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Announcements


November

HEAROES in Concert on November 18

The Freiburg Wind Orchestra in concert at the Konzerthaus Freiburg. Conducted by Stefan Grefig.

Heroes and heroines represent physical strength, courage, ingenuity, strength of character, benevolence, righteousness, speed, gentleness, defiance of death and superhumanity. They invite admiration, breathless marvel and excitement. They go by names like Spartacus, David, Princess Leia, James Bond or Batman. Composers including Wagner, Melillo and Williams revered them, and have transformed their stories into musical form.

For one evening only, the Freiburg Wind Orchestra, conducted by Stefan Grefig, will bring heroes from literature, cinema, opera and history from antiquity to the present day boldly and musically to life. Prof. Dr. Thomas Seedorf from the University of Freiburg’s Collaborative Research Centre 948 “Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms” will set the scene.

For over 30 years, the Freiburg Wind Orchestra has been delighting its fans with symphonic concerts and projects of the highest caliber. The 60 aspiring musicians who make up this amateur ensemble hail from Freiburg and the surrounding area. The Orchestra regularly performs at open-air events around the city, and often invites well-known musicians to join them on stage.

Click here for information on how to get tickets. We wish you a heroically good time!

HEAROES in Concert on November 18

August

New E-Journal Special Issue: 4 (2018)

"Heroes and Heroization in Science, Scholarship, and Knowledge Production"

Special Issue 4 (2018) of the SFB 948 e-journal helden. heroes. héros. has been published. Download it here.

New E-Journal Special Issue: 4 (2018)

August

New E-Journal Issue: 6.1 (2018)

Issue 6.1 (2018) of the SFB 948 e-journal helden. heroes. héros. has been published. Download it here.

New E-Journal Issue: 6.1 (2018)

July

The SFB 948 Welcomes Visiting Researcher PD Dr. Erik Schilling

The SFB 948 welcomes its newest visiting researcher, PD Dr. Erik Schilling. From 16 to 28 July, he will be conducting research on his project "Rainer Maria Rilke: 'Fünf Gesänge' als Heroische Hymnen", in collaboration with Project D6.

The SFB 948 Welcomes Visiting Researcher PD Dr. Erik Schilling

July

Conference | “Love and Heroism in Neo-Latin Epic Poetry” (September 20–22)

Innsbruck, September 20–22, 2018

Organized by Dennis Pulina (University of Freiburg) and Florian Schaffenrath (University of Innsbruck)

Virgil’s narrative of Dido and Aeneas has enjoyed a wide reception throughout European literary history. Due to its treatment of themes like the fulfilment of duty, grief, and death from lovesickness, it became an example, precursor and point of reference for many Latin and vernacular love stories, and therefore remains important to this day. As a result of the complex interplay between heroism and love, many epics ignore the latter entirely, while others try to integrate love into the heroic or vice versa. The traditions of the genre notwithstanding, epic poetry is strongly influenced by changing cultural and religious beliefs, the commandments of heroism, as well as emotionality, especially within love and marriage.

This matter is particularly complex in the Latin epics of the early modern period. On the one hand, these epics are based on the ancient epic tradition, but on the other hand, the heroes and heroines rarely originate from a mythical past – they are usually contemporary figures such as Francesco Sforza or Christina of Sweden. The aim of this conference is to examine the dimensions of love woven into Neo-Latin epics, and the interdependence between love and the heroic at the intersection of literary reception of Greco-Roman antiquity and different real-world contexts. As has been shown by Yasmin Haskell’s recent research on emotions in early modern Latin poetry as well as in Ludwig Braun’s contemplations in his provocatively titled paper, “Why Is There No Love in Neo-Latin Epic Poetry?” (“Warum gibt es im neulateinischen Epos keine Liebe?”), the topic of love and the heroic in Neo-Latin epics is not only vastly significant but also in urgent need of further critical discussion.

Considering love and heroism in tandem raises different questions. Given that a crucial duty of early modern rulers was to maintain diplomatic and economic ties, one area of investigation will be whether there was any kind of romantic love or arranged marriages implicated in dynastic or power-political considerations. Therein, a possible effect on the hero’s motivations is already indicated. Can a hero be driven by love? Are there figures who perform heroic deeds only for the sake of love, like Roland in the Italian tradition? Can an arranged marriage also motivate the hero to prove himself? Are there differences in the ways that heroes and heroines love? The conference will also shed light on the differences between subgenres of Neo-Latin epic poetry, such as epics about condottieri in fifteenth-century Italy or colonial epics set in the New World. What must one consider when reading the love story of Isotta and Sigismondo Malatesta in the Hesperis? And in a completely different context, what are the consequences of Columbus’s love for Auria, the daughter of the king of Cuba, in Carrara’s Columbus?

Since pagan gods are frequently integrated into Neo-Latin epics, resulting in a hybridization of paganism and Christianity, the conference will also look at the influence of Christian morals and commandments on matrimony. Do epics hold heroes in love to certain Christian, pagan, or even neo-Stoic standards, which suggest that representations of love are based on philosophical concepts? What does it mean when a hero’s love is depicted as moderate or excessive? How are extreme emotions such as jealousy, or even lovesick suicide, like Dido’s, depicted in a world dominated by Christian morals? The conference will also examine the way antihero love storylines are represented in contrast to the hero’s love story.

The official language of the conference is English.

Venue: University of Innsbruck, Faculty of Catholic Theology, Room: Dekanatssitzungssaal.
Karl-Rahner-Platz 1, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Hotel: Leipziger Hof, Defreggerstr. 13, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria (https://www.leipzigerhof.at/)

If you have any questions, please contact Florian Schaffenrath (florian.schaffenrath@neolatin.lbg.ac.at) or Dennis Pulina (dennis.pulina@altphil.uni-freiburg.de).

Conference | “Love and Heroism in Neo-Latin Epic Poetry” (September 20–22)

May

New E-Journal Special Issue: 3 (2018)

"Animals: Projecting the Heroic Across Species"


Animals: Projecting the Heroic Across Species
, Special Issue 3 (2018) of the SFB 948 e-journal helden. heroes. héros., has been published.

This issue of helden. heroes. héros. extends this scholarly interest to the field of heroized animals, striving to add new perspectives to notions of heroism and the heroic. Animals have long played a crucial role in how we construct our identity as human beings. Over time, our perception of animals and how they relate to us has undergone significant changes. In recent decades, there has been a surge of interest in human–animal relations. The 'animal turn', mainly associated with the 1990s, raised questions of boundaries between men and the rest of the natural world with renewed vigor. Heroic behavior has traditionally been conceived of as intrinsically human behavior but it is a feasible and profitable enterprise to look beyond the limits of species in hero studies.

New E-Journal Special Issue: 3 (2018)

April

Workshop | "Work, Workers, and the Heroization of Everyday Life in Global Perspective" (June 8–9)

Heroes are not only found on the battlefield, but also in everyday life. During the twentieth century, the focus shifted to the workplace in particular. Socialist societies celebrated heroes of labour, but workers in capitalist societies were honoured for heroic deeds as well. This workshop discusses these processes in China, the Soviet Union, Romania, the USA and Great Britain.

Date: June 8–9, 2018
Place: Werthmannstr. 8 / Rear building, 1st Floor, Room 01011

The workshop programme can be found here.

The workshop is organized by Nicola Spakowski (University of Freiburg) and Simon Wendt (Goethe University Frankfurt / University of Freiburg), in cooperation with the Goethe University Frankfurt and the Konfuzius Institut at the University of Freiburg.

Due to limited space, participants are requested to sign up via email by May 30: silvio.fischer@sfb948.uni-freiburg.de.

Workshop | "Work, Workers, and the Heroization of Everyday Life in Global Perspective" (June 8–9)

November

New Release | Christina Posselt-Kuhli: "Kunstheld versus Kriegsheld?"

The seventh volume in the SFB 948 series "Helden – Heroisierung – Heroismen" (Ergon-Verlag, Würzburg) has been released: "Kunstheld versus Kriegsheld?", edited by Christina Posselt-Kuhli.

Further information on the SFB Publications page and the publishing house's website.

New Release | Christina Posselt-Kuhli: "Kunstheld versus Kriegsheld?"

November

Conference | "Heroism and the Heroic in American History"

Annual conference of historians of the German Association for American Studies

February 9–11, 2018
Akademie für Politische Bildung, Tutzing

Conference organizers:
Dr. Michael Mayer (Akademie für Politische Bildung, Tutzing)
Michael Butter (University of Tübingen)
Simon Wendt (Goethe University of Frankfurt)

This conference aims to critically reconsider the history of heroism in the United States from the American Revolution to the present, taking seriously the constructed nature of heroism and the myriad functions its serves in U.S. society. Heroes do not simply exist; they are created through practices of representation, and especially narration. Without a story, there is no hero. Nevertheless, the effects of heroism are real and palpable. As a social and cultural construct, it serves important functions in human societies. Heroes and heroines embody the norms, values, and beliefs of social groups. They also serve as role models whose behaviour people seek to emulate. As symbols of dominant norms and identities, they become sources of authority and are frequently used to legitimize social, cultural, and racial hierarchies. Heroism thus tends to be a stabilizing force in society, but it is constantly debated, reevaluated, and revised. Consequently, it is also historically contingent.

While historians have devoted thousands of pages to heroism, only few studies do justice to the topic’s complexities. Too often, scholars still imply that heroism is “real”, ignoring the fact that heroes are the product of intricate heroization processes that elevate real or imagined people to heroic status through reoccurring iterations about what is believed to be heroic at a certain point in time. Since this communication process is primarily a media discourse, studying heroism requires a thorough analysis of heroic narratives and representations of heroism in various forms of media. However, historians also need to take into account the multitude of actors that are involved in this process, as well as their motivations to construct some people as heroic while ignoring others.

This conference will shed new light on the various ways in which heroism has been constructed, while also probing its social, cultural, and political functions in U.S. history. Speakers will critically examine the existing scholarship on American heroism, before presenting case studies that might offer new trajectories for future research. In their papers, they will answer questions as to how, in which contexts, and for which groups processes of heroization legitimized or delegitimized social, cultural, and political norms and values; how they created, affirmed, or challenged social hierarchies and collective identities; and how they differed from or were similar to other forms of perceived extraordinariness.

Conference | "Heroism and the Heroic in American History"

August

New E-Journal Issue | "HeldInnen und Katastrophen – Heroes and Catastrophes"

HeldInnen und Katastrophen – Heroes and Catastrophes, Issue 5.1 (2017) of the SFB 948 e-journal helden. heroes. héros., has been published.

New E-Journal Issue | "HeldInnen und Katastrophen – Heroes and Catastrophes"