My thesis is primarily concerned with how the romance novel has been queered in the 21st Century, it therefore seeks to answer questions such as:
- How have romance writers constructed queer identities and relationships?
- How has the romance publishing industry influenced the development of queer romances?
- How are queer relationships portrayed in this historically heteronormative genre?
- Do queer romances correspond with wider societal developments for the LGBT+ community?
In doing so this project aims to expand the academic field of romance scholarship, which to date has prioritised the straight romance novel. This project therefore aims to address this gap in romance scholarship, a particularly timely endeavour given the growing prominence of queer romances within the genre. Whereas before queer romances where often relegated to self-published authors or niche publishing houses, they have now established themselves in the romance publishing mainstream with big name authors and publishers writing and promoting them.