My thesis is primarily an exploration of how this traditionally heterosexual genre has been queered. I will address this by asking the following questions:
1. How is queerness explored and portrayed in these novels?
2. How has the production of queer romances influenced the genre’s development?
3. How are queer romance readers and writers engaging with their LGBT+ communities?
It will draw upon literary critical and social science methodologies to analyse how queer romances rework heteronormative structures and expands on established critical popular romance scholarship. Following Janice Radway, whose 1984 Reading the Romance remains the only key scholarly text to focus on readership, my project consists of surveys, focus groups and individual interviews with not only readers, but also authors and publishers, thereby expanding Radway’s approach. A complementary structuralist approach, drawing on the widely used framework Regis outlined in The Natural History of the Romance Novel (2003), will be used to analyse how the structures of queer romances compare to heterosexual romance structures.