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 (male and female) heroes 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. Such different media 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 centres of dissemination – including Hollywood, Bollywood, or Hongkong – that continue to dominate processes of production and dissemination of hero narratives.