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Concluding Funding Phase

Heroes - Heroizations - Heroisms. Transformations and Conjunctures from Antiquity to the Modern Day

Since ancient times, heroes and heroines have been crucial for the self-understanding of cultures and communities in and beyond Europe. The SFB responds to a new wave of interest in heroic figures by researching the heroic as a social phenomenon from a transcultural, long-term perspective (antiquity to the present day) that is synchronically and diachronically comparative. The SFB is particularly interested in the social orders that heroic figures at once stabilize and simultaneously call into question. The project investigates when and in what way heroines and heroes serve as figures upon which communities can focus their self-understanding. The project aims to explain how cultural, historical, social and media factors inform what is considered heroic at certain times and in certain cultures – and how this will help to understand processes of heroization and deheroization. Accordingly, the first two funding periods focused on the investigation of these processes and on “heroisms”, i.e. heroically connoted habitus patterns. In the concluding third funding period, heroizations and heroisms will be analyzed as a means of evaluating fundamental cultural-social phenomena, such as political-social upheavals, the constitution of the subject, constructions of masculinity, and affective aesthetics as factors of the social. The research is complemented by projects on knowledge transfer, the development of an online portal, and on public relations as well as the creation of an online reference work on the heroic. Thus, the SFB will provide an accessible synthesis of its research.