Call for Papers: Brukenthalia. Romanian Cultural History Review. ˝Imagining and Reimagining History through Fiction and Film (II)˝. Abstract deadline January 15, 2023; Paper deadline April 3, 2023

Alexandru-Ilie Munteanu's picture
Call for Papers
January 15, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Film and Film History, Humanities, Literature, World History / Studies

Imagining and Reimagining History through Fiction and Film (II)

During the twentieth century and in the early decades of the following century, history has been often imagined and reimagined through works of fiction inspired by actual historical events as well as through films, many of which have become iconic. Fantasy literature, apocalyptic and postapocalyptic narratives, and films based on the same topics are mainly concerned with presenting and analysing ages and historical periods, major historical processes: the Antiquity, dominated or consolidated by political and military personalities who are now prototypes of mentalities; the Middle Ages, heavily reinvented with the tools of oversimplification and binarism of the fantasy genre; the discovery of the Other through exploration and voyages; the long modernity”, or the civilisation model of the Euro-Atlantic space; the empire-national state antithesis; the moral and societal backlash of the twentieth century; the motif of dooming power; the new millennial anxieties. 

The cultural display which can be analysed is very generous and goes beyond the factological historical imagining. Themes such as those of the end of history and humanity are more and more frequently tackled, especially in popular culture, against the backdrop of the global crises which have had an impact on our world. The new political mythologies and uchronia are more and more present in imagining human history. Thus, the cultural motif of historical time travel or the individual return in history as a way to interfere with decisions and events which caused tragic global moments and changed the direction of human progress seems justified by the simplified and untraditional explanation of historical determinism. More often than not, these narratives include the idea that event history can be triggered by a detail, by chance, by chaos.  

The process of rethinking from the perspective of the social justice carried by the figure of the Saviour, presenting the Multiverse as our world’s chance of survival are cultural phenomena specifc to the latest decades of cultural production. Cultural products about historical time and the end of history gain more and more influence and credit in the popular culture of our time. As a result of this reductionist cultural process, full of cliches and dominated by such genres as fantasy, science fiction and horror, people nowadays frequently regard human history as a doomed universe.

There are, on the other hand, films which faithfully reproduce the historical context. See, for example, the ever-lasting popularity of period drama” and the way such adaptations imagine and reinvent Eizabethan England or Victorian Britain, La Belle Epoque”, Tsarist Russia and the golden ages” of national or global histories, by means of scenic design and image expressiveness. But the most interesting adaptations are those which borrow narratives from a certain historical and cultural space and extrapolate them in a civilisation that has no clear temporal or cultural connection with the template. This is meant to demonstrate mainly the universal character of some major historical and moral themes (such as, especially, the destiny of Shakespeare’s plays or the works of Russian literature, which determined successive cinema re-adaptations).

Unfortunately, in the past several years, climate change, natural disasters, the restrictions and transformations imposed by the system with a view to resource preservation, the decline of consumerist society, corruption, the uncertainty about the future of the human species and of the planet, regional conflicts and the tense geopolitical context, deeper socio-cultural gaps, as well as millennial fears are stimuli for the fictional and sci-fi film production and their propensity for apocalyptic themes and postapocalyptic survival.  

Traditionally, our journal encompasses a Miscellanea section, as well as one for reviews of scientific books, presentations of scientific conferences and international film festivals. We welcome proposals (Abstract of 100-500 words) for Brukenthalia. Romanian Cultural History Review until January 15, 2023, and after the selection has been made, we welcome the developed proposal until April 3, 2023

After acceptance of proposal, you will receive our Guide for Authors.

Contact Info: 

Mihaiela Grancea Prof. Ph.D, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Department of History, Patrimony and Protestant Theology, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania 

Alexandru-Ilie Munteanu Ph.D, Curator, Brukenthal Library, Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu, Romania