When we began to sketch out this conference we at first struggled to come up with a name. We worked under the simple (but not very descriptive) title Historical Fiction conference. Coming from an academic history background such a title explained to us that this was a conference that investigated historical fiction from an academic history perspective, but we were the first to admit that outside these walls the title meant very little.
I think the variety of lectures, book reviews, articles and opinion pieces that have appeared over the last five days testifies that we chose the right name in the end: Novel Approaches. It says it all really. This was a conference that investigated approaches to historical fiction and to the academic study of history itself. It seems one has rarely existed without the other but like squabbling siblings both have rarely seen eye to eye and both hold certain prejudices and jealousies against the other. Ultimately, though, neither wants to survive without the other.
On the final day of this virtual conference we offer you a podcast from the end of conference roundtable. Our speakers who have appeared here over the last five days will now offer us further insights into their thoughts and feelings about the contrast and relationship between historical fiction and accademic history. As usual, we will also provide several book reviews.
We also have an additional article and book review not listed on the conference programme which came to us late in the day. Both offer perspectives that have already been brought up this week.
As this is the end of the conference we will also be asking you if you mind spending a moment to fill in a short survey. We’d love to hear your thoughts. At the end of the day we will also announce the winners of our competition – so stay tuned!
Day 5: Programme
9.30am Book review: Moscow as City and Metaphor (Alexander Martin)
10.30am Lecture: Roundtable with our speakers
11am Virtual Conference survey will be launched
Article: A Quick Round-up of class opinion (Lucinda Byatt)
11.30am Book review: Debating the Cultural Revolution in China (Julia Lovell)
12pm Book review: Restoration: fact and fiction in the stores of history (Alan Marshall)
1pm Competition winners announced
2pm Book review: Nun’s (not) on the run