Winner, MeCCSA Edited Collection of the Year, MeCCSA Outstanding Achievement Awards 2022

In the early twenty-first century shifts in gender and sexuality, work and mobility patterns and especially technology have provoked interest in perceived threats to social bonding on a global scale. This edited collection explores the fracturing of couple culture but also its persistence.

Looking at a variety of media sites—including film, television, popular print fiction, new media and new technologies—this volume’s diverse range of contributors examine how mediated scenes of intimacy proliferate, while real-life experiences are cast in a newly uncertain light. The collection thus challenges a latent but growing tendency towards perceptions of romantic decline, in a variety of cultural contexts and with attention to the impact of COVID-19. 

This is an accessible and timely collection suitable for scholars in gender studies, media, cultural studies and communication studies.

chapter |28 pages


Romance and social bonding in contemporary culture – before and after COVID-19

chapter 1|18 pages

Abject desires in the age of anger

Incels, femcels and the gender politics of unfuckability

chapter 2|16 pages

Love technologies

Televisual matchmaking and algorithmic attraction

chapter 4|16 pages

Facing the fig tree

Contemporary intimacy culture in Master of None

chapter 5|17 pages

Open (to) marriage

Saving sanctioned coupling through consensual nonmonogamy narratives

chapter 6|17 pages

Aliens, mermaids and cartoons

Neoliberal gender politics in twenty-first-century South Korean dramas

chapter 7|15 pages

Romantic, transnational and messy

Intimate spaces/cosmopolitan spaces in Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong

chapter 8|18 pages

Mixed feelings

(Inter)raced romance and the post-millennial romantic comedy

chapter 9|15 pages

The bittersweet queer romance

Affect and temporality in Weekend and Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo

chapter 10|16 pages

Plaisirs d’amour

Love and popular fiction in contemporary France

chapter 11|17 pages

His baby daddy is an alien?!

Mpreg fantasies and queer reproductive intimacies in contemporary M/M science fiction romance

chapter 12|16 pages

Bibliographic traces

The material book and the quest for intimacy in Spike Jonze’s Her