This seminar probes the boundaries and relationship between history and fiction through the eyes of three practitioners. History is never completely knowable: does this mean reasonable speculation is an essential tool of historical work? Academic historians have long been encouraged to engage their imaginations in reconstructing and understanding the past. Does this differ from the work of historical fiction? If so how? Are they simply complementary approaches to grasping the truths of past human societies? How do writers of historical fiction conceptualise and perform their work of researching and creating characters, explaining events, and weaving narratives? We will hear from three accomplished authors working across different historical periods and places, and using different literary forms:
Dr Linda Weste is an award-winning poet and author, and tutor in the Creative Writing Program at The University of Melbourne. Her book Nothing Sacred: A novel in verse, explores late Republican Rome.
Dr Kelly Gardiner is a writer of historical fiction for readers all ages, and lecturer in creative writing at La Trobe University. Her works traverse many periods and settings, ranging from the WWI fields of Flanders in 1917, her most recent book for young readers, to the world of 17th-century opera in Goddess.
Dr Ali Alidazeh is an accomplished author of both fiction and non-fiction, and a lecturer in literary theory and creative writing at Monash University. His most recent novel, The Last Days of Jeanne d’Arc, was published in 2017.
The seminar will be convened by Dr Kathleen Neal who lectures in history at Monash University and is a member of the Board of the History Council of Victoria.
The audience at this seminar will have the opportunity to present their own insights and to ask questions of the panellists.
Please book your seat at this free event by clicking the RSVP button at the foot of this page. If you see a "Sold Out" button, you can join the wait-list by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
and the organising partners:
The seminar is part of an ongoing series, Making Public Histories, that is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. Each seminar aims to explore issues and approaches in making public histories. The seminars are open, free of charge, to anyone interested in the creation and impact of history in contemporary society. Click HERE to learn about other events in the series.
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