Romance Semester

1. Seminar: The History of Romance

This ten-week course defines the modern romance novel written in English and traces its development from 1740 through the 2010s. The definition and literary history of the romance novel will provide students with a clearer understanding of the genre’s nature and scope and will also form the basis for a counterargument to the widespread disdain for and condemnation of this literary genre. Students review critical responses to romance, define and analyze the romance genre’s essential elements, discover a partial remedy for the critical ignorance of the genre’s scope, and explore the history from Samuel Richardson’s Pamela through the 20thCentury. This exploration will uncover the hidden virtues of the romance genre largely hidden from mainstream literary culture.

2. Genre: Primary Texts in Romance

This course provides primary texts within the genre of romance for students to read examples of these genres from the history of romance in their seminar class. The course content covers the modern romance novel written in English and traces its development from 1740 through the 1990s. Reading primary texts that represent eras of history provide a clearer understanding of the genre’s nature and scope and will also help students understand, in depth and from their own experience of the genre, the basis for an opinion on the widespread disdain for and condemnation of this literary genre. Students begin by exploring Samuel Richardson’s Pamela through 20thCentury romance. This exploration will uncover the hidden virtues of the romance genre largely unrealized by mainstream literary culture.