Welcome to Colloquies, a dynamic gathering of current and recent work on emerging topics in the humanities. 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 on 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



Susan Gillman
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classics cover

The Classics Which Is (Not) Ours

Emily Greenwood, Boris Shoshitaishvili
We have framed this collection of writing about ancient Greek and Roman literature around the contrary idea of the "Greece which is (not) ours" in an attempt to capture the dynamic and creative tensions that arise when doing classical scholarship in full awareness of the different ways in which s more

The Right to the Creative City

Michael B. Kahan, Peggy Phelan
In 2002, Richard Florida, an urban studies scholar then at Carnegie Mellon University, published The Rise of the Creative Class, which became a surprise best-seller. In 2005, he followed that book with what he called a "prequel," Cities and the Creative Class. more

Arts + Justice

Jisha Menon, Anna Jayne Kimmel
Approaching justice from the perspective of arts and culture enables us to attend to its affective, embodied, social, and political dimensions, thus bringing together a range of cross-disciplinary dialogues. more

Comparing Literatures: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Urdu

Alexander Key
Comparative Literature has spent the last few decades expanding its focus beyond Europe and the Anglophone Americas. But has it succeeded? Departments around the world include scholars working on Hebrew, Persian, Arabic, and to a lesser extent Turkish, Urdu, and other non-European languages. But the desire for coverage remains a chimera, always tempting with the prospect of inclusion: "if only we had somebody who did…" What would success, even if we subscribed to such teleology, look like? more

Elena Ferrante

Barbara Alfano
The success of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels (2011-14) has sparked worldwide buzz in and out of academia, in literary journals, and in book clubs. Ferrante is the author of eight novels, a collection of papers related to her work as a writer, Frantumaglia, and a children’s book,  more

Thing Theory in Literary Studies

Sarah Wasserman, Patrick Moran
That things capture our imagination is hardly news. As Andrew Cole wrote in a 2016 issue of October, "materialism is as old as the hills." Cole claims that new approaches to studying things allow us to find similarities where we have too often found difference, and that this method dates back at least to Hegel and Marx. more

On Being a Medievalist and More

Marisa Galvez
This Colloquy is one of two that originated in the "After 1967" conference in which we celebrated the work of Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. more

Personification and Allegory: Selves and Signs

Vladimir Brljak
What has allegory to do with personification, and personification with allegory? Are we justified in speaking, as we often do, of “allegorical personifications” and “personification allegory,” or does such usage, however widespread, obscure fundamental differences between the two? more

Prosody: Alternative Histories

Eric Weiskott, Natalie Gerber
What are the historical stakes of prosody, and why should we ask? ‘Prosody’ refers both to the patterning of language in poetry and to the formal study of that patterning. more

Shakespeare and Cervantes Then and Now

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

Postcolonial Spatialities

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

Imagining the Oceans

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

Tropicalismo Fifty Years Later

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

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

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 . . . more

Precariousness and Aesthetics

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

Locating Contemporary Asian American Poetry

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

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

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