Mormonism, Desire, And Popular Romance: Constructions Of Gender, Relationships, And Power

Romantic fiction comprises 25% of books sold in the US; its readers represent a diverse group. Popularity notwithstanding, the genre is regularly challenged as trashy and prurient and for reinforcing the limitations of raditional gender roles. This panel will examine what the themes, trends, and traits of the genre and its readership help reveal about Mormons and their culture: What connections exist between female desire and Mormon women’s claiming priesthood and voice? How do romance characters and plots provide insight into both male and female Mormon gender roles? Why do Mormon women consume these “soft porn” works of fiction?

Amelia Parkin, Caroline Kline, Margaret Toscano