Course on the Romance Novel at Duke

Course on the Romance Novel at Duke

Katharine Ashe (Katharine Dubois) and I are very excited to announce our Fall 2014 course at Duke on The Romance Novel. We’re delighted to be engaging in this discussion in such a dynamic intellectual environment and excited about the opportunities we’ll have to extend the discussion beyond the university walls, as well.

For Duke students who are interested, you can see more below. Note that the covers are just to give an idea of the type of books we will cover, plus others. We’ll post a full book list with the final syllabus. Students who are interested can contact either one of us at our Duke addresses or through our author websites. We can’t wait to engage in this discussion!


A course about writing and popular culture

Dr. Katharine Dubois (Katharine Ashe), History & Religious Studies
Laura Florand, Romance Studies


HST 248S.01
Fall 2014
Mondays 4:40pm – 5:55pm

Yes. In this course you will read romance novels. You will also learn (the beginnings of) how to write one. You will even learn how to sell one in the marketplace. You will learn why and how this women-driven creative form that commands the US publishing market is called “trash.” You will study the birth of the modern novel in the 18th century all the way to the explosion of romance fiction in the late 20th. You will walk away from this course understanding more about American popular culture, big business and little-guy entrepreneurship than you can imagine. You will engage in a huge online public debate about popular fiction, femininity, masculinity, sex, power, money, entertainment and the publishing industry today. And we’ll have fun doing it.
(CCI) Cross Cultural Inquiry, (W) Writing, (ALP) Arts, Literature & Performance,
(CZ) Civilizations

  • Kathy

    Sounds like you will have as much fun teaching it as your students will have taking it! I would be interested in seeing the full list of books you will be reading, if you care to share outside your class.

    April 8, 2014 at 7:03 am
  • Rebecca Reynolds

    Too bad this isn’t offered online as well! I’d love to take something like this! What a wonderful opportunity these students have. Sounds like a thought-provoking yet fun class. I hope you have a blast teaching it!

    April 9, 2014 at 7:41 pm
  • This sounds like such a wonderful course! What a pity there’s nothing like that being offered near me…

    April 11, 2014 at 8:50 am
  • Seriously?! I’ve never wanted to go to Duke more!

    April 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm
  • What wonderful news! First the popular romance conferences at Princeton, and now this course at Duke? Things have come a long way in the last five years.

    If there’s anything that we at the Journal of Popular Romance Studies can do to help, please let me know. Our essays are all freely available on line, and can be downloaded as pdfs; there are several that I’ve used to good effect in the classroom here at DePaul. You might also find some of the video interviews at the Popular Romance Project of use, both of scholars and of writers, agents, editors, etc., from the industry side.

    Good for Duke–and congratulations!

    May 1, 2014 at 8:49 am

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