The Routledge Companion to Romantic Love  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Romantic Love

Edited By

Ann Brooks

ISBN 9780367900694
Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge
462 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Companion to Romantic Love is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary reference work essential for students and researchers interested in the field of love, romance and popular romance fiction. This first-of-its-kind volume illustrates the broad and interdisciplinary nature of love studies. International contributors, including leaders in their field, reflect a range of perspectives from cultural studies, history, literature, popular romance studies, American studies, sociology and gender studies. Comprising over 30 chapters by a team of international contributors the Companion is divided into 12 parts:

Love, romance and historical and social change

Love and feminist discourses

Love and popular romance fiction

Love, gender and sexuality

Romancing Australia

South and Southeast Asian romance communities

Nation, place and identity in US popular romance novels

Romantic love and national identity in Chinese and Taiwanese discourses of love

Muslim and Middle Eastern romances

Discourses of romance fiction and technologies of power

Writing love and romance

Legal and theological fiction and sexual politics

This is an important and unique collection aimed at researchers and students across cultural studies, women and gender studies, literature studies and sociology.

Table of Contents

PART I; Love, Romance and Historical and Social Change; What’s Love Got to do With It? Romance and Intimacy in the Age of Hooking Up; Shipping Anne/Henry: Love in Tudor Historical Romances; Men and Women in Love: Courtship, Marriage and Gender in Late Medieval England; These Old Shades: Georgette Heyer’s Unruly Eighteenth Century; PART II; Love and Feminist Discourses; A New Vision of Love: Diversity, Positive Sexuality and Cultural Change in America; Mobilizing Love; Mobile Love: Moral Panics, Erotics, and Affect; Big Little Lies - Feminist or Postfeminist Fiction? The Subversion of the Love Discourse in Liane Moriarty’s Novel and in the Series; PART III; Love and Popular Romance Fiction; Love and Listening: the Erotics of Talk in the Popular Romance Novel; What’s in a Name? A Corpus Study of Phonological Differences between Gay and Straight Romance Heroes' Names; House, Home and Husband in Historical Romance Fiction; PART IV; Love, Gender and Sexuality; Towards a Progressive Black Sexual Politics: Reading African American Polyamorous Women in Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought; Self-Improvement as Proof of Love in The Bromance Book Club; The #MeTooMovement, Ronan Farrow and the Fall of Sexually Abusive Men in Film and Television; PART V; Romancing Australia; Transported for Life, Transported by Love: Love and the Australian Convict Romance Novel; ‘This Isn’t It’: The Fantasy of the Breakup in the Australian and American Bachelor/ette Franchises; PART VI; South and Southeast Asian Romance Communities; Army Trenches and School Benches: The Philippine-American War in the Sugar Sun Series; "Shipping" Larry Stylinson: What Makes Pairing Appealing Boys Romantic?; Performances of ‘Reel’ and ‘Real’ Lives: Negotiating Public Romance in Urban India; PART VII; Nation, Place and Identity in US Popular Romance Novels; The Wild Heart of the Continent: Love and Place in the Silk Road Novels of Sherry Thomas; Remembering Love: Parsons-Yazzie’s Historical Romance Novel and the (Re)writing of Navajo History; PART VIII; Romantic Love and National Identity in Chinese and Taiwanese Discourses of Love; The Fantasy of Love and Identity Crisis: (De)colonizing Desire and Nationality; Cook for a Better Life: The Economy of Food and Sex in Chinese Web Romance; Emotion and Empowerment-Romantic Love in Taiwanese Writer San Mao’s Wondering Literature and Life; PART IX; Muslim and Middle Eastern Romances; Girls of Riyadh and Desperate in Dubai: Reading and Writing Romance in the Middle East; Reading and Writing Muslim Romance on Wattpad; PART X; Discourses of Romance Fiction and Technologies of Power; The Geopolitics of Love: Patriotism, Homeland and the Domestication of Violent Masculinities in US Paramilitary Romance Fiction; ‘Roma’ Spelled Backwards: Love and Heterotopic Space in Contemporary Romance Novels Set in Italy; PART XI; Writing Love and Romance; Disaggregating ‘Attraction’: Asexuality and Genre Critique in Alex Beecroft’s Blue Steel Chain; Disenchantment and its Discontents: ‘Modern Love’ and Irony in Popular Romance Fiction; PART XII; Legal and Theological Fiction and Sexual Politics; The Single-Mother and the Law: Romance Novels Making Room for Female Voices in Patriarchal Spaces; Rethinking ‘one flesh’: D.S. Bailey and the Theology of Romantic Love in Mid-twentieth Century Britain

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Ann Brooks is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh and has been a Visiting Professor at the Australian Catholic University since 2018. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS). Ann has previously held senior academic positions in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. She is author of Academic Women (1997), Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory and Cultural Forms (Routledge, 1997), Gender and the Restructured University (2001), Gendered Work in Asian Cities: The New Economy and Changing Labour Markets (2006), Social Theory in Contemporary Asia (2010), Gender, Emotions and Labour Markets: Asian and Western Perspectives (Routledge, 2011), Emotions in Transmigration: Transformation, Movement and Identity (with Ruth Simpson, 2012), Popular Culture, Global Intercultural Perspectives (2014), Consumption, Rights and States-Comparing Global Cities in Asia and the US (with Lionel Wee, 2014) and Emotions and Social Change: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (co-edited with David Lemmings, Routledge, 2014 and 2016). Recent books include Genealogies of Emotions, Intimacy and Desire: Theories of Changes in Emotional Regimes from Medieval Society to Late Modernity (Routledge, 2017), Women, Politics and the Public Sphere (2019) and Love and Intimacy in Contemporary Society: Love in an International Context (Routledge, 2020).


"Staggeringly eclectic and yet with deep underlying unities, this remarkable volume redraws the map of love, romance, and sexuality in its tremendous historical and contemporary diversity.  Expertly edited by Ann Brooks, thirty-two essays shed fascinating light on love, from medieval Europe to twenty-first century America, from the Middle East to East Asia, from traditional forms of relationship to new revolutionary advances in gender, racial and sexual inclusiveness, in consent discourse, and in sexual justice.  A huge achievement."
 - Simon May, King’s College London, UK, author of Love: A New Understanding of an Ancient Emotion and Love: A History

"The Routledge Companion to Romantic Love is a wonderfully expansive collection of essays that breaks boundaries by expanding our understanding of romantic love. For the first time, critical studies in a global context are presented in conjunction, ranging from love in popular literature and film to historical texts, the effects of modernization, and the fan experience. With its exceptionally wide span of sources and interdisciplinary methodology, the Companion to Romantic Love explores love in varied forms -- traditional, transgressive, and among all sexualities and genders. By demonstrating that diverse models co-exist even within a historical period, a national culture, or a literary genre, this volume is indispensable for anyone interested in the growing field of critical love studies."

 - Susan Ostrov Weisser, Adelphi University, USA, author of The Glass Slipper: Women and Love Stories

"This is of course a book of parts, but it is no ‘curate’s egg’, rather it is full of fascinating and important ideas. ‘Romantic’ love is a slippery thing, in many ways a marker of  the ‘modern’ yet also a carrier of traditions which are long established and culturally specific. In turn there are increasing tensions with globalised representations, as well as with Feminist criticisms of romance as something woven from an outworn patriarchal web which continues to trap women. The Routledge Companion to Romantic Love explores these matters and much, much more, giving this reader both the excuse to re-visit Georgette Heyer’s novels, and the impetus to explore the rich array of writing on and about love from, for example, South and East Asia and the Middle East. I am sure that other readers, across many disciplines, as well as those who are simply puzzled by the power of love, will find much of interest in the pages of this book."

 - Sue Scott, Honorary Professor, Newcastle University, UK, editor of Theorising Sexuality