Cryptohistory. 22-23 November 2013

Conference of the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures
22 - 23 November 2013, Sosnowiec
University of SiIlesia, Poland

Download CFP as a PDF file (in English)
Download CFP as a PDF file (in Polish)

With the 50th anniversary of one of the arguably most mysterious and speculation-provoking moments in history, the death of JFK, as inspiration, the conference intends to be a meeting ground for discussions of cryptic discourses in history and historical narratives converging on the mysterious. It is perhaps no exaggeration to suppose that one of the vital factors underlying the earliest interests in history and its rise as a science may be related to the sense of mystery associated with the past. It appears, moreover, that in an era of an increased socio-cultural demand for various conspiracy theories and alternative histories, the narratives of the past focusing on its cryptic aspects deserve particular and thorough examination. Equally important seem to be the mechanics of their rise in history and their narrative strategies. We, therefore, invite papers that will engage in disputes centring on the issues of secrets, mysteries and enigmas in narrative and theoretical discourses of history.

Specific themes to be discussed in twenty-minute long presentations (in Polish or English) may include the following (the list is by no means exhaustive):

  • history of secrets / secret history;
  • cryptic discourses and their cultural encoding and decoding;
  • secretive narratives and narrating mysteries in history;
  • controversies in history and histories of controversies
  • urban legends and the rise of contemporary myths;
  • mythicised pasts and processes of mythicisation of the past;
  • histories and theories of chance;
  • cryptography, codes, ciphering and deciphering in history;
  • cryptic history theorized: theoretical study of secretive discourses;
  • gossip, accusations, forgeries, tales vs. chronicles, historiographies;
  • historiographic metafictions vs. historical novel/narrative;
  • habitual liars, unreliable narrators and con artists;
  • cryptic people, societies, buildings and objects;
  • pseudo/meta/micro/his/her-story(ies);
  • historical revisionism and alternative history;
  • history as a camouflage.

We welcome scholars from various academic fields to submit their proposals by 30 July 2013. Abstracts (c 250 words) in English or Polish should be registered online on Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 15 August 2013.
The conference fee is 200 PLN and 150 PLN for full fee participants and graduate students respectively. The fee includes a meal, coffee breaks and conference materials.
A selection of papers will appear in a post-conference monograph.

Best regards,
Marzena Kubisz
Rafał Borysławski
Alicja Bemben
Justyna Jajszczok
Jakub Gajda

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Wydział Filologiczny Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
ul. Gen. S. Grota-Roweckiego 5
41-205 Sosnowiec