the novels themselves, some of it on authors, readers, and the multinational publishing industry that produces and markets these books from Toronto to Mumbai.

Popular romance scholarship, then, does not simply exist, it abounds.  Yet popular romance scholars continue to work, for the most part, in isolation, divided by both national and disciplinary boundaries.

To bridge those divides, the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR) proudly introduces the Journal of Popular Romance Studies, a peer-reviewed on-line journal dedicated to scholarship on the representation of romantic love in popular media, now and in the past, from anywhere in the world.  We welcome theoretical and empirical contributions from any relevant discipline, as well as interdisciplinary work.  In addition, we will publish book reviews, interviews, and articles on the pedagogy of popular romance in any or all of its forms.

Like the annual international conferences on popular romance sponsored by IASPR (Brisbane 2009, Belgium 2010, New York City 2011), the Journal of Popular Romance Studies aims not simply to foster the study of romantic love in global popular media, but also to build a community that includes academics, independent scholars, industry professionals, and serious general readers.  To that end, we have made JPRS a free, open-access journal, and we allow moderated comments on all of our articles.  We look forward to the discussion that each may prompt, and to the new scholarship that will grow out of these exchanges.

Eric Murphy Selinger, Executive Editor, JPRS
Sarah S. G. Frantz, President, IASPR