English Literature Research Seminar: "The Historical Novel NOW"

  • Datum: –17.00
  • Plats: Engelska parken Rum 16-1044
  • Föreläsare: Professor Jerome de Groot (University of Manchester; SCAS Fellow)
  • Arrangör: Engelska institutionen
  • Kontaktperson: Emma Clery
  • Seminarium

In 2009 I published The Historical Novel which was a long sweep over the genre and attempted to survey the ways in which this type of writing worked. The text has significant gaps and large elisions (for instance, Hilary Mantel). It focuses on a version of historical novel that draws on the theories of Lukacs and others. Some of the focal points (postmodernism) now feel outmoded. The book’s focus is highly Anglophone.

What has happened since 2009 in the field? What concepts, issues, concerns have been articulated? What has changed in the ways that we conceptualise, teach, and read these texts? In particular, what values-led initiatives in theory and practice have developed in the past decade? Shifts in cultural focus have led to the rise of writing that is interested in marginalised voices, for instance, or to the reconfiguring of key aspects of the genre such as evidence, authenticity, truth, anachronism, adaptation, translation. 

In this talk I will discuss the state of the form in 2023, what is at stake in writing historical fiction now, and thoughts for the future! I will look at a range of writing from Maria Edgeworth to Isabel Allende, and consider a range of contexts, from Senegalese nationalism to cli-fi, in order to try to locate this endlessly evolving genre.