Shelf Love
  • What Books Do, Empirically Speaking with Dr. Andrew Piper

    Mar 30, 2022

    Data scientist Dr. Andrew Piper joins Shelf Love to share how data science can help the romance community answer the big questions that close reading can’t answer. Andrew’s the director of McGill University’s .txtlab, a laboratory that uses machine learning to ask questions like why do people enjoy the work they love? And once we empirically quantify what’s going on here, he asks us to think about what we’d like to do about it.

  • Swan Song: If You're Listening to This In the Future, We'll Be Dead

    Mar 22, 2022

    Swan Song (2021) is a movie that forces us to confront the "After" part of Happily Ever After. Shelf Love's Sad Media Correspondent, Dame Jodie Slaughter, is here to discuss lax security at cloning facilities, the ethics of cloning, the aesthetics of the future: pretty much anything that allows us to avoid the banal truth about our own mortality. Content Note: discussion of death and mortality.

  • The Fated Sex Mates to Perfectly Matched Spectrum

    Mar 16, 2022

    Do our fated lovers smell like ambrosia because of the cosmic love connection? How do romance novels use language to convey romantic love? I propose a spectrum that ranges from "fated sex mates" to "perfectly matched" using examples from 4 romance novels (not all of them recommended).

  • Time Travel Romance: A Fantasy Escape to a Glorious Space

    Mar 8, 2022

    Have you ever wished you could just escape the anxieties and mundanity of modern life by traveling back to Qing Dynasty China? How does time travel romance create a simulacra of a “glorious and wealthy feudal past” that allows audiences to “effortlessly become a love interest and an admired woman through the male gaze shaped by multiple admirers”? Guest: Dr. Huike Wen is a professor teaching media studies and global cultural studies at Willamette University, and is the author of Romance in Post-Socialist Chinese Television. We discuss a chapter on time travel romance that discusses two 2011 Chinese TV dramas: Startling By Each Step and Palace.

  • The Hunger Games & Extraordinary Girl Romance Narratives

    Mar 1, 2022

    The Hunger Games may have featured a prominent love triangle, but are those the relationships teen girl audiences care most about? Dr. Tina Benigno shares her research about how the teen romance narrative for the extra-ordinary girl in some ways reinforces neoliberal feminist or popular feminist messages around empowerment discourses, on the heels of postfeminism.

  • Romance-Friendly Bookstores with Copper Dog Books (everything about the supply chain you've never thought to ask)

    Feb 22, 2022

    Romance-Friendly Bookstores with Copper Dog Books (and everything about the supply chain you've never thought to ask)!

  • Love & Marriage & The Simpsons: The Happily Ever After 10 Years with Joe Martucci

    Feb 9, 2022

    Love & Marriage...and The Simpsons. Join me & my IRL love partner to celebrate what "ever after" looks like this Valentine's Day. We discuss how romantic love, infidelity, & marriage are portrayed in The Simpsons.

  • She-Devil (1989): Who's Entitled To Be Selfish in Love & Life? (Whoa!mance spectacular)

    Jan 20, 2022

    Mary Fisher lived in a palace by the sea, and like all romance novelists, just needs love to complete her idyllic rose-colored life. Too bad the man she wants is married to bored housewife Ruth, who embarks on a journey of revenge. But who is the titular She-Devil in this 1989 film starring Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr? What does this film imagine is worse than being a bored housewife? Whom do we root for, and who gets to be selfish in life and love? Morgan & Isabeau from Whoa!mance invite me to join them on a very special Whoanus spectacular.

  • Normal People: Hopeful Post-Love Millennials

    Jan 11, 2022

    Normal People by Sally Rooney (and the Hulu adaptation) is a love story that may or may not be a romance novel, a story that might be hopeful even if it’s bleak, but who could say if it represents all millennials, who live in a post-love, post-Tumblr society? Shelf Love’s Youth Culture Media Correspondent Dame Jodie Slaughter helps me decipher what Normal People has to say about love, romance, marriage, and millennials, all through our lens as romance novel readers.

  • Unreal But Not Untrue

    Dec 21, 2021

    Is true love real or fiction? Is romantic love in fiction unreal but not untrue? How do romance novels play with fiction and reality, and how do some other disciplines explore similar questions in their own fields? Guest: Dr. Eric Selinger