CFP Nov 1, 2001

Fakes and Forgeries / Durham Castle (UK) 8/9 July 2002


Location: United Kingdom
Call for Papers Deadline: 2002-01-01

Contributions are invited to an interdisciplinary conference on "Fakes
and Forgeries, Conmen and Counterfeits," to be held at Durham Castle (UK)
on 8th and 9th July 2002.

This conference seeks to bring together scholars from a variety of
disciplines -- cultural theory, literary studies, film studies, history,
art history, cultural anthropology,economics -- in order to explore the
historical, social and cultural significance of fakes, forgeries, hoaxes
and counterfeits.

Recent cultural theory has called into question traditional notions of
authenticity and originality. Despite critical pronouncements of the death
of the author and the substitution of the simulacrum for the original,
however, making a distinction between the genuine and the fake continues
to play a major role in our everyday understanding and evaluation of culture,
law and politics. Consider, for example, the fiasco surrounding the "forged"
Hitler diaries, law suits against auction houses for failing to detect
forgeries in the art market, or the problem of plagiarism at universities.
It still seems to matter that we can spot the difference. But what are we to
make of conspiracy theories that the moon landings were faked in a Hollywood
studio; the Sokal hoax article in Social Text; or Fragments, Binjamin
Wilkomirski's "fake" Holocaust memoir
Has the distinction between the
counterfeit and the real been undermined by the technological ability to
make copies that are indistinguishable -- and sometimes better -- than the
Has the notion of authenticity changed in recent times
Do different
cultures set the boundaries in alternative ways

Possible topics could include:-

fake memoirs
film "mockumentaries"
counterfeit currency
branding, logos and ripoff goods
frauds, scams, swindles and cons
confidence tricksters
P. T. Barnum and Boggs
disguise and deception
blackface and passing
masquerades and ventriloquism
forgery in the art world
faked archaeological and scientific discoveries
internet hoaxes and urban legends
conspiracy theories about forged evidence and misinformation
digital imaging and virtual reality
detection and authentication
plagiarism and copyright
retro repro

Further details of the conference will be available later at:

Publication of selected papers is planned for 2003/4.

Please email a 250-word abstract by 1st January 2002 to both organizers:

Dr Peter Knight
Dept of English and American Studies
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL
Phone: +44 (0)161 275 3061 (office)
+44 (0)161 275 3055 (Dept. secretary)
fax: +44 (0)161 275 3256

Dr Jonathan Long
Department of German
University of Durham
Durham, DH1 4EW

Visit the Call for Papers website at

CFP: Fakes and Forgeries / Durham Castle (UK) 8/9 July 2002. In:, Nov 1, 2001 (accessed May 19, 2024), <>.