I was excited to see this call for papers, given how much I’ve come to appreciate the writing of historical fiction as not only a legitimate, but a rigorous and extremely valuable, means of exploring and testing historical hypotheses, and given that this is one of the genres that I hope can find a home when the new journal of fiction by academics, AcademFic, launches in the very near future. But for now, here’s the call for papers:
Call for Papers: Methods of Knowing: Historical Research, Creative Writing, and the Past
From Natalie Zemon Davis in The Return of Martin Guerre and Alain Corbin in Life of an Unknown to Kiera Lindsey in The Convict’s Daughter and John Glavin in After Dickens: Reading, Adaptation, and Performance, a small number of scholars have proposed new ways of reading the past and writing social and cultural history, microhistory, biography, and literary criticism. In the final chapter of Victorian Honeymoons: Journeys to the Conjugal, the literary critic Helena Michie juxtaposes two modes of writing: a painstakingly annotated excerpt from a nineteenth-century woman’s diary and a fictional recreation of a moment in that woman’s life based on the record of events and experiences. Whereas notes to referential enigmas provide Michie with one way of understanding the past, fiction—liberated from the scholarly apparatus but faithful to the record and the times—provides another. In Master and Servant, the historian Carolyn Steedman documents the everyday experience of Phoebe Beatson, a single, illiterate, female domestic employee in the eighteenth century. While Steedman employs the protocols of social history to locate Phoebe in her world by drawing on extant records of working-class life and the papers left behind by her employer, she also utilizes Nelly Dean, the housekeeper in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, as an instrument for imaginatively reconstructing Phoebe’s interiority.
Routledge has expressed keen interest in the collection. Please submit proposals (250 words) and a brief bio (100 words) by 1 September 2020 to Kevin A. Morrison, Distinguished Professor of British Literature and Provincial Chair Professor in Humanities, Henan University (firstname.lastname@example.org). For accepted proposals, final essays between 5,000-7,000 words (inclusive of notes and bibliography) will be due 1 August 2021.
Of related interest: