44th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 21-24, 2013
Boston, Massachusetts, Host Institution: Tufts University
This panel will examine non-primary-source representations of real historical events. How do such accounts of actual events interact with the notion of “truth,” and how to do they construct and/or challenge dominant narratives about the past? How do these secondary plots invoke the notion of the “original” event that they describe? How do point of view, audience, narrativity, genre, and other formal elements characterize the text as “historical”? What are the political, economic, and cultural stakes involved in the representation of history? Especially welcome are papers which examine historical fiction, historical reenactments, living history tourist sites, and other representations which highlight both their distance from original events and their desire to collapse that distance. Papers might explore the following themes: theoretical approaches to the representation of history (drawing on work by historians such as Hayden White, social critics such as Michel Foucault, or museum studies scholars such as Barabara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett); how national shame functions in historical narratives (for example, the representation of slavery in Colonial Williamsburg or the erasure of bodily functions in Plimoth Plantation); how real historical figures appear in fiction or performance; how revisionist and subaltern projects alter notions of linear history, power, and truth (such as in Condé’s I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem); etc. This panel offers those of us in languages and literature who teach about historical events a chance to bring our disciplinary methods to bear on the topics that we cover, and it also opens an interdisciplinary space where theories and ideas from literary criticism, cultural studies, museum studies, film studies, performance theory, and history can interact and develop.
Submit abtracts to Dr. Robin DeRosa, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: September 30, 2012
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email and Postal address
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)
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