Program: September 8-9, 2023

September 7-10, 2023

Black Historical Romance and the Archive: A student-curated exhibition

Location: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (mezzanine)

September 8, 2023

11:30 - 12:00 PM | Yale Divinity School Morning Worship with Eucharist

Daily worship at Marquand Chapel featuring a reading by Beverly Jenkins, guest preacher Rev. Jeania Ree Moore (YC’12, GSAS ‘26) and guest presider Rev. Yejide Peters Pietersen.

Location: Marquand Chapel

12:00 - 2:00 PM | Registration

Location: HQ Loggia

HQ = Yale Humanities Quadrangle @ 320 York Street, New Haven, CT. See directions and parking information.

12:45 - 3:15 PM | How to Write a Romance Novel Workshop

Join bestselling and critically acclaimed romance authors Adriana Herrera and Sarah MacLean as they discuss their craft and how they approach writing emotional, evocative and compelling romance novels. Learn how to combine character, conflict and worldbuilding to tell big, bold, feminist stories that deliver the perfect happily ever after. If you plan to attend the workshop, you must register here.

Location: HQ L02

3:15-3:30 PM | Guided tour of Beinecke exhibition with remarks by Prof. Nicole Jackson

Location: Beinecke (mezzanine)

4:00 PM | Welcome Remarks 

Lisa Beyeler-Yvarra (GSAS ‘26)

Location: HQ L02

4:15 PM | Love Between the Covers (2015) documentary screening

Location: HQ L02

6:00 PM | Panel 1: Revisiting Romance

A two-part panel, moderated by Dr. Jayashree Kamblé (LaGuardia Community College/CUNY/IASPR)

Part I: Director talk-back with documentarian Laurie Kahn and writers from film Eloisa James (pen name for Mary Bly, GSAS ‘95PhD) and Beverly Jenkins, on writer experience, making the film, romance as a literary vehicle of hope, how Romancelandia has changed since the film with attention to class, race, sexuality, gender, technology, publishing, and more.

Part II: Continuing the discussion with Ripped Bodice bookstore founders and sisters Leah Koch and Bea Koch (YC’12) and romance editor Monique Patterson (Bramble/TOR), with attention to recent and future changes in the industry. This first panel will introduce the themes of the conference.

Location: HQ L02

8:00 PM | Reception

Location: HQ 131

September 9, 2023

8:00 AM | Conference registration

Location: HQ Loggia

8:00 - 9:00 AM | Breakfast and coffee

Location: HQ 131

9:00 - 10:30 AM | Panel 2: Romance as a Site of Education, Challenge, and Hope

Panel will discuss romance as a site and vehicle for learning, teaching, and ethics, with themes of race, sexuality, gender, and more. 

Moderator: Dr. Mira Debs (Yale)

Panelists: Dr. Kecia Ali (Boston University), Alyssa Cole, Adriana Herrera, Dr. Nicole Jackson (Bowling Green State University), Dr. Kimuli Kasara (Columbia)

Location: HQ L02

10:30 - 10:45 AM | Coffee break

Location: HQ 131

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM  | Panel 3: From Bodice Rippers to Bridgerton – Romance on the Public Stage

Panel will discuss romance’s varied public receptions, reputations, and material transformations over the decades; book history and literary scholarship on Black popular fiction; media romance phenomena; and the ground-breaking oral histories produced by the podcasts of scholar Dr. Julie Moody-Freeman (the Black Romance podcast) and romance writer Sarah MacLean and romance critic Jen Prokop (Fated Mates podcast).

Moderator: Jeania Ree Moore (Yale)

Panelists: Dr. Carole Bell, Sarah MacLean, Dr. Julie Moody-Freeman (DePaul University), Dr. Kinohi Nishikawa (Princeton), Jen Prokop

Location: HQ L02

12:15 - 1:15 PM | Shuttles to LIT Fest at Dixwell Community Center 

12:15 - 1:15 PM | Lunch: Food trucks at LIT Fest

Location: Dixwell Community Center (Q House)

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 PM | Panel 4: Black Romance spotlight collaboration at Elm City LIT Fest

Moderator: Ryan Lindsay, MDiv ‘23, STM ‘24 (Yale)

Panelists: Dr. Carole Bell, Dr. Margo Hendricks (UC Santa Cruz), Adriana Herrera, Krystal Marquis, Tara Roí

Panel will discuss the power, politics, and provocations of Black popular romance.

Location: Dixwell Community Center (Q House, Stetson Branch)

2:30 - 4:00 PM | Book signing for LIT Fest 

Roxane Gay, Beverly Jenkins, Adriana Herrera, Sarah MacLean, Eloisa James, Katrina Jackson, Tara Roi, Krystal Marquis, and more

Location: Dixwell Community Center (Q House)

3:00-5:00 PM | LIT Fest panels

Location: Dixwell Community Center (Q House)

4:30 - 5:30 PM | Shuttles back to Yale

5:00 - 6:00 PM | Registration

Location: HQ L90 (outside of L02)

6:00- 7:30 PM | Keynote: “Popular Romance Fiction: the ‘Literature of Hope’ ”

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Keynote conversation between Roxane Gay and Beverly Jenkins on romance and the power and politics of hope, moderated by Karen Grigsby Bates

Location: HQL02 and L01 (L01 is overflow)