RWA Academic Grant Recipients Announced

December 18, 2020

Romance Writers of America is pleased to announce that the RWA Academic Grant Committee has recommended and the RWA Board of Directors has approved Dr. Julie E. Moody-Freeman, an Associate Professor in African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul University, and Hannah E. Scupham, a doctoral student in Literature at the University of Kansas, as recipients of the 2021 RWA Academic Research Grant. 

The RWA Academic Research Grant program seeks to develop and support academic research devoted to genre romance novels, writers, and readers. Each year, RWA awards up to $5,000 to one or more recipients to go toward direct research costs associated with their project.

“The projects we funded this year are helping to bring voices and experiences from the margins into the center of popular romance scholarship," RWA President-Elect LaQuette said. "There is great work left to be done about the industry, our writing, and our readers, and RWA through the Academic Grant Committee look forward to funding this work in the future.”

About the Winners

‘Lift as We Climb’: Black Romance Writers, Social Justice, and Institution Building, Dr. Julie E. Moody-Freeman

Grant funds will be used to aid in her research that will examine black writers’ representations of racial uplift in their romantic plots and produce one season of the Black Romance Podcast, which documents the history of the production and publication of Black Romance through Dr. Moody-Freeman’s conversations with writers, editors, journalists, and scholars. 

Sensual Politics: Modern Romance Novel Reading and Reimagination of the Victorian Past, Hannah E. Scupham

Grant funds will be used to fund dissertation research. Scupham’s work focuses on how contemporary popular romance novels set in the nineteenth-century century seek to challenge and change modern readers’ imaginations of the nineteenth-century, specifically on issues of gender, sexuality, and race. 

Find out more about the RWA Academic Research Grant Program here
View Past Grant Recipients Here