3rd Conference on Literatures and Cultures: Literature in History- History in Literature


K.N. Panikkar in his article Literature as History of Social Change made the following statement:

Despite the distinction between literature and history, their relationship is characterised by a close interface between the two. History is invariably the subject matter of literature as its universe is humanity, and humanity has no existence without its history. In other words, history is the inspiration and source of literature. The commonly used term ‘historical literature’ is a misnomer, as there is no literature devoid of history. History intercedes in literature not only when history is invoked, as in the case of Walter Scott or Leo Tolstoy, or, closer home, Brindavan Lal Verma or C.V. Raman Pillai, but it is embedded in all social situations and hence reflected in literary representations. 

It seems that the question of the relation between literature and history is still current and widely discussed among academics, scholars and writers throughout the world. Literature undoubtedly shapes our understanding of the past. No one can truly deny the contribution of Charles Dickens to our perception of Victorian Britain, the role of Mark Twain’s works in building our comprehension of the 19thcentury American South, or Shakespeare’s role in reviving the historical figures of Richard III or Henry V. Likewise, nobody denies the significance and salience of Thomas Paine’s Common Sensein triggering the American War of Independence or the role of John Dryden’s political poems in shaping the public opinion in the Restoration England. It seems challenging a task to grasp the historical epoch and its consequent events without remembering about its literary representatives and so it is hardly feasible to fully appreciate a work of literature without being familiar with its historical, social or cultural backdrop.

Literature can undeniably serve as a historical source, whereas history can act as a source of inspiration for literary achievements.

The aim of the conference LITERATURE IN HISTORY – HISTORY IN LITERATUREis to provide academic forum for established scholars, early career researchers, doctoral students and independent scholars who, in their work, strive to find the interface between literary and historical studies.

The Conference will prioritize the following thematic areas although proposals referring to other related issues are welcome:

  • Literature as a historical source
  • The power of literature in the time of war, revolution, rebellion
  • Writers and their involvement in historical events
  • Historical literature
  • Political literature
  • Utopian/dystopian literature
  • Biographies/autobiographies
  • Diaries and memoirs
  • The theory of literature: historicism, New Historicism

Please send paper proposals of approximately 250 words, complete with a short bio note and your academic affiliation to ujkconference@gmail.com.


Selected papers will be published in a monograph.

Important dates:

Extended deadline for sending proposals: 30 March
Notification of acceptance: 5 April
Payment of registration fee: 20 April

Registration fee:  350zł/ 80 Euro, doctoral students: 250zł/60 Euro

Further information on conference website: www.ujk.edu.pl/ifo/conference/

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