Women's Education and Romance

I'm going to be away from the blog for the next few days, headed up to my alma mater, Smith College for a week of writing and a very very exciting panel...Romance Literature: Love it or Leave it. The panel will celebrate the opening of the Smith College Friends of the Libraries Reading Room, which is fitting, as I was a friend of the library when I was a student at Smith, and I continue to be a friend of libraries now. I'm particularly excited because it will feature my fellow Smith alums May Chen (editor at Avon Books), Judith Arnold, Stephanie Dray/Draven, and the "Book Maven," Bethanne Patrick!

People don't think of women's colleges as being a place where romance gets read, thought about, or written...but I have said many many times that, while I was reading romance long before I got to Smith, it was there, in Northampton, that I really started to *think* about romance. Aside from having a gaggle of friends who all read romance (and who all loved to *talk* about romance), I also studied the genre as part of my American Studies coursework. This was before teaching romance was "cool"...and I can remember having huge arguments in class with other students who thought the genre was "perpetuating the myth of male dominance." I could never get behind that. I thought romance was a feminist genre all the way. Literature by women, for women, about women, offering women *exactly* what they want.

So, yeah. I'm super excited about this panel...if you're in Western Massachusetts, it's open to the public...and I'd love to see you there!

April 13, 2011, 4:30pm Smith College Alumnae in Romance Neilson Library Browsing Room Smith College Northampton, MA