Graduate Colloquium

The Boston College English colloquium is an annual gathering of faculty and graduate candidates to share their latest research. Our goal is to foster a community of learning by finding connections across work done for classes or towards publication. The colloquium features research in the English Department as well as interdisciplinary research from other humanities departments here at Boston College. We welcome you to participate in an evening of intellectual reflection and community. In future years, the colloquium may be opened to faculty and graduates from Boston-area colleges and universities.

English Department Colloquium Spring 2024 Call For Papers


“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” —William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

We invite you to wade into the sea of time—literary, historical, cultural, personal, political—to bring forth the textual residues which intrude: the recurring narratives and voices of the past that refuse to be silenced. Jacques Derrida’s theory of hauntology examines how the past intrudes upon the present. Derrida’s theory provides one possible framework for engagement; we welcome any close-readings and interdisciplinary analysis that account for recurrence within a text and/or explore the liminal spaces between reality and what could have been. 

As such, what specters recur throughout your text? Why do particular ideas continue to haunt authors throughout history? What can be achieved with or found in recurrence, historicity, lost futures, oscillations between text and author, and the tractability of identity? How do historical narratives inform fictional voices? How can lost futures which ‘talk back’ in social and cultural memory guide us in decolonial imaginings and radical textual action? How do past events—like colonialism and subjugation—inform present literary works or a character’s interiority? And most importantly, what do we do in the present, now, with these recurrences?

Submissions for paper presentations (approximately 15 minutes in length) should be submitted in the form of an abstract by January 15, 2024 to as a PDF/Word Document that interrogates any aspect of our theme. Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

Trauma/Grief Studies

Postcolonial Studies

Women and Gender Studies

Irish Studies

Disability Studies


Queer Theory

African American Studies

Indigenous Studies

Environmental Humanities/Ecocriticism

The Gothic


Submissions Due

January 15, 2024

Email Submissions To

Colloquium Date

April 19, 2024