All Proposals & Abstracts Must Be Submitted Through The PCA Database.
Please submit a proposal to only one area at a time. Exceptions and rules


Conference of the Popular and American Culture Association (PCA/ACA)
March 21-25, 2016 – Seattle, WA

The topic of romantic love suffuses popular culture, and in turn, the popular culture of romantic love shapes real life social practices, from dating to weddings to holiday shopping. The Romance Area invites proposals on any topic related to popular romance culture or the romance industry, now or in the past, anywhere in the world.

Some possible topics for Romance (although we are by no means limited to these):

  • #weneeddiverseromance: romance authors, readers, and publishers of color and the politics of representation
  • Disability in romance: the “Aspy hero,” love-cures, and getting past the tropes
  • Love, Inshallah, Ishqr, etc.: love and Islam in popular culture
  • Romance Around the Pacific Rim: media trends and real-life romance practice
  • Indigeneity, Native Issues, and Popular Romance
  • Queering the Romance: authors, characters, plot twists, publishers, readers
  • Fan fic, Adaptation, and the Classics: romancing Shakespeare, Austen, and canonical pop culture
  • Tensions within the “Romance Community”: crises, kerfuffles, fault lines, debates
  • Aca-Fandom and Romance Scholarship: Opportunities and Concerns
  • Young Adult, New Adult, and Vintage Adult (fortysomething and over) Romance
  • The “Erotics of Property” Revisited: money, social class, and romance
  • Romancing the Marketplace: romantic love in advertising, marketing, and consumer culture
  • Canons to the Left of Us, Canons to the Right of Us: Iconic Texts / Authors and the Romance Canon Debate
  • HEA, HFN, TTFN: Theorizing (and Close Reading) the Romance Ending
  • Emerging Genres, Authors, and Media
  • Lauren Berlant and Romance; Sara Ahmed and Romance; Critical Love Studies and Romance: New Critical / Theoretical Approaches
  • Non-Romance Topics (Work, Community, History) in popular romance texts
  • Masculinity and / in Popular Romance
  • Questions of Consent: Romance and / vs. Rape Culture, Now and in the Past
  • Outlander, Jane the Virgin, the Poldark Reboot, Healer: Romance on (Global) Television in the 21st century
  • Teaching Romance: Where? How? What? Why? To Whom?

Special Session: The Romance of Science Fiction Fantasy or A Little Sci-Fi Fantasy in your Romance

The Areas of Science Fiction/Fantasy and Romance will be holding a special joint session which will highlight the combination of the genres of Science Fiction/Fantasy with Romance.

How has the intersection of these two popular genres opened up new possibilities in conceptualizing gender, desire, sexuality, love, courtship, or relationship structure? How has their intersection allowed us to see existing concepts of these more vividly, freshly, or critically? How have authors, filmmakers, showrunners, and fans played these genres against one another, for example by using romance to critique traditions in SF/F, or SF/F to critique the tropes of romance?

We welcome proposals on steampunk, paranormal, fan-fic/ slash, science-fiction, and fantasy romance in literature, film or television (eg. Kate Douglas, Meljean Brook, J. D. Robb, Alexis Hall’s Prosperity Universe, Game of Thrones, Outlander, Ever AfterHer, Lost Girl, etc.)

When proposing for the special session please clearly indicate this in your abstract / proposal, and contact the area chairs (SF/F) and (Romance) separately to request that your paper be considered for the session.

As we do every year, the Romance area will meet in a special Open Forum to discuss upcoming conferences, work in progress, and the future of the field of Popular Romance Studies.  All are welcome to attend.

Submit a proposal or abstract (200-300 words) proposal or abstract through the PCA website, and ONLY through the PCA website, at If you wish to submit a panel for the conference, all presenters must submit individually through the website, and then notify the Area Chair of your intentions to present together. Please do not include panel colleagues on the electronic submission as this confuses the program. Instructions for submission can be found at

Do not simultaneously submit the same proposal to multiple areas. Doing so will result in your proposal being disqualified and your paper being refused by the PCA/ACA. Per PCA/ACA guidelines, a person may present only one paper at the annual meeting, regardless of subject area. If you try to submit to two areas, the master program will not accept your proposals (which may result in your paper not being accepted in either area).

Submission Deadline: October 1, 2015

Please feel free to forward, cross-post, or link to this call for papers.

If you have any questions as all, please contact the area chair:

Eric Selinger
Professor of English
DePaul University