Ph.D., Yale Univ.
M.Phil., Yale Univ.
M.A., Yale Univ.
M.A., KU Leuven
B.A., Boston College
Doyle Calhoun is a literary historian and critic whose research and teaching focus on the French-language literatures of Africa and the Caribbean, especially Senegalese literature in French and Wolof. His first book, The Suicide Archive: Reading Resistance in the Wake of French Empire, is forthcoming from Duke University Press. The Suicide Archive charts a long history of suicidal resistance as a political language in extremis, from the time of slavery to the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. It offers a powerful reflection on aesthetic production in the face of death and dispossession as well as a new way of looking at the interrelation of suicide, literature, coloniality, and their archives. Along with Cheikh Thiam (Amherst College), he is the co-editor of a forthcoming special double issue of Yale French Studies on Senegalese literature and audiovisual cultures (fall 2024), as well as the first English-language edition of Senghor’s writings from the series Liberté.
Calhoun has published on a wide range of topics—from the poetry of Aimé Césaire and the cinema of Ousmane Sembène to the history of colonial and missionary linguistics, to Baudelaire and Zola’s colonial entanglements. His work has appeared in journals such as PMLA, New Literary History, Research in African Literatures, Nineteenth-Century French Studies, French Studies, The Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics, Language & History, Paragraph, and the Canadian Journal of African Studies. His public-facing scholarship has appeared in Public Books and The Sydney Review of Books. In 2021, he received the Ralph Cohen Prize from New Literary History for the best essay by an untenured scholar for his article “Dead Narrators, Queer Terrorists: On Suicide Bombing and Literature.” Calhoun’s research has been supported by residencies from the Camargo Foundation and the Institut de France and by fellowships from Fulbright, the American Institute of Maghrib Studies, Phi Beta Kappa, and Chateaubriand.
Calhoun received his PhD in French from Yale in 2022 (with distinction), after having earned a masters in linguistics (summa cum laude) from KU Leuven in Belgium and receiving his BA in linguistics and French (summa cum laude) from Boston College in 2016.