Archaeology of the Past and Registers of Fictionalization

Call for Papers, Brukenthalia, no. 7

Archaeology of the Past and Registers of Fictionalization


            We currently witness the replacement of the term historiography with a more comprehensive one, of cultural history, concerned with the way in which the results of academic research are received in society, taking into account its reactions and influences on the readjustment of discourses about the past. The historical culture of an age is not to be confused with how people choose to rewrite their collective biography in an academic manner. The interest in history is implicitly manifest in other meaningful areas such as funerary or ceremonial cultures, monuments and cemeteries, travel or confessional literature, literary or filmic canons, tastes, museums, maps, landscapes and gardens.

            It is important not to identify professional research with the public taste for the past. The interest in history differs from the preoccupations of writing history, the two registers competing and collaborating sometimes. One has to keep in mind the fact that every historiography illustrates more or less consciously a stage in the history of the forms of knowledge. In other words, every period in the history of historical writing is inspired by a certain theory about the past, the truth and the methods to discover it. This conception is not entirely bookish, as the society was part of its expression with all its specific sensitivities, prejudices and patterns. It is known that the Parisians who witnessed the events of the 1789 Revolution wanted the immediate mise-en-scène of those samples of recent history, thus securing the possibility of commenting on the new “historical facts” and of imposing their own representation of events. One may therefore talk about fiction employed in discussing the notion of truth. It is fair to mention that fantasizing had been for centuries an experiment, a search and an alternative, while knowing implied solving a puzzle. Forgery was a temporary state of not finding its opposite or a truth left in the dark. Lie was not a gross figment, but a failure, a denial of an illusion, while disappointment silenced only a failed demonstration. It was not the amplitude of invention, but the pretense of retrieving the origins, of discovering the truth which offers the impression that events are more recent. Therefore an impression is created that fiction pervades reality so that reality can generate another fiction.

            Around which past do we create another manner of co-habitation? In other words, how do we keep the memory of shared traits? And how do we share, with others, this memory, which we usually equate with the idea of identity?

            The Brukenthalia Journal proposes a subject for its new issue – Archaeology of the Past and Registers of Fictionalization in order to illustrate the idea of a transient past, which is based on an intermediary identity, perpetually subjected to the same dilemmas: where are we coming from and where are we going? Brought in the service of the Nation, history is lost and recovered liberally, from various perspectives. And any temporary past may be saved, re-canonized and presented as inevitable. Redefining Beauty has engendered new ways to fictionalize the past, be they received or disputed, so that the Ideological and the Aesthetical may cohabit. The panoramic view frequently occasioned the neglect of details for the sake of synthesis.

Contributions to this issue of the journal could show that history reveals itself fully even from seemingly unrelated events; as every fact is subjected to a basic principle of association – every story is born from another, surviving through ages due to its continuous correlation with other similar stories. The past doesn’t reach us from discursive encodings or, worse, from various “directives”, but from telling and incessantly re-presenting authentic experiences interrelated then and now; or from the stories retold in paintings, sculptures or films by the protagonists, be they key witnesses or mere bystanders.

            The deadline for proposals (title and short abstracts) is the 1st of June 2017. The selected papers will be announced on 15 June 2017. The deadline for sending the articles is 1 September 2017.

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Brukenthalia is a supplement of Brukenthal. Acta Musei, enjoying the same scientific status (CNCS B). The Brukenthal. Acta Musei academic journal is included in several international databases:

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