15 Apr 2011 - 16 Apr 2011 All day CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge




Emily Caddick (Philosophy, University of Cambridge) 



Registration for this event is now closed.



The conference focuses on metafiction, taken to cover any fiction which represents itself as a fiction. Because metafictions acknowledge their own status as fictions, they are sometimes known as ‘reflexive’ or ‘self-conscious’ fictions, and sometimes generate apparently paradoxical results. The conference will explore what this reflexivity amounts to, how it distinguishes the metafictional from the non-metafictional works, and what impact this has on questions about the nature of fiction in general.

Metafiction amounts to a significant – but not uncommon – distortion of the standard relationship between a fiction and what it represents. This two-day interdisciplinary conference will explore how metafictional representation works by bringing together research on the nature of fiction within philosophy and research on metafiction in literary criticism, film studies and art theory.

Questions to Explore


Understanding how metafiction works is important to understanding how fiction works. For it raises interesting questions about what fictional representation is, what distinguishes it from non-fictional representation, how fictions represent, how we engage with fiction, and what relations the representation bears to its contents. How should we accommodate metafictions within an account of truth in fiction? Are there any peculiarities of audience engagement with metafictions – do our emotional reactions to a scenario change if we are told by the work that it is ‘just fictional’? What are the different metafictional narrative techniques, and do they all have the same impact on the content of the fiction? What constraints, if any, do metafictions place on the ontology of fiction and the nature of fictional objects?


Accommodation for non-paper giving participants

Conference participants can find information about accommodation in Cambridge at the following URLs:
NB. CRASSH is not able to help with the booking of accommodation.



  The Faculty of Philosophy     

The convener is grateful for the support of  The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), The Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, the British Society of Aesthetics and the Aristotelian Society.


Administrative assistance: Helga Brandt (Conference Programme Manager, CRASSH)


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk