Romancing Academia

Friday 16th August 2024

Please note this runs concurrently with the other workshops and you will not be able to register for more than one.

Romancing Academia

Curated by Amy T Matthews

Flinders University and Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts are thrilled to host an academic symposium on popular romance studies as part of RWAus’ 2024 conference. Featuring the latest research from romance academics, and open to anyone with an enquiring mind who wishes to attend, this symposium will showcase romance in all its complexity and glory. The symposium will consider the rise of the contemporary rom-com and the enduring impact of the historical romance, as well as the cultural force of category romance, focusing on the power of the romance genre and its intersections with feminism, gender, sexuality, generic forms and formulas, ideologies and more. When a room full of experts in the field of popular romance studies bring their research into the same room, new ideas ignite. This will be a day of fun, excitement, and learning and sharing, throwing the intellectual spotlight on the most read genre in the world. 

                       PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE

8.30am Introduction & Housekeeping
A/Prof Amy T Matthews
8.40am The Australian Convict Romance Novel: Narrating reparative histories of
social and sexual justice for “Damned Whores”

Prof Hsu Ming Teo
9.40am Bad Romance: The Core Tropes of the Bonkbuster
Dr Jodi McAlister
10.00am Morning Tea
10.30am Where are all the Blakfullas?
Melanie Saward
10.50am Queering Romance Tropes
Justina Ashman
11.10am The Arranged Marriage Trope in South Asian Diasporic Romance Fiction
Sreepurna Datta
11.30am A Real Bad Boy: How Colleen Hoover’s It Ends with Us Exploits Romance Tropes
Lucy Rouse
12.45pm Tales of Romance: Insights from 40-word romantic stories
Rebecca Stokes
1.45pm Masculinity in Sports Romance
Bee Jamieson
2.05pm Cinnamon Roll Heroes
Abby Guy
2.25pm Reading the Romance in Australia: ARRA survey data (2009-2023)
and the practices of Australian romance readers

Lauren O’Mahony
2.45pm Wrap Up
A/Prof Amy T Matthews
End of Day

CLICK HERE to download the Romancing Academia PDF program

Thinking of just attending the Romancing Academia Symposium? You can do so via the link below!

workshop registrations

(until COB 5th June)
(until COB 17th July)
(until Conference)
RWAus Member
$300.00 $350.00 $400.00
$350.00 $400.00 $450.00


  • All entitlements for day of attendance
  • Attendance at booked workshop
  • All official documentation for the workshop
  • Morning tea and lunch as scheduled

rwa conference secretariat

Tel: +61 2 4319 8519