UNIVERSITY OF BUCHAREST REVIEW 2020
CALL FOR ARTICLES
Issues 1 & 2/2020 are thematic issues, the general theme being “Re-writing, Re-imagining the Past”. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2021.
We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, which explore all possible intersections of literary and cultural studies with the other disciplines in (and even beyond) the humanities.
Rewriting historical and canonical texts has been a persistent tradition in literature; looking backwards – towards the past – was a hallmark of the Renaissance, Neo-Classicism, Romanticism, Victorian literature, Modernism and Postmodernism. Nancy Walker posits that “the practice of appropriating existing stories in one’s own work – borrowing, revising, re-contextualizing – has a long and distinguished history” (The Disobedient Writer: Women and Narrative Tradition, 1995). Some works that re-imagine the past do so overtly, others covertly, but in both cases they inevitably “both obscure and encode other stories” (Molly Hite, The Other Side of the Story: Structures and Strategies of Contemporary Feminist Narratives, 1989). One accusation levelled at texts rewriting the past is that they are simply derivative and unoriginal, but in their act of revising, writers do not simply look back: they see with fresh eyes, use the lens of new critical directions and offer new dimensions to the past (Adrienne Rich, “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision”, College English 34, 1972). A.S. Byatt has talked about interesting paths that can be explored while telling stories about secrecy, delving deeper into what the past had to hide and revealing the baggage of history (‘Forefathers’, On Histories and Stories: Selected Essays, 2001).
Much recent scholarship has fruitfully traced the ways in which we construct narratives of the past and fill them with contemporary content or bend them to contemporary values. There remains, however, ample room for further exploring the afterlives of the past as constructed in the present. Re-imagining the past, as such, explores the imaginative reconstruction of the past in the writing of historians and in works of historical fiction. Rewriting reveals traces of the original, as interpreted by the author. It is a remnant of something that once was or has passed, but which continues to exist as echoes, relics, memories, or ghosts.
To paraphrase David Lowenthal in The Past is a Foreign Country Revisited (2015), some texts turn the past into a backdrop for imaginary characters, while others use the lives of actual historical figures or even omit, distort or add to the past. Some fictional versions of the past are paradigms of the present, others are strikingly different; both invent pasts for the readers’ delight, yet also strive to help readers feel and know the past in an effort to shed light on new ways of reconceptualizing our relationship with the past. Such works often aestheticize the experience of cultural and historical displacement, and propose alternative forms of continuity and identity.
As such, we ask scholars to consider engagements with the past in terms of ongoing processes of reinvention, reproduction, and revision, as well as the reason why we choose to retell / rewrite / re-imagine stories of the past. This conference invites papers that consider new ways of seeing the past, leading to a strengthening of or challenge to our understanding of the past, and productive and experimental ways of retelling, remaking and rebooting, resulting in new imaginaries that reconnect us to the past and are revealing for the present.
We invite papers in English addressing topics including (but by no means limited to) the following:
- Re-Imagining/re-writing various types of fiction / genres
- Retellings of canonical texts
- Narrative approaches to the past
- Afterlives of characters or authors
- Reinvention and reproduction
- Musical, visual, film retellings
- Historical narratives in comics, film, and/or games.
- Appropriation, white-washing, and erasure in retelling
- Recycling and re-imagining tropes and stereotypes
- Remakes vs. sequels vs. reboots
- The question of originality and artistry in adaptation
- Memory and nostalgia
- The social, political, and cultural implications of reinvention
- Reimagining genres and aesthetics
- Remixing and re-appropriation
- The politics of remembering and representations of memory
- Revising/Revisiting History
- Historical fiction
- Memory and Re-memory
- Historiographic Metafiction
- Revisitings of myth in reworkings, re-appropriations, and contestations of mythical tropes and figures
- Writing Back from (or into) the Past: Literature, History and ideology
- Historical drama/history plays, opera, and other historical re-enactments
UBR has been acknowledged as a top academic journal by Romania’s National Council for Higher Education Research (CNCS). A recipient of the B academic ranking, our journal makes it possible for all its hosted articles to receive full academic recognition in the Romanian evaluation system and be included in such international databases as ERIH PLUS, SCOPUS, EBSCO and C.E.E.O.L. We are open to all research authors, whether established or junior (including Ph.D. candidates), affiliated or independent, domestic or international.
If you are interested in having your paper considered for publication, please send contributions in electronic form by 30 September 2021 at the latest. You will receive a confirmation message.
Papers are invited in: British, Irish and Commonwealth Literatures, American Literature, World and Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Intellectual and Cultural History, Art History and Visual Culture, Literary Theory, Translation Studies.
The Editorial Board