Historical Fictions/Identities - Call for Papers

From popular television (The Tudors, Reign, Outlander, Vikings etc) to Booker-prize winners (Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies), film (The Handmaiden, The Young Victoria), video games (Assassin’s Creed franchise, Civilization The Legend of Sword and Fairy) and more, historical fictions are a significant part of twenty-first century culture.  Contemporary audiences engage with the past as entertainment more than they engage with it through education. Historical fictions reveal more about the time in which they were produced than they do about the period that they represent. This symposium aims to explore the cultural work done around identities in the twenty-first century by fictionalised pasts. How do we make who we are now by re-making the past? Which identities are included and excluded from narratives of particular periods? What present identities are projected back into, for example, ancient Rome, the European Middle Ages, eighteenth-century Japan, the English Regency, pre-colonial America, the Victorian era, the antebellum South? How do constructions of race, gender, sexuality, nationality, dis/ability and more use imagined pasts to create themselves in the present? How are hegemonic identities created or resisted by representing history? 

The conveners of a one-day symposium seek papers from scholars and professionals in the creative industries which explore these issues. The event will be held at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, on Friday 3rd November 2017, and will also have a dedicated web-presence, and facilities for remote presentation by contributors who cannot attend in person on the day. 

A peer-reviewed edited collection or special journal issue is also planned. Please indicate whether you would like your proposal to be considered for inclusion in the publication.

The deadline for proposals is 14th July, 2017. Please send 200-250 words proposals with a brief biography, and any queries, to histfictionsltu@gmail.com
The symposium welcomes proposals which explore any nexus of identities and twenty-first-century historical fictions. It takes a broad approach to defining historical fictions which includes literary and popular fictions; cross-genre (e.g. Regency romance, medieval crime); alternative history; biofictions; digital media; fandoms; and re-enactments. Scholarly papers and contributions from creative professionals (authors, artist etc) are welcome. Papers addressing historical fictions in any medium (or in multimedia) are welcome. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • ·       Race
  • ·       Religion
  • ·       Nationality
  • ·       Gender
  • ·       LGBTI identities
  • ·       Dis/abilities
  • ·       Intersectional identities
  •      Authorial and academic identities


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