HFRN Conference 2021

Twitter: @HistoricalFic

Facebook Group: Historical Fictions Research Network


The 2021 Historical Fictions Research Network conference will be held at

The Clayton Hotel, Cork, Ireland

(conference venue only, accommodation details to follow)

Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st February 2021.

Keynote speakers

Maggie Scull (Syracuse University, London)

Maggie’s interdisciplinary research explores the relationship religion and politics in the contemporary period. She examines the ‘soft power’ influence religious leaders still possessed in British and Irish politics after the Second World War. 

Jenny Butler: (University College, Cork, Ireland)

Dr Jenny Butler is an internationally established researcher in the area of New Religious Movements and the study of Folk Religion, and is a leading scholar in her field, having conducted the first ever ethnographic study of Irish contemporary Paganism, which will be published as the monograph 21st Century Irish Paganism: Worldview, Ritual, Identity, forthcoming from Routledge. Also forthcoming are the edited collections Folk Metal: Critical Essays on Identity, Myth and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan) and The Twin Peaks Phenomenon: Essays on a Show Both Wonderful and Strange (McFarland).

Industry partner to be decided.


  • Full price £80
  • Concession (low waged, adjunct, PhD etc) £40
  • Tickets


Call for Papers: Send abstracts to: historicalfictionsresearch@gmail.com by 1st September 2020 (no pdfs).

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, 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.

Twitter: @HistoricalFic

Facebook Group: Historical Fictions Research Network


Equal Opportunities and Harassment Policies

Childcare: we are still a very small event and do not automatically run a creche, but if you are bringing a baby/child/teen and need support we do have a small reserve to support you.