WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) — Romance novels are going highbrow.

McDaniel College in Westminster said Tuesday it has received $100,000 from the Nora Roberts Foundation to advance the study of romance literature, establish an academic minor in the genre and launch a romance writing course.

President Roger Casey says the college aims to raise the profile of romance novels. He says serious study of the subject will reinforce Nora Roberts’ reputation as a master and champion of the craft.

The school also will build a library collection of American romance literature, including all of Roberts’ more than 200 novels.

The college will hold an international conference on romance novels in November.

Roberts lives in the western Maryland town of Keedysville. Her foundation also supports writing, music and drama programs at nearby Boonsboro High School.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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