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Graduate Research Collaborative

religion and the arts

Sponsored by a grant from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Boston College in conjunction with Religion and the Arts, the Graduate Research Collaborative in Literature and Religion provides a forum for ongoing dialogue between graduate students and professors on topics related to the developing field of religion and literature. Specific topics vary from year to year, ranging from broad theoretical discussions to analyses of specific texts.  Past collaboratives have focused on the role of religion in scholarship and teaching, on Marilynne Robinson's novels Gilead and Home, on Chaim Potok's The Chosen, on Czeslaw Milosz's poetry, on Cormac McCarthy's The Road, the religious dimensions of contemporary fantasy films, and the notion of “evil” and its presentation in literature.


This year's collaborative (2016-2017) will focus on postsecular studies. We are interested in asking how widely-accepted differentiations between the "religious" and the "secular" have been constructed, and considering what value a destabilization of this religious-secular binary might afford us as literary scholars.

Throughout Fall 2016, we will be pairing works of theory and criticism with a reading of Zadie Smith's The Autograph Man to consider: What is the postsecular and how does it relate to the study of literature?

All graduate students and faculty are welcome to attend. Email Laura Sterrett ( to find out more about the collaborative.