In recent years, fictions and popular biographies about people from the past have featured prominently on bestseller lists and in literary awards. Why do writers and readers turn to these representations with such enthusiasm? In this subject we analyse the social and cultural significance of narrative encounters with people from the past. We consider how readers, creators and critics engage with them, and with their historical contexts. We ask: What are the ethical dilemmas of such creative and critical practices? How do understandings of gender, sexuality, race, dis/ability and class intersect in these works? How might they challenge our view of the current moment and its various prejudices? How do they offer new ways to imagine past, present and future identities? Students will engage with these questions through textual analysis, research and the development of creative work.