Cancelled: Pride and Prejudice Redux on March 16

Please note that the UNSUITABLE event “Pride and Prejudice Redux” featuring Uzma Jalaluddin and Eileen Chow, originally scheduled for March 16, has been cancelled due to Duke University’s extended spring break. The April 1 and April 13 events have not yet been cancelled or changed. Please consult the schedule closer to those dates. We look forward to hopefully  seeing you… Read more →

Spring 2020 UNSUITABLE Event Schedule

The 2020 UNSUITABLE Series speakers have been announced!  Join us this spring for exciting, informative and fun conversations with:   February 5th – Kimberly Whalen, president of The Whalen Agency March 16 – Uzma Jalaluddin, author of Ayesha at Last April 1 – Deborah Fletcher Mello, author of Reunited by the Badge April 13 – Heather Demetrios, author of Little… Read more →

Spring 2019 Events Sneak Peek

Here at UNSUITABLE we’re busy planning an exciting Spring 2019 season of visitors.  Mark your calendars and save the dates for award-winning author of gorgeous contemporary romances Sonali Dev on February 15th, and bestselling author of brilliantly original historical romances Theresa Romain on March 22nd.  Look for more special guest announcements to come soon, and please note our change of… Read more →

Cinderella Revisited (Or, Why I Teach the History of the Romance Novel to University Students)

In early 2016, as part of an effort to encourage more university Women’s Studies programs to include courses about popular fiction in their offerings, one of the largest US publishing companies, HarperCollins Publishers, created a blog called Gender & Genre (full disclosure: this is currently my publisher), and invited its academically inclined authors of women’s fiction to contribute to it.… Read more →

Our Spring ’17 Speakers are Here!

Join us on Duke’s West campus in January and February for three wonderful FREE & PUBLIC conversations about publishing, fiction and romance: January 25, 6:30pm – “Marketing Digital Fiction” with HarperCollins Publishers’ Shawn Nicholls, Associate Publisher February 8, 6:30pm – “Romance, Shakespeare & Popular Appeal” with New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James and Executive in Residence at Duke, John… Read more →

Spring 2016 “UNSUITABLE” Series Speakers

Join us this Spring for a lineup of wonderful speakers and conversations about fiction, feminism, masculinity, and diversity in the world of romance fiction. Our events begin on February 3rd with Dabney Grinnan, publisher of the website All About Romance, discussing feminism and the romance blogosphere, and continue on February 24th with New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean chatting… Read more →

What Is “The Romance Novel” Course?

Empowered heroines? Great sex? Wildly popular? IT MUST BE “TRASH”   If you’re a Duke undergrad or graduate student visiting here for the first time, welcome! “The Romance Novel” course (HST 248S.01) is for students interested in popular culture, popular fiction, history, literature, questions of race, ethnicity, gender and sexualities (femininity and masculinity), writing, and creative entrepreneurship. This course explores the history, development, consumption and… Read more →

Welcome to the Conversation

Why UNSUITABLE? Women’s activities — both entertainment and employment — are often considered less serious or less important than men’s. Often they’re even deemed unworthy pursuits, unsuitable for women to engage in and enjoy. Women regularly find themselves justifying their choices and preferences at great length or, alternately, hiding them. In the realm of entertainment, nowhere is this more obvious than in the fiction many women choose… Read more →