Jodi McAlister

Dr Jodi McAlister is a Lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood Campus, and in 2017 was an Associate Lecturer in English at the University of Tasmania.  She is an Honorary Associate of The University of Melbourne node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (2017). Her primary research areas are romantic love and its representations in and intersections with popular culture. Her PhD thesis examined representations of female virginity loss and the way they have been affected by discourses of romantic love in modern history, and she is currently working on transforming this thesis into a monograph.

She is particularly interested in popular romance studies, a field in which she has multiple publications. She holds leadership positions in this field: from 2017, she has been the Area Co-Chair for Romance for the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA), and from 2015, she has been the Area Chair for Popular Romance for the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ). She is a member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR), the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia (CSAA), and the Australian Historical Association (AHA).

She is also an author. Her debut novel Valentine was published by Penguin in January 2017. Its sequel Ironheart will follow in January 2018.



How Do We Love In The Land Down Under?: Romantic Love in Australian Popular Fiction in the Long Nineteenth Century


Journal articles

McAlister, Jodi. ‘The Literary Text as Historical Artifact: The Colonial Couple in Australian Romantic Fiction by Women, 1838–1860’. Lilith: A Feminist History Journal (forthcoming).

McAlister, Jodi. ‘“Feelings Like the Women in Books”: Declarations of Love in Australian Romance Novels, 1859–1891’. Emotions: History, Culture, Society 2.1 (2018).

McAlister, Jodi. ‘True Tales of the First Time: Sexual Storytelling in the Virginity Loss Confessional Genre.’ Sexualities  20. 1‒2 (2017): 105‒20.

McAlister, Jodi. ‘“You and I are humans, and there is something complicated between us”: Untamed and Queering the Heterosexual Historical Romance’. Journal of Popular Romance Studies 5.2 (2016). Web.

McAlister, Jodi. ‘Breaking the Hard Limits: Romance, Pornography, and the Question of Genre in the Fifty Shades Trilogy’. Analyses/Rereadings/Theories 5 (2015): 23‒33.

McAlister, Jodi. ‘Girls Growing Up Gordie: The Dystopian Heroine and the Australian Girl Reader of Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn Chronicles’. Text Special Issue 32 (2015). Web.

Seymour, Jessica, Denise Beckton, Eugen Bacon, Donna Lee Brien, Gyps Curmi, Maree Kimberley, Jodi McAlister, Catriona Mills and Shivaun Plozza. ‘A Series of Fortunate Readers: A Collaborative Review Article of Important Australasian YA Writing’. Text Special Issue 32 (2015). Web.

McAlister, Jodi. ‘“That complete fusion of spirit as well as body”: Heroines, Heroes, Desire, and Compulsory Demisexuality in the Harlequin Mills & Boon Romance Novel’. Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 3.3 (2014): 299‒310.

Book chapters

McAlister, Jodi. ‘Strategies for Serialisation: New Adult Fiction and the Post-HEA’. In Prequels, Coquels, and Sequels in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction, edited by Armelle Parey. 2017. (in press)

McAlister, Jodi. ‘Erotic Romance’. In Routledge Research Companion to Popular Romance, edited by Eric Selinger, Hsu-Ming Teo and Jayashree Kamble. Routledge, 2017. (in press)

McAlister, Jodi and Hsu-Ming Teo. ‘Love in Australian Romance Novels.’ In The Popular Culture of Romantic Love in Twentieth-Century Australia, edited by Hsu-Ming Teo. Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2017. (in press)

McAlister, Jodi. ‘Virgin Heroines in Romance Fiction’. Entry in The Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction, ed. Kristin Ramsdell. 2017. (in press)

McAlister, Jodi. ‘Take One Sip When Someone Says “Connection”: Passion versus Intimacy in The Bachelor/ette Australia’. In Small Screens: Essays on Contemporary Australian Television, edited by Michelle Arrow, Clare Monagle and Jeanine Baker, pp. 65‒78. Melbourne: Monash University Press, 2016.

McAlister, Jodi. ‘Travelling Through Time and Genre: Are the Outlander Books Romance Novels?’ In Adoring Outlander: Essays on Fandom, Genre, and the Female Readership, edited by Valerie Frankel. Jefferson, pp. 94‒105.  NC: McFarland, 2016.

McAlister, Jodi. ‘Between Pleasure and Pain: The Textual Politics of the Hymen’. In Virgin Envy, edited by Jonathan Allan, Adriana Spahr and Cristina Santos, pp. 45‒66. Regina: University of Regina Press, 2016.

Selected Presentations

McAlister, Jodi. ‘Love and the Mother/Land: Romantic Love in Nineteenth-Century Australian Popular Novels’. Conference paper presented at the Australian Historical Association conference, The University of Newcastle, 3‒7 July 2017; and the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand conference, Massey University, Wellington, 10‒11 July 2017.