#RomanceClass: Genre World, Intimate Public, Found Family

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#RomanceClass is a community which encompasses the authors, readers, actors, and artists who consume, produce, and enact mostly self-published English-language romance fiction in the Philippines. Drawing on fieldwork undertaken in 2019, this article explores the key characteristics of #RomanceClass, including the ways in which positions itself in relation to the dominant North American conception of the romance novel and publishing industry, so as to build new understanding of how romance fiction is created and negotiated outside of this hegemonic context. It finds that #RomanceClass operates as an “intimate public” [Berlant in The female complaint: the unfinished business of sentimentality in American culture, Duke University Press, Durham, London, 2008], which intrinsically affects the community’s texts and practices.