CFP: Romance & Popular Fiction

The Northeast Popular/American Culture Association (NEPCA) is seeking paper proposals on the topic of Romance/Popular Romance Fiction for its annual conference. 

NEPCA’s 2022 fall, virtual conference will be held Thursday, October 20 – Saturday, October 22, 2022. The deadline for proposals is August 1, 2022.  

We welcome a wide variety of papers related to romance and popular romance fiction. Possible approaches can include cultural studies, narrative analysis, issues of representation, production and dissemination of romance fiction, audience studies, the public uses of romance fiction/s, and more. 

We are also interested in forming panels around some of the following topics:

  • Romance and fanfiction – fandom as a training ground for developing romance writers
  • Romance on screen – if the “rom-com” is in decline, why is romance in movies (The Lost City, Palm Springs) and television (Bridgerton, Outlander) so popular?
  • Romance and adaptation – why do some romance writers (Jane Austen, Julia Quinn, Sally Thorne) get adapted and some (Georgette Heyer, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Jennifer Crusie) do not?
  • Romance re-imagining itself – How does contemporary romance fiction take on and transform its own genre? How does it re-make the “pirate romance,” the “arranged marriage” trope, fairy tales and mythological re-tellings?

NEPCA welcomes individual papers and complete panels.   Papers are generally 15-20 minutes in length. NEPCA discourages (but does not forbid) verbatim reading of papers and strongly encourages creative delivery of papers.  We also encourage works in progress and informal presentations. The only restrictions on presentations are that:

  • Proposals should be rooted in research. We do not automatically exclude original poetry, composed works of fiction, or musical/dance/storytelling performance, but such works must be connected to greater theoretical and research frameworks.
  • NEPCA generally avoids proposals whose intent is overtly commercial.
  • Proposals should appeal to a broad audience.

For more information about the conference, please visit the NEPCA Conference page

Abstracts should be submitted by August 1, 2022, through this form. 

Visit the Facebook page for NEPCA or check us out on Twitter!

If you have questions about this area, please reach out to the Area Chairs for the Romance/Popular Romance Fiction area, Wendy Wagner, Johnson & Wales University, at, and Angela Whyland, at

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