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Spring 2014 Graduate Colloquium

english department

Friday, March 28, 2014
4:45 - 9:00 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Christopher Wilson
Respondent: Kiara Kharpertian
Venue: 2101 Commonwealth Avenue
Dinner will be provided.

Contact information: or

Call for Papers

The "popular" has always been a notoriously difficult term to define, with historically and ideologically contingent meanings that range from the idealized connotations of folk culture to attitudes critical of or ambivalent toward mass-produced culture. What is frequently at stake in these semantic wrestlings is a sense of the boundaries that need to be erected in order for normativity and canonicity to be established, and the attendant disregard of the "popular" for those same boundaries. The "popular," then, can be variously thought of as the exorcised "other" of polite culture, the self-reflexive inquiry into signifying practices, and the conservative or subversive (re)appropriations of units of meaning. We invite papers that grapple with the boundaries produced, traversed, or otherwise called into question by the "popular."

Please submit 5–7 page papers for a 12–15 minute presentation. Papers must be submitted by March 2, Sunday, for consideration. Please email all submissions and questions to Possible paper topics include but are not limited to:

  • Gothic explorations
  • Popular print culture
  • Working class culture
  • Crime fiction and crime cultures
  • Popular adaptations
  • Sensationalism and mass entertainment
  • Visual, digital, and media cultures
  • Cultural icons and cultural iconicity
  • Sport cultures and the body
  • Ideological purposes of the fun
  • Cultural categories, normativity, canonicity
  • Global mainstream cultures and resistance
  • Self-reflexivity and parody 

photo of poster

Get Involved

We need help! Help us design flyers, market the event, or read submissions. We also need help with set-up or tear-down on the day of the event. Contact