On Friday and Saturday, 24th and 25th February, I was at the conference of the Historical Fictions Research Network in Greenwich, at the National Maritime Museum. It was a fantastic conference, with papers from academics from Poland, the US, Australia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Zimbabwe, and from a variety of disciplines: architecture, history, anthropology, film and TV, Classics and art history as well as literature. Most excitingly, there was a presentation from the Inshore Squadron of the Battle of Trafalgar, and I was very sorry to miss the keynote, from food historian Michael Twitty.
I chaired my first academic panel, Super Women in Historical Fiction. Three great papers: Bronwen Edwards from Leicester University on the sexual transactions between women SOE operatives and German officers in WW2 historical fictions, Laura Bunt Macrury from Bournemouth University on 19th Century Peruvian women in literature and archives, and Akira Suwa from Cardiff university on queer desire in Sarah Water’s The Little Stranger. The discussion and questions after each panel I attended was enthusiastic, and the interdisciplinary nature of the conference lead to an incredible richness. I fully intend to submit an extract to next year’s conference, and I recommend attending!