katrien bollen

katrien bollen

Dr. Katrien Bollen holds an M.A. in Literature (2006) and an M.A. in European Studies (2007) from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. She also wrote a Ph.D. entitled "Underground or Six Feet Under? The Unbearables and the Fate of the Avant-Garde in New York City (1985-2007)" under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Kristiaan Versluys and Prof. Dr. Bart Keunen at Ghent University. "Underground or Six Feet Under" analyzes the complex interplay between the avant-garde, postmodernism, and the urban condition as represented by the Unbearables, a loose collective of anarchist writers in Downtown New York. This analysis includes an attempt to answer three questions: how do the Unbearables position themselves in the contemporary literary field and towards the historical avant-garde? What, if anything other than an underground shibboleth, has the term ‘Unbearable’ come to signify in Downtown New York? And how does an analysis of Unbearable writing add to and complicate existing narratives on avant-garde practices in a postindustrial urban context? Her current project focuses on Dave Eggers's highly influential literary magazine Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern.  


research interests

  • Contemporary American literature
  • Literary magazines
  • Literary networks (the Unbearables; Dave Eggers and McSweeney's)
  • Anarchism (Temporary Autonomous Zones, subcultural productions of urban space)
  • Avant-garde  
  • Bram Stoker and Wilkie Collins
  • Bilingual education


current project

Independent Publishing, Social Activism, and the Ethics of 'Selling Out': The Case of Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Stef Craps (Ghent University); co-supervisor: Prof. Dr. Pieter Vermeulen (Stockholm University)


past project

Underground or Six Feet Under? The Unbearables and the Fate of the Avant-Garde in New York City (1985-2007). Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Kristiaan Versluys; co-supervisor: Prof. Dr. Bart Keunen.



  • Ba1: English Literature I: Poetry and Drama (Ghent University)
  • Ba2: seminars on narratology (Ghent University)
  • Ba3: seminars on research methods
  • Postgraduate Program in American Studies (Ghent University): guest lecture on American cities / suburbs



Bollen, Katrien. "Guerrilla Warriors on Brooklyn Bridge. A Case-Study of the Unbearables' Poetic Terrorism (1994-2001)". Published in Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 60.2 (2012): 155-172.

Bollen, Katrien and Kristof Baten. "Bilingual Education in Flanders: Policy and Press Debate (1999-2006)". The Modern Language Journal 94.3 (2010). 

Bollen, Katrien and Raphael Ingelbien. "An Intertext that Counts? Dracula, The Woman in White, and Victorian Imaginations of the Foreign Other". English Studies 90.4 (August 2009): 403-20.