Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Departments/Programs

Art

First Advisor

Maria Pelizzari

Second Advisor

Thomas LaPadula

Academic Program Adviser

Maria Pelizzari

Abstract

Romance novel covers dating from the 1980s and 1990s reflect complex and contradictory ideas about gender, power, and sexuality. The covers overflow with stereotypes of what women are attracted to such as enormous pink roses, lush folds of silk, and hair long enough for Rapunzel. To this socially acceptable women’s imagery, the covers add two less reputable aspects: sexual imagery and, occasionally, suggestions of female submission. Since the association of romance and conventional femininity is so strong, the covers make a visual argument that submission and sexuality are things that a conventional woman wants. Readers have to deal with what it means to be seen reading a book with such a cover. This thesis aims to tackle how these covers have been regarded by both the consumer and producers of the works, and what political, social and visual trends in American culture of the 1980s and 1990s account for these genre conventions.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.