Make Believe: Fact, Fiction, Friction (February 2013)

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The Dalhousie Review

Make Believe: Fact, Fiction, and Friction

The line between fact and fiction has never been certain, but in this "age of information" it seems to be increasingly ambiguous. The enormous popularity of the collaboratively edited online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, is a notable example of our need to ask how and by whom facts get established and evaluated. Historically, universities have devoted themselves to the pursuit of such questions, but that may be changing with the growing pervasiveness of corporate managerial models that construe students as consumers and scholars as knowledge producers, both of whom are rewarded for the "mobilization" of knowledge that can be readily instrumentalized as fact. What forms of knowledge are undervalued in such a scenario? What, for example, of the truths found in fiction? What of Thomas King's contention that "the truth about stories is that's all we are"? With these things in mind, The Dalhousie Review invites submissions for a special issue on the friction between fact and fiction and the value of "make believe."

Make Believe is scheduled for publication in May 2013. In keeping with the spirit of The Review – to promote the "free discussion of contemporary problems"—contributors are asked to approach the material in a manner that is widely accessible and relevant to ongoing debates.

Essays might address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
o the instrumentalization of knowledge as fact
o the truth of stories or the value of "make believe"
o the mandate and means of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions
o the uses and possible value of ruse, forgery and fakery
o the social construction of race, ethnicity, sex and/or gender as fact and/or fiction
o the attractiveness (or not) of numerically based information over other forms of knowledge
o the role of the universities as knowledge "producers" and strategies for measuring "knowledge production"

Essays should be between 5000 and 7000 words and should conform to the guidelines published on our website ( Submissions are due by 1 February 2012, and should be sent to and