IS 590RR Reading Romance in the Library

In this course we will examine romance readers and reading from a library perspective. More specifically, we will investigate the tension between romance fiction’s profound popularity and its frequent denigration. While we will explore the romance genre itself, we will situate our conversation in the institutional and ethical context of the library, primarily focusing on romance readers’ motivations, meaning-making practices, and pleasures, on the one hand, and the ways in which librarians perceive, portray, serve, and sometimes criticize these readers on the other. Topics covered will include gender, taste, literacy, and professional ethics. Students will also develop some requisite skills to effectively advise romance readers in the library, though this is not the focus of the course. No antecedent familiarity with popular romance is required or expected.

Recent syllabus

Textbooks and Course Materials

Available from the Illinois Union Bookstore (IUB).