Adaptations in which historical subjects, especially writers, artists, and musicians, serve as “co-authors” of the adaptation itself, challenge the conventions of historical fiction and biopics. These adaptations inscribe or stage what is surplus in the archive, as historical personages articulate previously unspoken thoughts, concealed desires, or the keys that help subsequent generations understand their political, social, or creative endeavors. Elizabeth Freeman coined the term erotohistoriography to describe an “anti-systemic method” that does not so much seek to write the past into the present as to encounter the past already in the present by “treating the present itself as a hybrid.” In these encounters, dead bodies may come back to life as spectral or corporeal figures, activating alternate temporalities that disrupt hegemonic, regulatory time. Erotohistoriography effects a “counterhistory” informing later artistic productions, particularly when the resuscitated body is used to “effect, figure, or perform” cross-generational encounters, revealing how lived experiences of marginalized groups and individuals can be erased, rewritten, or reconfigured. Closely aligned with the concept of queer temporality, erotohistoriography forges cross-generational alliances that facilitate what Jill Dolan calls “utopian performatives.” This panel invites presentations on hybridizations of past and present in adaptations in which cross-generational encounters are a foundational element of their representational apparatuses, whether these encounters are manifest in the imaginations of the subjects or authors of historical fiction, or spectral and corporeal presences in adaptations intended for film and live performance.
Please submit abstracts of 250 words for consideration by October 15 through NeMLA's submission portal at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/User/SubmitAbstract/20803
David R Pellegrini