I’m an archivist by training, and collector and historian of the romance genre by interest. I spent five years working with popular culture collections at a midwestern university, where I first encountered the many ways the history of the romance genre in the 20th century intersects with the broader culture. The romance genre can be the jumping off point to discuss gender, race, class, and community among other topics. At the same time much of the history of the genre has been lost, either in defunct publications or because of a historical lack of interest by the academy in preserving it. This blog is my small attempt to provide the material to help correct that.
I do sometimes talk about romance in places that aren’t here! I’ve been interviewed for articles about romance fiction that appeared in Texas Monthly and Men’s Health. I’ve appeared on a number of podcasts, including Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Fated Mates, Shelf Love, RomBkPod, and The Categorically Romance Pod. I’ve also written about controversy in the romance community for Library Journal.
Sometimes, I even show up in videos! I’ve been a part of panels for the Milwaukee Public Library, the Escondido Public Library, and had a great discussion with Maria DeBlassie about “Indian Romance”. For the Society of Ohio Archivists, I was part of a great panel on outreach for special collections and archives where I talked about how archives should think about social media.
In 2019 I was named the Cathie Linz Librarian of the Year by the Romance Writers of America. That organization has imploded in recent years due to systemic racism and long-standing organizational problems. I strongly disavow the organization and am no longer a member, but I am still proud of the award and its connection to Cathie Linz, who understood the importance of preserving the history of the genre long-term. I gave a little speech when I got the award.
I’m always happy to talk more about the history of the romance genre! If you’d like to interview me for your article or podcast, or hire me as a freelance writer, you can email me or find me on Twitter. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the blog!