Faking it: Forgery and Fabrication in Late Medieval and Early Modern Culture

Scientific meeting

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Begins on: Thursday 15 August 2019.
Ends on: Saturday 17 August 2019.
Location: Göteborg
Related institutions: Göteborg University
What is real and what is fake? And why does it matter? As soon as objects, texts and utterances (be they pragmatic or artistic) become imbued with a sense of authority or authenticity, there is a potential to produce other objects, texts and utterances which mimic and attempt to siphon off that authority and authenticity. In late medieval and early modern European culture (1400–1750), this potential was realized in new and unprecedented ways. Social, technological, and intellectual developments forever altered many activities which fall under the remit of forgery and fabrication, spurring lively debate about truth and falsity. The printing press transformed the production, distribution and marketing of texts and images. Heightened interest in classical antiquity changed how scholars interacted with and assigned value to artefacts originating in past cultures. Legal developments altered how artworks and documents were policed, and how authorship and authenticity were instantiated.
Related keywords: early modern studies, forgery