In defence of reading (and watching) trash: Feminists reading the romance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In Cultural Populism, Jim McGuigan argues that in British cultural studies ‘there
is populist sentiment, but hardly any “sentimentality” is discernible’. There is,
however, an arena of British cultural studies that has always been concerned with
‘sentiment’ and that is the romance narrative. This article argues that the study of
popular fictions has always been integral to the history of cultural studies, and that it
established a site in which feminist voices would make gender politics intrinsic to the
field. At a time when gender was not a central issue for either Literature or Cultural
Studies, generic fictions written by and for women provided a site for research that
was undeniably about female experience, and the analysis of those texts offered a
strategy for asserting a feminist focus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-914
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Keywords

  • cultural populism
  • romance
  • soap opera
  • feminist theory
  • literature
  • popular fiction
  • Feminism
  • women’s writing

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