HFRN Conference 2024

The University of Malmö (Sweden) will be hosting the
Historical Fictions Research Annual Conference 2024
from 23rd to 24th February 2024

Organisers: Cecilia Trenter (Malmö), Kristina Fjelkestam (Stockholm), Claudia Lindén (Södertörn)

For the 2024 conference, HFRN seeks to engage in scholarly discussions on the topic of Adaptation in historical fictions.

What happens when well-known historical narratives are adapted for present-day audiences, or are transformed into another genre or medium? Historical fictions induce questions about mediated heritage and collective memories and problematize processes of canonization and appropriations in local as well and global contexts (Cartmell, Hunter and Whelehan 2000). The term “classics” brings up discussions on claims about originals and copies, challenged by the idea of every mediation as one of a kind (Hutcheon 2012). Debates on what constitutes originals, models and adaptations raise questions on authenticity, eye-catching aspects when dealing with historical fiction. A central issue is how the afterlives and appropriations of historical canon and established narratives in history-writing are transformed into new generations of historical fictions.

The term adaptation refers to how art work move from one medium to another. But as Linda Hutcheon states in A Theory of Adaptation, the phenomenon involves more than the journey from novel to film or film to video game or novel to filmscript and explains its complexity as “an acknowledged transposition of a recognizable other work or works; A creative and an interpretive act of appropriation/salvaging; An extended intertextual engagement with the adapted work. Therefore, an adaptation is a derivation that is not derivative — a work that is second without being secondary. It is its own palimpsestic thing.” (p. 9)

Thus the combination of adaptation and historical fictions sheds light on epistemological and cultural aspects on form and content, aesthetics and embodiment, values and ethics, authenticity and credibility, traditions and re-thinking and a variety of uses of the past in fiction. The perspectives of adaptation furthermore explore historical fictions as transformative contents in transmedial storytelling, mediated in old as well as new media, exploring how processes of adaptations and media form the content, including how story worlds and franchises are created. (Thomas 2022; Harvey 2015) Yet another angle is how adaptations invite users to interact in transcultural encounters such as fan culture in gaming and social media.

Papers are invited on topics related, but not limited, to:

  • The past in fictional adaptations
  • Heritage, adaptation and historical fiction
  • Historical fiction and cultural legacy
  • Intermedial storyworlds and historical fiction
  • Adapting non-fiction to fiction
  • Renewals and traditions in historical fiction
  • Popular and ‘classic’ adaptations
  • Authenticity, adaptation and historical fiction
  • Adaptations between genres
  • Franchises, adaptation and historical fictions
  • Epistemological aspects on historical fictions and adaptations
  • Adaptation, historical fiction and pedagogics

Confirmed keynotes:
Anna Sofia Rossholm (Associate Professor of Cinema Studies )

Ylva Grufsted (Senior Lecturer at Malmö University)

Anna Pettersson (film director and artistic director for Strindbergs Intima Teater)

Submission details:

Please submit your proposal here using our form.

Paper proposals are due 1st September 2023. They should consist of a title and an abstract of no more than 250 words. The decisions on acceptance will be communicated by 1st November 2023 at the latest.

HFRC 2024 will be an in-person event. The venue is at Malmö University, which is 25 minutes by train from Copenhagen airport. For information about Malmö University, please visit https://mau.se/


Visit this website for more details and regular updates. You can also write to us at historicalfictionsresearch@gmail.com

Speakers are encouraged to submit their papers to our Journal of Historical Fictions (http://historicalfictionsjournal.org/about.html).