ESSE-10: conference in Torino, Italy, 24-28 August 2010 (IALJS panel)

full name / name of organization: 
International Association for Literary Journalism Studies
contact email: 


The seminar, entitled "History and Literary Journalism" is currently seeking submissions from IALJS and ESSE (European Society for the Study of English) members that respond to the following topic:

History and literary journalism are seemingly fraternal twins separated at birth: one seeking to recover the past, the other striving to capture the present, and both committed to preserving a "truth" for posterity. Though they share a dogged belief in (re)presenting the facts of a given event, both vary in their conceptions of how that event should be documented. Historians believe that the passage of time and critical distance favors objectivity, whereas literary journalists advocate contemporaneous coverage through firsthand, immersive reporting. And yet, despite their differences, both mirror the other's creed: a literary journalist views history as it is happening, or has recently happened, in order to reconstruct the scenes of that event accurately, while a historian typically strips the event of its emotion and drama in pursuit of a more traditional journalistic representation of a past event. This seminar proposes to study how and where literary journalism/journalists and history/historians cross disciplines and ideologies, and why academia still prefers that latter to the former as being a more faithful rendering of the past.

Submissions in the form of an abstract of 300-500 words (with a short cv attached) should be sent to John Bak ( and to David Abrahamson, IALJS President ( by 31 January 2010.

Please note the following information about ESSE 10:
and about IALJS: