Postmodern Historical Fiction

Course information


Postmodern Historical Fiction


Baris Yilmaz

Course code

currently undefined




Szeged, Ady square or Petőfi avenue


currently undefined

Course description

Short description

Postmodernism has redefined the conception of the traditional historical fiction by diverting its course from a central, singular, and homogeneous position to a peripheral, plural, and heterogeneous direction. Postmodern historical fiction, or “historiographic metafiction” as Linda Hutcheon has called it, designates a narration with a two predominant features; a) It is principally a retelling of a historical occurrence from a counter-position against the supposed factuality of the original story, and b) It contains the self-reflexivity of its author which enables him/her to question boundary between fact and fiction if there is any at all, so to speak.

Historiographic metafiction represents those who were overlooked or oppressed, in other words ethnical, religious, cultural, sexual minorities; others and subordinates by gaining the opportunity to question the reliability of an authoritative historical narration. Thus, the matter is indigent of the interrelation of postmodern theories in various fields from history, sociology, and philosophy to literary studies, cultural studies, and media studies.



two hours weekly


2018/2019 1st


Requirements to get the grade

The students are expected to attend the majority of the classes (e) and write an essay upon the related topics at the end of semester. Also, their creative participation will generously be rewarded.

Reading list

In this course, we will try to determine the structural phases of this type of narration through analyzing the fundamental theoretical texts written in given literature, namely the texts from Hayden White, Jean Baudrillard, Michel Foucault, Benedict Anderson, Linda Hutcheon, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Stuart Hall, Edward Said, and so forth. Furthermore, certainly we will discuss the particular applications of the historiographical metafiction in contemporary world literature (the novel parts and short stories from Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Coover, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Orhan Pamuk, and Laszlo Darvasi). But additionally we will compare these literary examples of the genre, with the examples from the other postmodern art branches, for instance the films (Peter Greenaway, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Lars Von Trier) and the architectural works (Charles Jencks, Zaha Hadid).


Suggested reading list