Historical Research, Creative Writing, and the Past : Methods of Knowing book cover
1st Edition

Historical Research, Creative Writing, and the Past
Methods of Knowing

  • Available for pre-order on May 19, 2023. Item will ship after June 9, 2023
ISBN 9781032180885
June 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Although historical research undertaken in different disciplines often requires speculation and imagination, it remains relatively rare for scholars to foreground these processes explicitly as a knowing method. Historical Research, Creative Writing, and the Past brings together researchers in a wide array of disciplines, including literary studies and history, ethnography, design, film, and sound studies, who employ imagination, creativity, or fiction in their own historical scholarship or who analyze the use of imagination, creativity, or fiction to make historical claims by others. This volume is organized into four topical sections related to representations of the past—textual and conceptual approaches; material and emotional approaches; speculative and experiential approaches; and embodied methodologies—and covers a variety of temporal periods and geographical contexts. Reflecting on the methodological, theoretical, and ethical underpinnings of writing history creatively or speculatively, the essays situate themselves within current debates over epistemology and interdisciplinarity. They yield new insights into historical research methods, including archival investigations and source criticisms, while offering readers tangible examples of how to do history differently.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Methods of Knowing

Kevin A. Morrison and Pälvi Rantala

Section One: Textual and Conceptual Approaches

1. Epic Posturing and Epic Entanglements: Historiography, Creative Inquiry, and the Writing of the Self in Boiardo, Montaigne, and Cervantes

Alani Hicks-Bartlett

2. "The Machine for Showing Desire": Desert Romance Fiction and Knowing Sexual Desire

Catherine Phipps

3. Entwining Temporalities in Craig Williamson’s The Complete Old English Poems

Elan Justice Pavlinich

Section Two: Material and Emotional Approaches

4. Filling in the Blanks: An Open Door Invitation to a Nineteenth-Century American Period Room

Kate Kramer

5. Scraps of History: Vernacular Archiving and Creative Composition

Ben Nadler

6. Tolkien, Cline, and the Quest for a Silmaril

Tom Ue and James Munday

Section Three: Experiential Approaches

7. Dreams, Historical Knowledge, and Death of a California Fisherwoman

Kevin A. Morrison

8. All Cops are Biased: Historiography as Detective Story

William G. Pooley

9. Sound Puppets: Using Sonic Nonfiction to Perform the Past

Diana Chester and Heidi Stalla

Section Four: Embodied Methodologies

10. Co-Imagining the History of a Village: Autoethnographer as Verbaliser of Experience-Based Knowledge

Jaana Kouri

11. My Writing Journey with the Webers

Pälvi Rantala

13. Knowing Hands: Using Tactile Research Methods in Researching and Writing the History of Design

Grace Lees-Maffei

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Kevin A. Morrison is Provincial Chair Professor, University Distinguished Professor, and Professor of British Literature in the School of Foreign Languages at Henan University. He is the author of four monographs, including the MLA-award winning Victorian Liberalism and Material Culture: Synergies of Thought and Place, and, most recently, The Provincial Fiction of Mitford, Gaskell, and Eliot.

Pälvi Rantala is a Finnish researcher and nonfiction writer. She holds a docentship in cultural history at the University of Turku and works in the intersecting fields of history, sociology and cultural studies. Her research projects have combined arts, culture and social science as well as historical knowledge, and she currently works on the cultural history of sleeplessness.