Reenactment Case Studies: Global Perspectives on Experiential History

Reenactment Case Studies: Global Perspectives on Experiential History

Universität Duisburg-Essen / Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau / Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena
Vom - Bis
15.02.2018 -
Vanessa Agnew / Sabine Stach / Juliane Tomann

There is growing consensus that historical reenactment embraces a wide range of forms – including live action role play, living history, historical reality TV and film, gaming, performance art, theater, historically-informed music performance, experimental archeology, pilgrimage, and battle reenactment. Reenactment practices and forms share a concern with authenticity, embodiment, affect, the performative and subjective. It might be argued that reenactment exemplifies a transnational form of popular historical knowledge making, representation and commemoration. Yet, in terms of its historical subject matter, practices, styles, and subcultures, reenactment is often nationally inflected. Many countries demonstrate long traditions of battle restagings, pilgrimages and living histories practices that seek to advance discrete local, regional and state-bound interests.

With a view to producing the most comprehensive and globally comparative account of historical reenactment to date, we invite contributions that focus on contemporary case studies of reenactment from around the world. Contributions should address the tension between national reenactment practices and transnational experiential historical knowledge making and commemoration by addressing one of the following themes:

(1) “National” reenactment:
Is it possible to identify characteristic national practices and styles? Is reenactment imbricated with national historiography and the national imaginary per se?
(2) Exterritorial reenactment:
What role do reenactments play that are divorced from the histories of the places in which they are practiced? How can we theorise creative or religious reenactments that are spatially and temporally unbound?
(3) Reenactment’s contribution to the global rise of populism:
What can be said about the utility of reenactment for emerging populism? How do different forms of reenactment play upon affective and conjectural modes to advance discrete sets of interests across national boundaries? And to what effect?

The editors invite contributions in English from disciplines ranging from history, anthropology, sociology, religious studies and performance studies to film and media, heritage, memory and cultural studies. All contributions should be based on original research and be as yet unpublished.

Submissions should be 6,000-8,000 words and include no more than two images. The volume will be peer reviewed.

Submission of abstracts (max. 400 words) and short biography – 15 February 2018
First draft of the chapter – 15 June 2018
Submission of the final draft – 15 September 2018



Dr. Vanessa Agnew (
Dr. Sabine Stach (
Dr. Juliane Tomann (

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