How is whiteness & assimilation assumed in the "land of opportunity" narrative & myth of American immigrants? We explore: how names indicate our roots, white privilege, feelings of cultural loss, our own immigrant experiences, plus we talk about Christina Laurens' Roomies novel & upcoming film adaptation.
Jul 20, 2021
"Guilty pleasures," or is the guilt what we find pleasurable? This is the question Dr. Arielle Zibrak asks in her book, Avidly Reads Guilty Pleasures (NYU Press). Arielle joins me to explore just some of the thought-provoking arguments made in her book and coach me on letting myself enjoy imperfect media. It's not a book about romance novels (although they're discussed), but the topic is highly relevant for any media that is coded as "femme," especially stories about love.
Jul 13, 2021
A touch of taboo...the Joyless Hags (Katrina Jackson & Tasha L. Harrison) reunite to dissect Seducing My Guardian by Katee Robert. We ask "What is this book trying to do?" When a book opens a door, does it have to close a window somewhere?! Also some news!
Jun 9, 2021
Problematizing romance: what happens when we dare to interrogate the assumptions that underlie the worlds into which we escape? Morgan & Isabeau from Whoa!mance podcast join me to discuss commodity fetishism, Marx, how it's easier to cancel than realize there is no terminus, and how we can't sloganize or consume our way out of oppression. It's the whole enchilada. Don't miss an epilogue to our conversation about North and South that pulls it all together. ("I don't want to marry you to possess you...I want to marry you because I love you!") PS: There's an intermission half way through the episode at a natural pause point if you want to listen in 2 parts.
May 4, 2021
Suspend your assumptions about rare books - Rebecca Romney shares how rare book collection can be for everyone, and is a critical component of preserving romance genre history. Work by marginalized people has frequently been considered unimportant or devalued in the rare book world - learn how Rebecca's work (part detective, part scholar, part marketer) is important not just for romance scholars, but for all of us, and how we all have a role to play.
Apr 27, 2021
"Safe sex" in romance novels with Dame Jodie Slaughter, part 2. We'll finish discussing the research published in 2000 about if reading romance impacts condom usage, and then I'll share some Twitter poll results from the community about condom usage in the last contemporary romance they read, as well as some results on where folks learned information about safe sex - what's your guess on how many were impacted by media including romance novels? Jodie and I brainstorm some ways to incorporate less commonly covered aspects of safe sex and sexual health in romance novels. Plus, how do WASPs teach sex education? If you haven't listened to episode 086, you probably want to take a listen to part 1 of this conversation before diving in.
Apr 20, 2021
Dame Jodie Slaughter joins me to talk about sex education, the messages about safe sex in romance novels, the symbolic nature of sexual choices in romance, and discussion of research on these topics.
Apr 13, 2021
I reflect on listener favorite episodes from 2020, share what I'll be speaking more of in 2021, and say thank you to the Holiday Fairies! (Originally recorded in January when 2021 was still fresh.)
Apr 6, 2021
Evil Prince Jack Harbon busts captive romance out of its cage: is captivity and kidnapping only found in dark romance, or are its themes more prevalent? We discuss why this trope is pleasurable and different manifestations in popular culture: Beauty and the Beast, Persephone Hades, the patriarchy, medical school, and alien abduction.
Mar 30, 2021
1 Bonkers Book; 3 Joyless Hags. If you could escape earth, would you happily hitch your wagon to a lizard-man's space ship? When we scratch the surface of alien abduction romance, what do we find, and does insta-love exist? All of these questions are answered in the first ever Joyless Hags Book Club. I'm joined by Tasha L. Harrison and Katrina Jackson to discuss Alien Mate Experiment by Zenobia Renquist.