Workshop-Leader: Matej Samida (Berlin), Raphael Päbst (Marburg)

History and fiction seem to contradict each other. While historians search for the truth authors of fiction tell stories made up in their mind. Therefore it is no wonder, works of historical fiction are often looked down upon by “proper” historians. This Workshop wants to take a different approach:

Where exactly are the borders of history and fiction? Does one stop being a historian by telling a story? Or are historians also storytellers, just in another way?

How many mistakes can there be in a work, before it stops being historical? Or is a work full of mistakes just bad science? Many other questions will surely come up during the Workshop.

Throughout history the terms history and fiction weren’t clearly separated. Many pre-modern sources have a fictional touch to them. And still today novels and films about history have a big impact on what people believe to be historical reality. Rather than condemning works like Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, The Name of the Rose and many others we want to look at them and their qualities. And never forget that works like Shakespeare’s Henry V. are very seldom criticized for their inaccuracies but seen as works of high culture and a vital part of our education.

Every participant will be presenting on one Work (Novel, Film, Comic…) or Author. If you’re not sure what to present on, we have some ideas for you. So don’t shy away just because you don’t have a topic.

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