HFRN Conference 2021 – Online

Twitter: @HistoricalFic

Facebook Group: Historical Fictions Research Network


HFRN 2021

18th-21st (Thursday to Sunday) February

Location: Online (Zoom)

Theme:  Remembering Catastrophe

Our Keynote speakers.

Dr Sushma Jansari and  Dr. Olli Kleemola,

Dr Sushma Jansari is the Tabor Foundation Curator: South Asia, at the British Museum. Sushma was instrumental in the redevelopment of the British Museum’s Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia which opened in 2017. At present, she is lead curator in the team developing the Manchester Museum South Asia Gallery in partnership with the British Museum (opening 2022). Sushma is also writing a book for UCL Press titled Chandragupta Maurya: the creation of a national hero in India.  You can find more about her at her blog and podcast, The Wonder House.

Keynote Title: Moved, blown up, restored: sharing stories beyond the label.

Dr Olli Kleemola is a  Postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Contemporary History at the University of Turku, and  Senior researcher at the at the Muisti Centre for War and Peace. His research interests are in visual history, specialising in photographs and History. His PhD was on The Photograph in War. Soviet Soldiers, Soviet Population and the Soviet Union in Finnish and German War Photographs 1941-1945, and his current project is on Key Images of the Finnish in History.

Keynote Title: The Power of (Visual) Images

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Tickets from Eventbrite: £40/£15 

Presenters must pay by January 1st; attendees by February 15th

HFRC Draft Programme 5 11 2020

We welcome paper proposals from Archaeology, Architecture, Literature, Media, Art History, Cartography, Geography, History, Musicology, Reception Studies, Linguistics, Museum Studies, Media Studies, Politics, Re-enactment, Larping, Gaming, Transformative Works, Gender, Race, Queer studies 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.

NB: although we welcome people from Creative Writing who address the issues of the conference, we do not include Creative Writing as practice. Contact c.brayfield@bathspa.ac.uk for details of their fantastic creative writing conferences.

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.

Future plans…