Colloquies

Welcome to Colloquies, a dynamic index to current themes that run through Arcade’s field of literature, the humanities, and the world. For each Colloquy, a curator selects from a variety of intellectual work in different modes — journal articles, book chapters, multimedia recordings, and blog posts — to assemble a conversation. These topical clusters draw upon the best material that circulates through places where intellectual work is cultivated, including humanities centers, journals, presses, and other digital venues for scholarship and commentary, as well as Arcade's rich content.

Colloquies are built for interaction: they evolve as new material appears, while the older ones are archived and remain available. Visitors to Arcade are invited to submit their own contributions to open Colloquies for consideration by the curator. Of course, all Colloquies encourage comments.

How can readers become curators? All Colloquies, as well as everything published on Arcade, may be remixed into a discrete anthology, which we call "My Colloquies." The black button under the title of each item permits readers to create their own collections, which may be shared with friends, a class, or a reading group, or maintained for personal reflection. 

Featured Colloquies

New

Postcolonial Spatialities

Curator 
Ato Quayson
On one reading postcolonial studies seem to be riveted more firmly on temporal as opposed to spatial questions. This may be traced partly to the effect of the temporalizing "post-" in the term postcolonialism, which has allowed an insistence on various dates as inaugurating the epochal postcolonial relation.  more
New

Imagining the Oceans

Curator 
Margaret Cohen
The oceans cover three-quarters of the globe. They sustain life on land and shape societies across history and culture. The ocean environment at the same time is forbidding and remote, hostile to human physiology and beyond the lived experience of most people, even today.  more

Shakespeare and Cervantes 1616-2016

Curator 
Roland Greene
An early modern transatlantic world in which information moved slowly could hardly have noticed the date, but 401 years later it registers for us: on April 23, 1616 in the Julian and the Gregorian calendars, about eleven natural days apart, something ended. And perhaps something else began. more

Tropicalismo Fifty Years Later

Curator 
Christopher Dunn
Tropicália is the name of a cultural moment in late 1960s Brazil that was manifest in nearly all realms of artistic production, especially in popular music, but also the visual arts, theater, film and literature. more

21st-Century Marxisms

Curator 
Adam Morris
From the pages of The New York Times and The Nation to those of the American Spectator, social commentators  advanced, debunked, and fretted over the claim that 2014 marked a comeback year for Marxist thought. more

Americans in Paris

Curator 
Natalia Cecire
There is perhaps something perverse in returning to Paris in a moment of transnational studies that has aimed to diminish the metropolitan center’s hold on critical attention. Yet the case of Americans in Paris in particular offers insight into the gravitational interactions between empires, and what Nancy Green calls their "élite migration" suggests a prehistory for today’s global cities—New York, London, Singapore, Dubai—and the transnational actors that increasingly dominate the global stage. more

Precariousness and Aesthetics

Curators 
Benjamin Bateman, Elizabeth Adan
This Colloquy assembles an interdisciplinary group of voices that consider the relationships between aesthetics and precariousness. more

Elena Ferrante

Curator 
Barbara Alfano
The success of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels has sparked worldwide buzz in and out of academia, in literary journals, and in book clubs. Ferrante is the author of seven novels, a collection of papers related to her work as a writer, and a children’s book, The Beach at Night. more
Updated

Locating Contemporary Asian American Poetry

Curators 
Brian Reed, Kornelia Freitag
In 1996, Juliana Chang observed that there were a "disproportionately small number of critical essays" on the topic of Asian American poetry and poetics. Asian American literary and cultural study might have grown rapidly as an area of scholarly specialty since the 1970s, but academics still seemed to approach verse with near "fear and loathing."  more

Poetry after Language

Curators 
Marijeta Bozovic, Walt Hunter
The diverse practices associated with the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E school of poetry marked a shift—or a return to avant-garde practices and leftist politics—in American poetry in the 1970s.  more

We, Reading, Now

Curators 
Dalglish Chew, Julie Orlemanski
"We, Reading, Now" invites participants to rethink the status of critique in literary studies.  more