CFP: Essay Collection on Neo-Historical Exoticism and Contemporary Fiction

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Elodie Rousselot, Centre for Studies in Literature, University of Portsmouth

The current phenomenon of the neo-Victorian, neo-Edwardian, neo-Forties, and more recently, neo-Tudor novel, seems to confirm contemporary culture's persisting fascination with re-visiting and re-formulating certain key historical moments. This edited collection of essays intends to develop critical examination of the recent literary trend of the 'neo-historical' novel and to bring fresh perspectives to current debates on its cultural and theoretical underpinnings. We particularly welcome contributions on the 'exoticising' strategies employed by neo-historical fiction in its representation of one culture for consumption by another: What motivates this return to, and symbolic re-appropriation of, the past? Are certain historical periods more prone to creative re-interpretations than others? What are the implications of using a discursive practice intent on seeking elsewhere (in this case, the past) a mode of expression for the present? With the possibility of geographical escape now exhausted in our global age, has the past become the latest refuge from (post)modernity?
Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Neo-historical fiction in the global/trans-national present
• Exotic nostalgia in the neo-historical novel
• Popular culture, consumerism, and neo-historical exoticism
• Neo-historical fiction in the margins of Empire
• Travel, exploration and the exotic in the neo-historical novel
• Exotic historiography in contemporary neo-historical fiction

Please send a 300-500 word proposal for a 7,000-8,000 word chapter to the editor Dr Elodie Rousselot ( by 21 September 2011. Please add a short biographical note. Completed chapters will be due in January 2012.