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Announcements


July

New Release | "Girl Warriors"

Svenja Hohenstein, research associate at the Integrated Research Training Group (IGK) in the first phase of funding, has published her dissertation "Girl Warriors. Feminist Revisions of the Hero's Quest in Contemporary Popular Culture”. Further information can be found on the publisher's website.

Quest narratives are as old as Western culture. In stories like The Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Harry Potter, men set out on journeys, fight battles and become heroes. Women traditionally feature in such stories as damsels in need of rescue or as the prizes at the end of heroic quests. These narratives perpetuate predominant gender roles by casting men as active and women as passive. Focusing on stories in which popular teenage heroines—Buffy Summers, Katniss Everdeen and Disney's Princess Merida—embark on daring journeys, this book explores what happens when traditional gender roles and narrative patterns are subverted. The author examines representations of these characters across various media—film, television, novels, posters, merchandise, fan fiction and fan art, and online memes—that model concepts of heroism and girlhood inspired by feminist ideas.

New Release | "Girl Warriors"

April

Conference | "Christ as Hero and His Heroic Following. Imitatio Christi in the Early Modern Period"

Early Christianity and Christian antiquity already were characterized by a particular interest not only in the soteriologically motivated interpretation of the life, death and resurrection of the messiah and hero (Isa 9,5) Jesus Christ, but also in heroic discipleship. The emphasis here rests on ethical aspects and a theology of piety as well as on questions regarding the experience of faith. Through all eras of Christianity, this tension-filled dialectics has evoked highly intense readings of the heroism of Christ and inspired the development of conceptions for a heroic imitatio Christi (which by no means limit themselves to a “mysticism of suffering”).

The interdisciplinary conference explores the heroic dimensions of the imitatio Christi and exemplarily analyzes different forms of representing Christian discipleship in heterogenous media as well as intermedial constellations. The primary focus here lies on sources from the early modern period (c. 1450-1750).

The inclusion of the late antique and medieval tradition ensures a tradition-historical perspective on the respective confessionally distinct interpretations of the imitatio Christi in the early modern period as well on transconfessional phenomena of consensus and interconfessional permeabilities, which in this field are particularly numerous.

The conference is jointly organized by the GRK 2008 “Interkonfessionalität in der Frühen Neuzeit” (Hamburg) and the SFB 948 “Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms” (Freiburg).

Read more about the symposium here.

Conception: Achim Aurnhammer and Johann Anselm Steiger.

Conference | "Christ as Hero and His Heroic Following. Imitatio Christi in the Early Modern Period"

April

New Release | "Alexandres de leurs temps"

The ninth volume in the SFB 948 series "Helden – Heroisierung – Heroismen" (Ergon-Verlag, Würzburg) has been released: "Alexandres de leurs temps. Heroisierungsprozesse und politische Instrumentalisierung Alexanders des Großen im spätmittelalterlichen Burgund", edited by Luka Fischer.

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

New Release | "Alexandres de leurs temps"

April

New E-Journal Issue: 6.2 (2018)

Issue 6.2 (2018) of the SFB 948 e-journal helden. heroes. héros. has been published. Download it here.

New E-Journal Issue: 6.2 (2018)

March

New Release | "Tracing the Heroic Through Gender"

The eigth volume in the SFB 948 series "Helden – Heroisierung – Heroismen" (Ergon-Verlag, Würzburg) has been released: "Tracing the Heroic Through Gender", edited by Carolin Hauck, Monika Mommertz, Andreas Schlüter and Thomas Seedorf.

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

New Release | "Tracing the Heroic Through Gender"

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)