We are pleased to announce the Third International Conference of ‘What if?…’ World History (WhatIf’23). This conference presents itself as a forum per excellence to researchers and aficionados of Alternate and Alternative History to exchange ideas and research results of the field, whether as academic subject, or artistic/literary creation.

Alternate/Alternative and Counterfactual History, either from an artistic and literary or academic research point of view, departs from a child-like question: What if?… What if Britain had confronted Germany a few months earlier?   What if the Invincible Armada had not sunk?  What if steam had surpassed electric machinery and Victorian context was prolonged throughout the twentieth century?  

And the possible answers are a reflective, inductive and/or deductive exercise that explores the meaning of the present and the future in all areas of knowledge, either in a systematic or creative manner. 

Each year has a theme under the umbrella of Alternate and Alternative History, and the program committee encourages the submission of articles from all over the world that challenge, advance and enlighten the specifics of the theme. For the WhatIf’23 the theme is ‘Eureka! Moments and Alternative History’

The authors and researchers are free to submit abstracts regarding this theme. Nevertheless, one possible leitmotif for approaching the theme ‘Eureka! Moments and Alternative History’ could be inspired by how the possibility of facing multiple divergent realities from a historical perspective regarding revolutionary scientific episodes can be a conduit for gaining self-awareness and conscience building, either from an individual or a collective point of view. We encourage submissions regarding the last hundred years period and its revolutions, as the effects in present day can be better outlined. All oral presentations of the accepted abstracts proposals will be virtual, with online attendance

Topics of Interest

Notwithstanding, the articles can be from other topics of interest. Suggested topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following topic areas:

Teaching and learning experiences using Alternate and Alternative History

For example: 

Alternate and Alternative History and Arts

For example: 

Alternate and Alternative History as research tool

Educational Modules of Alternate and Alternative History

Transversal Research (e.g. Alternate History and Sociology)

Alternative and Alternate History and Inclusion

For example: 

Alternate History and Globalization

Alternate History and Media

For example: 

  • How Film and TV diverges from Literature in creating alternative historical worlds? 
  • How videogames and webdocs use interactivity to induce alternativity? 

Alternate History and Chronologies

Alternate History and Cognition

For example: 

Alternate History and Creative Content (e.g. audiovisual)

All accepted papers will be published on the Hypothesis Historia Periodical, on a special  regarding the Third International Conference of ‘What if?…’ World History. This issue will be published in open access and submitted to be indexed in major international bibliographic databases. 

The WhatIf’23 meeting will be held on 20-25 November, 2023, as an hybrid event, in association with the Hypothesis Cultural Days (HYP23CD) || Dias da História Alternativa – Winepunk  &  Companhia, promoted by the Invicta Imaginaria and hosted by Library of the Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto. The city of Porto will welcome the in-person actions of the program. 

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and is located at the river mouth of Douro River and the Atlantic Ocean, on the western shore of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a major tourist destination, attracting through the culture and tradition of the Douro region, the history of the Cidade Invicta*, the highly appreciated gastronomy (with special emphasis on the famed wine named after the city, as the always filled Port Wine cellars testify) and pleasant climate alike. 

This edition will also host the Second International Hypothesis Workshop of Hypothesis Alternative History, Management, & Economics (HYPwork 23 M&E) and the First Workshop of Alternative History and Medical Science (HYPwork23 Medical Sci)

These workshops will be in a hybrid format, with in-person modules taking place in Puebla, Mexico, under the responsibility of Professor Cynthia Montaudon-Tomas, and UPAEP, and in the Phillipines, under the responsability of Professor Maria Minerva P. Calimag, and University of Santo Tomas.

UPAEP is a private catholic university located in Puebla, central Mexico, founded in 1973. It offers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs. Since its foundation, one of its main concerns has been to become highly involved with the community to promote social justice and the common good. 

Puebla is the state’s capital and the fourth-largest city in Mexico. It is one of the main hubs for eastern Central Mexico and hosts an important educational cluster. The region is renowned internationally for its automobile industry, as well as its traditional handicrafts and gastronomy. 

The University of Santo Tomas, the Pontifical, Royal and Catholic University of the Philippines, is the oldest existing university of Asia, founded in 1611, under the patronage of St. Thomas Aquinas. It offers 22 degree-granting academic units, and has a total enrolment of more than 40,000 students. Over more than a four hundred years existence, it has been continuously responding to the needs of the present.

The Philippines is the second most-populous Asian country (following India) with English as an official language. It is known for its beautiful beaches, expansive forest, and abundance of volcanoes. Despite the common theme of nature, there are many islands that all differ from each other vastly. 

The organizing committee looks forward to welcoming you to an exciting and fruitful conference, with important exchange of ideas and networking to promote research, literature and arts of high quality and meaning. 

In case of questions related to the conference, please contact us at whatif.2023@fc.up.pt.

*Traditional designation for the city of Porto that can be translated as Unbeaten City