2020 Salzburg

The 2020  Historical Fictions Research Conference was held the University of Salzburg, 21st and 22nd February 2020.

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Host: Dorothea Flothow

Theme: Forms of History



Keynote Speakers.

Dr Michael Brauer, University of Salzburg,  “Cooking up Salzburg”


Prof Dr Gerhard Kubik and Dr Moya Aliya Malamusi, University of Vienna,Gerhard Kubik and Moya A. Malamusi

Creative personalities and the intricacies of culture research

— A report about research project P 30718 – G 26,

Austrian Science Fund

(with audio-video extracts)

 and Kay-Michael Dankl from the Salzburg Museums.

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

Papers held:


Michael Brauer, University of Salzburg, “Cooking up Salzburg: How to Do Science with Citizens”

Gerhard Kubik and Dr. Moya Aliya Malamusi, University of Vienna, “Creative Personalities and the Intricacies of Culture Research” (HS 2)

Kay-Michael Dankl, Salzburg Museum Object(ive) fiction: Using Fiction in Museum Education


John Ebute Agaba, “The Archives and the Preservation of the Nation’s Heritage”

Anna Auguscik, “Novels about Scientific Expeditions”

Petra Babić , “National-historical Operas as Pseudo-historiographical Works,” Tim Diovanni, “Aisteach: Jennifer Walshe and Irish Avant-garde Musical History”

Leila Rahimi Bahmany, “The Historico-Legendary Concurrences in Savoshun

Dragan Batanchev, “From Sarajevo With Love: Yugoslav War Cinema in China”

Nicholas Beckmann, “Narrating National History: Focalization and Perspective of Historiographical Narrators”

Elizabeth Bejarano, “Books of Lives and the Construction of the Past”

Soumia Bentahar, “Toni Morrison’s Paradise (1998) and the Politics of Spatiality and Liminality in Historicizing the Black Experience”

Ina Bergmann, “Revis(it)ing the Past: The Forms of the New American Historical Fiction”

Lovisa Brännstedt & Lene Therese Teigen, “Livia’s Room – Rome’s First Empress on Stage”

Beth P. Chen, “What P.D.Q. Bach’s Music Reminds Us of: Resemblances between P.D.Q. Bach’s and W. Mozart’s Innovative Approaches and Uniqueness”

Richard Cole, “The Framing of History in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey”

Murray Dahm, “A Roman Rashōmon”

Rachel Damian, “The 1913 Armory Show: A Touchstone in American Modernism or a Fictionalized Legacy?”

Mara Dougall, “Form Filling: Medical Bureaucracy and Narrative Flow”

Didymus Douanla, “The Implicated Reader and the Crisis of Mediation in J. M. Coetzee”

Kristina Fjelkestam, “Retrophilia: Dissolving Difference?”

Dorothea Flothow, “Charles II, James II and Victorian Novelists”

Kristin Franseen, “‘Can You Recall No Melody of Mine?’: Musical and Historical Memory in Fic­tional Depictions of Antonio Salieri’s Later Life”

Filomena Giannotti, “A Case in Point of Historical Fictions: Sidonius Apollinaris: The ‘Big’ Reception of a ‘Minor’ Author”

Katie Ginsbach, “The Library as a Link to the Past in the Historical Novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte”

Michael Cawood Green, “The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong: Creation, Reflection, and the Question of Research in the Contem­porary Historiographical Novel”

Jerome de Groot, “‘It looked like the opposite of history’: The Disruption of History and Narrative in Postgenomic Writing”

Paula Barba Guerrero, “Against History: Speculative Memory in Ishmael Reed’s Flight to Canada

Marta Gutiérrez, “The Queen of the Witches has Come to Salem: Women and the Power of Witch­craft”

Tamar Hagar, “Retrieving Marginalized Victorian Women’s Lives by Applying Fiction”

Juliette Harrisson, “What Is Historical Fiction?: Good Bye Lenin! and HBO/Sky’s Chernobyl

Dennis Henneböhl, “Fragmentation, Intertextuality and Metafictionality: Theorising New Forms of Narrating the Past in Ali Smith’s ‘Seasonal Quartet’”

Jonas Hock, “A Tudor Brexit”

Rita Horvath, “Poetic Historical Fiction and Witnessing Massive Collective Trauma”

Edward James, “Josiah Wedgwood and the Creation of Antiquity”

Coraline Kandassamy, “Guadeloupe and Identity through ‘Neg la’ by Jocelyn Labylle”

Sheila Kreyszig, “The Death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart within the Milos Furman’s Movie Amadeus (1984) and the Sir Peter Shaf­fer’s Play (1981): When Fiction Becomes Fact”

Walter Kreyzsig, “The Derivation of the Latin Melodic Modes of the Middle Ages from the Greek Modes of Antiquity Based on a Misun­derstanding of Boethius’s De institutione musica

William Kolbrener, “Making the 18th Century Subject, Constructing 17th Century History”

Bozena Kucala, “Telling the Past in Different Tenses: André Brink’s Philida

Pascal Lemaire, “Secret Histories: Some Thoughts on Contemporary Historical MacGuffins in Anglophone Culture”

Claudia Linden, “Historical Fiction as Resistance in Karen Blixen’s / Isak Dinesen’s War-novel Angelic Avengers

Dušan Ljuboja, “Fictional Reconstruction of the Past in the Works of the Pan-Slavists: The Case of the Serbs in the Kingdom of Hungary in the First Half of Nineteenth Century”

Chris Martin, “Filene’s Department Store: A Fable of American Democracy”

Farah Mendlesohn, “Brexit and the English Civil War”

Lee Michael, “‘The Kindler of his own Flame’: History as Tragedy in Stephen Phillips’s Oeuvre”

Marcia Morris, “Tynianov’s Second Lieutenant Kizhe: Counterfactuals, Alternative History, and Autocratic Imperatives”

Teresa Mocharitsch, “Heinrich Gerhard Bücker’s Varus Varus: A Fictional Approach to German History”

Cheryl Morgan, “It’s All About the Source?”

Siobhan O’Connor, “‘The Experience of Home’: Fictional Spaces of the Tudor Past and the Contemporary English Imaginary”

Philip Peek, “The Irrational in Herodotus and in Annette Gordon-Reed”

Robert Petersen, “Constructing Meaning in Ameri­can Civil War Novels by Stark Young, William Faulkner, and Shelby Foote”

Elena Pinyaeva, “Advantages and Limits of Autobiography in Rewriting the New Testament in Michèle Roberts’s “The Secret Gospel Of Mary Magdalene””

Irene Rabinovich, “Rebekah Hyneman’s The Black Izba: The Moscovite’s Jews’ and the Tzar’s Jewish Doctor’s Triumph over an Anti-Semitic Plot”

  1. Ramsay, “Who Was Albert Levering and Why Are They Saying all Those Terrible Things About Him?

Susanah Ronnie, “Mapping a Mutiny: A Practice-led Approach to Exploring the Relationship between Poetry and History”

Paul Schacher”, The German Revolutions of 1918/19 and 1989 in Images: Visual Narratives in German Memory Cultures”

Kristof Smeyers, “Wishful Thinking for Historians: Truth, Lies, and Mythology in Auto-historical Narratives”

Patricia San Jose Rico, “Inhospitable Home­lands: The Experience of the Returned African American Soldier in Junius Edwards’s If We Must Die

Joanna Carraway Vitiello, “Narrative and Truth in the Medieval Criminal Court”

Halyna Vypasniak, “The Representation of a War in Contemporary Ukrainian Historical Prose”

Registration was

  • Sterling: Waged, £70/Concessions, £40 (no booking fee) Helm ticketing here: http://bit.ly/2T8trmY
  • Euro: E85/ E40 (for this we are using bank transfer to reduce yours and our costs: details and tracking form here. Please make sure you fill in the form as it will ensure we can track your payment).

Site: we are using a brand new site with excellent mobility access, and will be using hotels in the near vicinity. Updates will be here and twitter and Facebook

Airports: Sazlburg, Vienna, Munich,

Twitter: @HistoricalFic

Facebook Group: Historical Fictions Research Network

The call for papers ran:

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, Musicology, Reception Studies, Museum Studies, Recreation, Gaming, Transformative Works 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.

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