Scarlett Peckham, professional writer of alpha heroines, joins me to discuss her problematic favorite trope: house parties! Forced Proximity! Lunch hampers! Bed hopping! Both everything and nothing is riding on who marries whom! And of course, capitalism, imperialism, and labor exploitation. Womp womp - don't worry, they kiss at the end.
Nov 14, 2020
Guest: Dr. Danielle Knafo, a clinical psychologist who studies fantasy, perversion, sexuality, and gender. In this episode, we discuss questions like, is it harmful to start reading romance novels too young? Why might someone fantasize about things that are undesirable in real life? What's the deal with sadomasochism? Am I become a joyless hag who's sucking all the fun out of romance novels by trying to critically understand problematic faves? Is the Happily Ever After really just a way for us humans to deal with existential dread?
Oct 31, 2020
Dr. Maria DeBlassie joins me to discuss three contemporary romance novels that explore everyday, practical magic with Black heroines: Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon, A Taste of Her Own Medicine by Tasha L. Harrison, and Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. Maria shares her experience as a practitioner of Brujeria, and explains how everyone can manifest some everyday magic.
Oct 24, 2020
Dr. Margarita Guillory, associate professor of religion at BU, shares her knowledge about the history of African diaspora conjuring practices, how they are and have been portrayed in popular culture, and how Black millennials and younger generations are practicing witchcraft digitally. Dr. Maria DeBlassie co-hosts. This conversation lays the groundwork for next episode, in which Maria and I build on what we learned from Margarita to discuss Black witches in contemporary romance.
Oct 17, 2020
Dr. Eric Selinger is back to discuss Glitterland by Alexis Hall and how it's basically a big old allegory for the romance genre. Eric and I speak authoritatively about books we've never read, and how Glitterland addresses mental health stigma. Visit Shelflovepodcast.com for show notes and transcript.
Oct 10, 2020
John Jacobson, freelance editor at Carina Press, joins me to trouble the binaries as we unpack a problematic favorite trope: women in pants in historical romance novels.
Oct 3, 2020
Romance scholar Eric Selinger explores different types questions that have been asked about popular romance (not enough), how romance research has come in waves (three, to be precise), and asks "how can I make this romance more interesting?" (you always can).
Sep 26, 2020
Guest Jayashree Kamble, romance scholar is back to discuss My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas. This novel is a cross between Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and a passing narrative, and layers in discussion of Chinese culture and the history British imperialism. Jayashree explored the Wuxia influence and transculturalism in a paper published in March 2020 in the Journal of Popular Romance Studies.
Sep 19, 2020
Dame Jodie Slaughter bares her belly in the first of the our explorations of problematic favorite tropes. We unpack the alphahole in popular romance fiction - why does Jodie love it? Why do readers love it? And why is it problematic when it recurs in the romance genre?
Sep 12, 2020
Jayashree Kamble, a romance scholar and Vice President of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance, joins me to discuss the various ways romance can be studied. She gives a brief overview of the history of the romance genre and pop culture research, why she doesn't encounter the hierarchy of taste when teaching romance, and explains who romance scholarship is for.