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TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2020): 0.5


Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/tr.2008.3.03

Felicity Collins

How can historical fiction tell the truth about the past? Focusing on the disciplinary boundaries between history and cultural theory, this article argues that, at moments of national crisis, historical fiction has the capacity to produce new forms of public memory and subjectivity that conventional historiography fails to recognise. This is evident in a recent cycle of Australian history films that deal with modernist, traumatic or holocaustal events stemming from the nation’s colonial past. Although historians tend to dismiss historical fictions as myth rather than history, cultural theory suggests that violent spectacle films such as The Proposition (Hillcoat 2005) can be understood as powerful allegories of historical time and modern subjectivity.

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