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Announcements


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)

January

New Release: Dr. Jakob Willis: "Glanz und Blendung: Zur Ästhetik des Heroischen im Drama des Siècle classique"

Dr. Jakob Willis' monograph "Glanz und Blendung: Zur Ästhetik des Heroischen im Drama des Siècle classique" has been released. Further information on the publishing house's website. Dr. Jakob Willis is a former research associate from Project A5 (first funding phase).

New Release: Dr. Jakob Willis: "Glanz und Blendung: Zur Ästhetik des Heroischen im Drama des Siècle classique"

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"

October

New Release | Felix Heinzer, Jörn Leonhard & Ralf von den Hoff: "Sakralität und Heldentum"

The fourth volume in the SFB 948 series "Helden – Heroisierung – Heroismen" (Ergon-Verlag, Würzburg) has been released: "Sakralität und Heldentum", edited by Felix Heinzer, Jörn Leonhard and Ralf von den Hoff .

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


 

New Release | Felix Heinzer, Jörn Leonhard & Ralf von den Hoff: "Sakralität und Heldentum"

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"

July

Conference | "Heroism as a Global Phenomenon in Popular Culture"

Organized by Michael Butter (Tübingen), Nicole Falkenhayner, Wolfgang Hochbruck, Barbara Korte (Freiburg) and Simon Wendt (Frankfurt)

In an age of globalization and transnationalism, heroes transcend their cultural spheres of origin and are re-rooted, adapted and translated in new local contexts across the world. We understand heroes and heroines as a phenomenon of exceptionality that has a positive significance in relation to the values, ideals and norms of the communities in which these figures are admired, followed, functionalized but also debated. In this process of “glocalization”, popular culture, with its world-wide markets and media, is a driving force. Media as diverse as films, comics, graphic novels, computer games, or internet blogs construct and disseminate narratives about heroes and heroisms across the globe and are consumed in the Global North as well as the Global South. At the same time, there are centers of dissemination – including Hollywood, Bollywood, or Hong Kong – that continue to dominate processes of production and dissemination of hero narratives.

This multidisciplinary conference aims to highlight the complex and interrelated processes of creation, marketing, consumption and impact of globalized hero narratives, as well as the numerous cultural flows of exchange that have made them possible since the end of World War II. We are interested in contributions (case studies) which conceive of heroism as a transcultural and transnational phenomenon that may originate in one particular nation but ultimately transcends borders. Questions to be discussed include how the meanings of heroic figures and narratives are changed in cultural translation, or what specific processes are active in the world-wide exchange of figures and concepts of the heroic. Case studies will focus on situations in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.

For more information, see here.

Conference | "Heroism as a Global Phenomenon in Popular Culture"

June

Conference | PONTES IX "Classical Heroism in the Modern Age: Ideas, Practices, Media" (Sept. 21–23, 2017)


University of Freiburg, September 21–23, 2017

Classical antiquity is the fountainhead of much of our Western ideas of heroism. Starting from the religious Greek hero cult, elements of the heroic manifested themselves in myth, literature, war politics, and a number of other domains. The influence of these ideas on later concepts of heroism is evident until the end of the early modern period. However, with the rise of industrialized societies since the 19th century, the reception of ancient heroism became more obscure, and postmodernist currents have called the very idea of heroism into question.

This PONTES conference, hosted jointly by the University of Freiburg's Department of Greek and Latin Studies and the Collaborative Research Center 948 "Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms", aims to shed light on the enduring relevance and significance of the reception of ancient heroes in the modern day.

Find the conference programme and more information here.

Conference | PONTES IX "Classical Heroism in the Modern Age: Ideas, Practices, Media" (Sept. 21–23, 2017)

December

World in Progress: A History of Heroes


What do we actually mean when we label someone a hero? And where does our concept of the heroic come from? To what extent is it shaped by the community and culture to which we belong? Deutsche Welle tasked Kate Laycock with the heroic quest of seeking out answers to these questions. Bravely, she stepped into the arena…

Dr. Nicole Falkenhayner, head of Project D15, explains the significance of the heroic in our society in this interview with Deutsche Welle. The interview is in English and can be found on the Deutsche Welle website or downloaded as an mp3 file.

World in Progress: A History of Heroes