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Call for Papers: “Anachronisms


Symposium, Musee du Temps and Universite de Franche-Comte, Besancon, 19-20 March 2020.


Anachronism often betrays, first, historical forgery. It signals a sometimes deliberate, sometimes unconscious rewriting of history, always attesting to an inevitable projection of the present into the past. It jarringly questions historical interpretation and the multiple relays between past and present. Yet, because it helps to us identify with the past and thus to better understand it, anachronism is not just a deviance, but rather a byway into history. In that sense, it also invites historians to an epistemological inquiry. Examining the rewritings of history through anachronism, this symposium will consider how literature and visual arts relate to history. Anachronism casts light on the issues of historical fiction and reality, exploring their productive intersections. In this perspective, this symposium will examine the creative potential of anachronism through the appropriations of the past in visual arts and literature. Whether it is intentional or unconscious, anachronism stems from a certain vision of the world: this symposium will focus on the political dimensions of anachronism. Anachronism can be read as a persistence of the past, a reluctance to “be gone,” the presence of a past that shapes us as much as we reshape it. Instrumentalizing historical facts, anachronism contribute to the construction of a historical vision, or help affirm the dominant discourse on history. Conversely, anachronism can be used as a way to counter censorship, and to bring forth revealing analogies, an implicit critique nested in the interstice between historical truth and its reinventions.

Anachronism is essentially a theme which can be visited from varied points of views and allows for a wide debate, organizers do hope this call for papers will be of interest to colleagues in various fields of research.

Download a full PDF version of the call here.


Deadline for proposals 15 October 2019

Organizers invite scholars across disciplines and specializations to submit their proposals (one page maximum) before October 15, 2019 to Anne Deffarges and Hélène Valance:

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