HFRN 2021

This year’s conference is drawing to a close (you can get a full report by signing up for the newsletter) and it’s time to think about next year!

We will be in Cork, 20th and 21st February, with guests Maggie Scull and Jenny Butler.


More details and the Call for Papers here.


Conference Update

I’ve just spent two days sending out responses. That it took two days is fantastic. We’ve had paper proposals from all continents and on novels, films, museums, architecture, music, theatre and pageants.

More as we firm up the programme.



Conference Update

The CfP is now closed:

We have had a record number of submissions to the conference this year and they are from all over the world on literatures and histories from all over the world. Join us at #HFRN2019
Thank you all.


The HFRN welcomes researchers in any area of Historical Fictions. However, we are not a dedicated society of historical novelists. If this is your primary interest you might also like to check out
The Historical Novel Society


Registration Form


Call for Papers

Call for Papers for the First Interdisciplinary Historical Fictions Research Network Conference

Keynote Speaker:

Professor Ansgar Nünning of Universitat Giessen (Literature & American Studies).


Dr. Debbie Challis, Public Programmer, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UC

At: Anglia Ruskin University. Cambridge.

Date: 27th and 28th February 2016
Conference fee: £180; concession £140 (graduate students; or on proof of income below £10k). NB: these prices include meals.
Accommodation: tbc


This is a key moment for the study of historical fictions: there is a rising critical recognition of the texts and the convergence of lines of theory in the philosophy of history, narratology, popular literature, historical narratives of national and cultural identity, and cross-disciplinary approaches to narrative constructions of the past.

Narrative constructions of the past 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. 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.

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.

We welcome paper proposals from Literature, Media, Art History, Musicology, Reception Studies, Museum Studies, Recreation and others. We welcome paper proposals across historical periods, with ambitious, high-quality, 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 aim to create a disciplinary core, where researchers can engage in issues of philosophy and methodology and generate a collective discourse around historical fictions in a range of media and across period specialities.

Paper proposals consisting of a title and abstract of no more than 250 words should be submitted to:


By September 1st 2015

Twitter: @HistoricalFic

Uncategorized Welcome

Announcing the Historical Fictions Research Network

The Historical Fictions Research Network aims to create a place for the discussion of all aspects of fictional historical narrative. We welcome people working on prose, drama, visual art, reception studies, musicology, museum displays, film, tv, gaming, wargaming, graphic novels, transformative works and any other areas engaged in the narrative construction of the fictional past.
We are in the early stages of setting this up. We will send out a call for papers at the end of May, for a conference on 20th-22nd February 2015, at Anglia Ruskin Conference.
By the end of July we will have a conference web page, and we intend to have a call for papers for the new journal, the Journal of Historical Fiction, at the beginning of 2015.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list,


Follow us on Twitter: @HistoricalFic

Thank you very much for your interest.
Farah Mendlesohn
Nick Lowe
Jennifer Young
Nina Lubbren