The Great Historical Figures in Art and Literature

The Great Historical Figures in Art and Literature Project is inspired by the researches on perspectivism in history that have been put to the fore in the domain of “cultural memories”. The project aims at showing how great historical figures appear in literature and in various arts (sculpture, painting, music, cinema, tapestries etc.). We wish to focus on how the images associated with these figures and their prominence have varied through time and how their role in the building of a collective memory has been liable to many changes.

Possible Themes (a non-exhaustive list) :

  • From the illustrious men and women as a genre to biographical dictionaries : function and representation of a historical figure ;
  • Historical Novels and Dramas ;
  • Public vs. private figure, reflections on a discrepancy ;
  • Historical characters and the art of memory ;
  • Biography as a genre ;
  • Naming and identifying historical figures ;
  • Signs of prestige : recognizing historical figures ;
  • Is there any such thing as a (historical) character ? ;
  • Case studies : memorable figures ;
  • Biopics significations and context ;
  • Travel writing and biographical forms of writing;
  • Book review.

The articles will be sent to fiona.mcintosh-varjabedian@univ-lille.fr or alison.boulanger@univ-lille.fr

Theoretical articles will not exceed 15,000 words, book reviews will not exceed 4000 words. The articles in English will follow the MLA Chicago style. Notes are accepted.

Articles may be published in French, English or German.

Free on-line, no submission fees. Double blind peer-reviewed.

Archiving on HAL encouraged.

Members of the scientific board :


Andrea Allerkamp (Frankfort/Oder), Neela Bhattacharya Saxena (Nassau Community Collège) Mirna Canivez-Velcic (Université de Lille), Marie-Madeleine Castellani (Université de Lille), Catherine Gaullier-Bougassas (Université de Lille), Gillian Jein (Bangor), Rachel Killick (Leeds), Kuisma Korhonen (Oulu), Guyonne Leduc (Université de Lille), Fiona McIntosh-Varjabédian (Université de Lille), Ana De Medeiros (King’s College London), Walburga Hülk-Althoff (Siegen), Jean-Marc Moura (Paris X), Jürgen Pieters (Gand), Joëlle Prungnaud (Université de Lille), Gérard Raulet (Sorbonne Université), Gérard Siary (Montpellier 3), Marie-Claire Thomine (Université de Lille), Tom Verschaffel (Louvain), Karl Zieger (Université de Lille).

Members of editorial board :

Thomas Barège, (Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France), Alison Boulanger (Université de Lille), Justine Breton (Inspe Reims), Catherine Dumas (Université de Lille), Clarisse Everard (Université de Lille), Fiona McIntosh-Varjabédian (Université de Lille), Emilie Picherot (Université de Lille), Tumba Shango Lokoho (Paris 3), Jessica Wilker (Université de Lille), Michaela Chateaux (Université de Lille), Guillaume Cousin (CÉRÉdI Université de Rouen-Normandie).

Dépôt HAL encouragé


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Revue interdisciplinaire soutenue par l'équipe ALITHILA (Univ. Lille) et la Biography Society