(Re)viewing the Romance

Simpson Colloquium SC 101 – (Re)viewing the Romance

Standing in line at a grocery store, your eyes are assaulted by him, buff and bare chested with flowing hair and eagle eyes. And her; falling out of a dress cut to where no dress should be cut, bent over his muscled arms with her eyes only on him. Welcome to the world of romance, one of the best-selling genres in the fiction market. In this class, we will start with Gilgamesh and read romances from 3,000 years ago to the present. We will analyze their forms, as well as the cultures and historical events that shaped representations of sexual desire and gender roles. We will also try to decipher why romance is such a popular genre. Students will read and write about a range of works, from the medieval Romance of the Rose to Hepburn and Tracey’s Adam’s Rib, from Pride and Prejudice to Brokeback Mountain.

Meet Your ProfessorNancy-StClair

Nancy St. Clair, Ph.D.

Professor of English

I started college at a school very much like Simpson in 1970 and liked it so much that I have, to a large extent, been going to school ever since. I loved the small classes I experienced as an undergraduate and the opportunity a small, liberal arts school gave me to have ongoing discussions with my professors and fellow students. After graduating my then boyfriend, now husband and I spent eight months trekking through Mexico, Central America, and South America before returning to the University of Iowa to do my PhD at the University of Iowa. This will be my twenty third year at Simpson and I teach a variety of courses, ranging from ones on classical literature to those that introduce students to Women’s Studies. I love to read and talk about what I have read and have co-authored and published two books and various essays. My spare time is spent reading, writing, gardening, hiking, and hanging out with my husband Steve, daughters , Cate, and Anne, four cats and two dogs.

Meet Your SC LeaderScreen Shot 2014-03-07 at 8.52.52 AM

Kelly Brass


My name is Kelly Brass and I will be your SC leader for the class being taught by Professor Nancy St. Clair.  I was born and raised in Maplewood, Minnesota, and yes I do have a Minnesotan accent.  I am the oldest child in my family with a brother that is three years younger than I am.  In high school I participated in National Honor Society, Math Team, Student Council, Choir, and ran Cross Country and Track.  I plan on graduating in the spring of 2017 with a double major in Forensic Science and Math and a minor in Spanish.  Here at Simpson I am involved in First Year Council, S.O.S. overnight hosting squad, intramurals, religious life, and have participated in multiple math modeling competitions.  Friends would describe me as a kind, easygoing person who is almost always smiling.  In between classes, homework, and extracurricular activities I enjoy hanging out with friends, listening to music, and watching movies.  I look forward to meeting all of you this summer as you begin your transition into life here at Simpson!  I am here to help in any way possible so if you have any further questions please let me know!

Meet Your Writing Fellowkoss

Emily Koss

Hi everyone!

My name is Emily Koss and I will be your Writing Fellow for “(Re)viewing the Romance” with Professor Nancy St. Clair this fall. I will be a junior during the 2014-2015 school year and am double majoring in English and Marketing. I eventually want to work with a nonprofit or charity organization and help people in the community and throughout the world. As cliché as that sounds, I really do like helping people, so I’m excited to work with all of you and help make your transition from high school to college easy and stress-free!

I was born in Princeton, New Jersey, but I grew up in Clive, Iowa with my parents and two cats. I graduated from Waukee High School in 2012 and was involved in band, Art Club (even though I’m a terrible artist), and various volunteer activities. I am involved in Greek Life here at Simpson and love hanging out with my friends, as well as shopping and going to concerts. My all-time favorite band is Panic! at the Disco and I have a slight obsession with One Direction, but I love discovering new music and I listen to pretty much any genre. I absolutely love travelling and I plan to go to Peru during May Term 2014 and hope to spend a semester studying abroad during my senior year.

If you ever need anything or have any questions, feel free to email me or add me on Facebook! I check both of those pretty often so I shouldn’t be too hard to contact, and I’m always willing to help with whatever you may need. I’m excited to meet all of you in August and I can’t wait to get to know everyone!


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