The First Interdisciplinary Historical Fictions Research Network Conference
At Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, 27th and 28th February 2016
We are delighted to be able to announce that the conference has received support from the Research Committee of the Department of English and Media at Anglia Ruskin University. This has allowed us to dramatically reduce the conference costs.
Registration Fee: £50
The final version of the conference programme is now on this website. As you can see, had papers from art history, museology, film, tv, music, app creation, theatre and public policy as well as from literature.
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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.