Popular Romance Project Receives NEH Funding

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce that the Popular Romance Project has received an America’s Media Makers Production Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Public Programs.

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This collaborative, multimedia, cross-platform project—including a documentary film, a symposium, and a national library program—is designed to explore popular romance broadly, examining change over time in the content, art, business, and reception of romance novels. Taking love and its stories seriously, wherever they may be found, the Popular Romance Project will spark a lively, thoughtful conversation between fans, authors, scholars, and the general public about the writing, production, and consumption of popular romance, including its history and transformation in the digital age.

The project blog, launched in February 2012, receives more than 125,000 visitors and 500,000 page views annually from across the U.S. and from more than 140 countries. The blog features video interviews and essays by scholars, authors, readers, librarians, and industry insiders. With this funding, we will develop an expanded website—including hundreds of new video interviews and blog posts, games that explore branding and marketing, and archival materials—as well as a mobile version.

The project aims to bring relevant scholarship from a wide range of disciplines, including English, history, popular culture, folklore, digital humanities, communication, media studies, business, marketing, psychology, anthropology, and sociology to a mass audience in an engaging, accessible way and to bring new audiences into the conversation about the nature of love, romance, and their expression in novels and popular culture more broadly.

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In partnership with filmmaker Laurie Kahn (Blueberry Hill Productions), the Library of Congress Center for the Book, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office, the project has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mass Humanities, Romance Writers of America, and the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University as well as donations from individuals around the world. Learn more.


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Each year, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media’s websites receive over 2 million visitors, and more than a million people rely on its digital tools to teach, learn, and conduct research. Donations from supporters help us sustain those resources.