2023-2024 Catalog

FYS 20 Isn't It Romantic? Lovers, Knights, Sorcerers and Superheroes Through the Ages

While the term "romance novel" today often calls to mind tawdry love stories featuring heaving bosoms and uncontrollable passions, the genre of romance is much more complex than these stereotypes would make it seem. Early examples of romance are sprawling adventure narratives of chivalry, crusades, the supernatural, and yes, occasionally even love. Today, these tales' descendants include not only the love stories we associate with the genre of romance, but also fantasy novels, Westerns, superhero narratives, and more. In this course we will explore the genealogy of romance from the Middle Ages through modern day, asking not only what constitutes a romance, but also what the continuously popular genre can teach us about readers' desires and discontents across history. Open only to first year frosh.


4 units