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HISTORY 284S: Book Publishing & Marketing: A Case Study of the Romance Fiction Industry

Your Librarians

Laura Micham, Director, Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture and curator, Gender and Sexuality History Collections and , Rubenstein Library (

Brief Overview

This session explores the history of authorship, publication, and readership of romance writing in a range of formats from early 19th century three volume editions of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility to gay and lesbian pulp fiction in the 1950s and 60s and zines in the 2000s.

In this session, learners will explore digital surrogates of these items to develop an understanding of their authors, publishers, and readers.



RT book club

Learning Objectives:

During this session, you will:

  • Explore romance writing, writers, and reviews in a range of formats and time periods.
  • Practice textual and visual analysis of books, manuscripts, magazines, and zines.
  • Analyze the ways that writers have explored the artistic, personal, and political dimensions of love and romance.



How We Teach and Learn at the Rubenstein Library

Explore and be curious! Our class sessions are interactive, hands-on opportunities to look at lots of materials, so take advantage of this time. Challenge yourself to look (even briefly) at items that don’t initially catch your interest—you might be surprised at what you discover.

Our class sessions seek to be inclusive, offering multiple perspectives, viewpoints, or lived experiences, but may not include the voices of every population for a number of reasons. Let’s talk in class about the voices that aren’t being presented.

The background, experience, and knowledge you bring to this class session are valuable. There isn’t one right interpretation of a historical document. Please listen carefully and treat everyone’s responses respectfully.

The material you encounter in this session has the potential to be uncomfortable or upsetting. Be kind to yourself and recognize your limits. You can look at something else or even step out of the room to take a break.

When working with historical documents, you may encounter racist, oppressive, or outdated language in the documents themselves or in the archival record. When we discuss these items, we will want to use terms that reflect the ways these communities describe themselves today.