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Anna Michelson

Area(s) of Interest

Culture, Sexualities, Gender, Inequalities, Work and Organizations, Education


Anna Michelson’s dissertation Redefining the Romance: Community and Classification in Genre Publishing explores how the boundaries of romance genre fiction – and the social meaning of romance itself – have evolved. She uses archival materials, interviews, and content analysis to show how romance came to include contested categories like erotic romance, LGBTQ+ romance, and multicultural romance. Advances in publishing technology and organizational change facilitated this diversification, which was driven by a meaning-making shift within the genre community. Once a private act of leisure, romance reading has taken on political significance as readers and writers see subversive potential in “happily-ever-afters” for historically marginalized groups. Anna’s work has been published in the American Journal of Cultural Sociology and Sociological Forum.  


Michelson, Anna. 2021. “The Politics of Happily-Ever-After:  Romance Genre Fiction as Aesthetic Public Sphere.” American Journal of Cultural Sociology, 9(2):177–210. DOI: 10.1057/s41290-020-00126-7

Griswold, Wendy and Anna Michelson. 2020. “The Outsider’s Edge: Geography, Gender, and Sexuality in the Local Color Movement.” Sociological Forum, 35(3): 628-647. DOI: 10.1111/socf.12622

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