ISSN: 2159-4473
Published in partnership with the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance

Special Issue Call for Papers

Current Special Issue CFPs:

CALL FOR PAPERS: Critical Love Studies

The Troggs said it first. Wet Wet Wet said it. Even Hugh Grant as the UK Prime Minister said it: love (really) is all around. Love is durable and it is flexible. It is shaped and reshaped by physiological and psychological constants, by the extremely longue durée of evolutionary processes, by centuries of love doctrines, and by profound changes in society that have occurred in the last century and decades. While we tend to believe in eternal values of love and even eternal love, our experiences often feel new, unprecedented and challenging.

The growing field of critical love studies looks at experiences and representations of love. Romantic love, the type of love with which popular culture is chiefly concerned, has long been of key significance for producers and scholars of popular romance.

What is romantic love? What are its cultures, its artefacts, its residues? How do romantic love and competing concepts such as confluent love or “erotically charged intimate love” relate to each other? Is there a specifically queer type of romantic love? How does romantic love fare in the age of digital economies and consumer capitalism? What is romantic love in a post-colonial context? What are the emerging hybrid forms of love which may incorporate elements from different cultural settings such as arranged marriage and individualised romantic love at the same time? Does romantic love exclude parental love or culminate in it? These are a few, largely unanswered questions critical love studies have been asking in recent years.

The Journal of Popular Romance Studies (JPRS) seeks essay submissions for a special issue on Critical Love Studies. Michael Gratzke and Amy Burge are the guest editors.

We welcome submissions on the topics below; although all papers engaging with the subject of romantic love will be considered. We are open to submissions from a wide range of humanities and social science disciplinary contexts, including (but not limited to): sociology, philosophy, literature, cultural studies, law, psychology, anthropology, political science, management, geography, music, art.

  • The (material) cultures of romantic love
  • Intimate love
  • Erotic love
  • Romantic love and (kinky) sex
  • Friendship and romantic love
  • Parenthood and romantic love
  • Love, romance, and form
  • Love, romance, and genre
  • Love and creativity
  • Romantic love and normativity
  • Love and intersectionality
  • Love, romance, identity

Published by the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR), the peer-reviewed Journal of Popular Romance Studies is the first academic journal to focus exclusively on representations of romantic love across national and disciplinary boundaries.  Our editorial board includes representatives from Comparative Literature, English, Ethnomusicology, History, Religious Studies, Sociology, African Diaspora Studies, and other fields.  JPRS is available without subscription at

Please submit scholarly articles between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography by 31st December 2015. Manuscripts can be sent to Erin Young, Managing Editor, Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format. Please remove all identifying material (i.e. running heads with the author’s name) so that submissions can easily be sent out for anonymous peer review. Suggestions for appropriate peer reviewers are welcome. For more information on how to submit a paper, please visit

Feel free to contact the editors of this special issue to discuss possible topics before submission of an article:

Dr Amy Burge

Professor Michael Gratzke