Historical fictions can be understood as an expanded mode of historiography. Scholars in literary, visual, historical and museum/re-creation studies have long been interested in the construction of the fictive past, understanding it as a locus for ideological expression. However, this is a key moment for the study of historical fictions as critical recognition of these texts and their convergence with lines of theory is expanding into new areas such as the philosophy of history, narratology, popular literature, historical narratives of national and cultural identity, and cross-disciplinary approaches to narrative constructions of the past.
Historical fictions measure the gap between the pasts we are permitted to know and those we wish to know: the interaction of the meaning-making narrative drive with the narrative-resistant nature of the past. They constitute a powerful discursive system for the production of cognitive and ideological representations of identity, agency, and social function, and for the negotiation of conceptual relationships and charged tensions between the complexity of societies in time and the teleology of lived experience. The licences of fiction, especially in mass culture, define a space of thought in which the pursuit of narrative forms of meaning is permitted to slip the chains of sanctioned historical truths to explore the deep desires and dreams that lie beneath all constructions of the past.
We welcome paper proposals from Archaeology, Architecture, Literature, Media, Art History, Creative Writing, Musicology, Reception Studies, Museum Studies, Game Studies and others. We welcome paper proposals across historical periods, with ambitious, inter-disciplinary approaches and new methodologies that will support research into larger trends and which will lead to more theoretically informed understandings of the mode across historical periods, cultures and languages. We particular invite papers from ECRs and PGRs.
This year, in honour of the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre we welcome in particular papers on the loose topic “Radical Fictions”
Paper proposals consisting of a title and abstract of no more than 250 words should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Enquiries about the conference should go to Jerome de Groot, University of Manchester: Jerome.email@example.com.
Location: Manchester Central Library, 22-23 February 2019
Keynotes: Josie Gill (University of Bristol), Diana Wallace (University of South Wales), Robert Poole (University of Central Lancashire)
Facebook Group: Historical Fictions Research Network
Registration: tickets can be purchased here.
Waged £65/ Concessions £35 (no booking fee)
Hotel: there is no official conference hotel, but the nearest Premier Inn is Manchester Central, 4 minutes from the venue.