This book deals with the way historical genres are theorized and practiced in the twenty-first century. In the context of the freedoms inspired by postmodernism and enabled by the development of innovative textual and graphic platforms, new theories of history view genres as flexible living forms that inspire more creative and experimental representations of the past. New ways of articulating history compete with the traditional model of historical prose. Acknowledging the current diversity in theories and practices, and assuming the historicity of historical genres, this book engages the reality of historical genres today and explores new directions in historical practice by examining these new forms of representing the past. Thus, without denying the validity of traditional and conventional forms of history (and arguing that these forms remain valid), this book surveys the production of what might be considered new historical genres practiced today, in which the idea of "practical past" is put in practice. Preceded by the introduction and two theoretical articles on historical genres, some of the new forms of history analysed in this book are: historical re-enactments, gaming history, social media, graphic narratives and first-person narratives of, memoirs of trauma, and film-history. This book was originally published as a special issue of Rethinking History.
Introduction: Rethinking historical genres in the twenty-first century 1.Genre and history/historying 2. Realist histories? When form clashes with function 3. Rethinking (re)doing: historical re-enactment and/as historiography 4. Gaming history: computer and video games as historical scholarship 5. Open genre, new possibilities: democratizing history via social media 6. Human rights and the literary self-portrait: Vann Nath’s A Cambodian Prison Portrait: One Year in the Khmer Rouge’s S-21 7. Layering history: graphic embodiment and emotions in GB Tran’s Vietnamerica 8. The conventions of unconventionality: reconsidering the cinematic historian in Even the Rain 9. Tales of futures past: science fiction as a historical genre