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Fakes and Forgeries, Conmen and Counterfeits
Durham, July 2002

Call for Papers: "Fakes and Forgeries, Conmen and Counterfeits"

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.

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 original? Has the notion of authenticity
changed in recent times? Do different cultures set the boundaries in
alternative ways?

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.

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 organisers:

Dr Jonathan Long			Dr Peter Knight
Department of German			Department of English
University of Durham			University of Manchester
Durham, DH1 4EW 			Manchester, M13 9PL
UK 					UK