Bridgerton x Reading the Romance with Vanessa Zoltan

In this episode we talk about Bridgerton with a very special guest — Vanessa Zoltan. We discuss Bridgerton the book series and its move into the mainstream through the Shondaland adaptation on Netflix. Vanessa gives us some insight on romance fiction as a genre and Hannah leads us through theory from Janice Radway's book Reading the Romance.

If you like Romance novels and/or juicy television, this episode is for you! We think through the radical possibilities of romance reading, how we can make sense of certain recurring tropes and what we may learn from the rise in romance reading since 2020. Come for the theory, stay for Hannah saying Vanessa's life is a combination of "stern daddy" and "chaotic women."

To learn more about Vanessa Zoltan, you can head to or

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Material Girls is a new show that aims to make sense of the zeitgeist through materialist critique* and critical theory! Each episode looks at a unique object of study (something popular now or from back in the day) and over the course of three distinct segments, Hannah and Marcelle apply their academic expertise to the topic at hand.

We'll be back in two weeks for another episode, but until then, be sure to check out all the bonus content we have on our Patreon at You can learn more about the show at and on our instagram at! Want more from us? Check out our website

*Materialist Critique is, at its simplest possible level, a form of cultural critique – that is, scholarly engagement with a cultural text of some kind – that is interested in modes of production, moments of reception, and the historical and ideological contexts for both. Materialist critique is really interested in the question of why a particular cultural work or practice emerged at a particular moment.

Music Credits:

“Shopping Mall”: by Jay Arner and Jessica Delisle ©2020

Used by permission. All rights reserved. As recorded by Auto Syndicate on the album “Bongo Dance”.

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