Volume 11 of JPRS is an issue to remember. Every section of the journal ended up full-to-bursting, and thanks to the hard work of scholars, peer reviewers, copyeditors, guest-editors, and our masthead staff—hats off to Sarah Ficke, our Web Editor, for what must have felt like endless rounds of manuscript processing!—we are able to offer you all of the following:
- Six book reviews, on topics that range from Georgette Heyer’s historical romance fiction, romantic comedy in contemporary film, and romance and sexuality in video games to reader ethnography, popular fiction pedagogy, and recent British Muslim writing on love, desire, and relationships;
- A four-essay Notes and Queries section in which I offer thoughts on the (putative?) (possible?) (premature?) formation of a popular romance fiction canon, followed by three incisive responses;
- A three-essay Special Issue on Sexting as a real-world practice, with an accompanying call for further research on sexting as it is represented in fiction, film, and other media;
- Six general-issue articles, variously focused on twentieth-century romance authors (Berta Ruck and Georgette Heyer), a twenty-first century romance “novel of ideas” (Courtney Milan’s The Duke Who Didn’t), the evolution, and lack thereof, of romance readers’ preferences from Janice Radway’s time to 2016; ethnographic research into chick-lit readers and reading; and popular romance pedagogy, via a report on the University of Basel’s fourteen-week seminar “Critical Approaches to the Modern and Contemporary anglophone Romance Novel”; and
- A groundbreaking Special Issue on Black Romance, comprised of seven research articles, nine interviews, a resource bibliography, and an overarching introduction by guest editors Margo Hendricks and Julie E. Moody-Freeman, for a cup-running-over grand total of eighteen new contributions to the history and analysis of Black romance.
This capacious volume will serve, I hope, not only as a sign of the vitality and range of popular romance studies as a field, but also as a foundation for—or a provocation to—future work, and I hope to hear its echoes in the talks to be presented at the ninth international conference on popular romance studies, “Romance Revitalized,” which will be held at the University of Birmingham (UK) from June 28-30, 2023.
As always, if you are interested in reviewing for JPRS or in suggesting a book for review, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!