Heroes: Conceptions, Constructions & Representations (HIH3626)

30 credits

Human societies throughout history have always found the need to create heroes, be they real or imagined. Yet if the deeds and conduct of certain men and women have been the object of celebration, in some cases their heroic reputation has been controversial and contested too. This module will explore conceptions, constructions and representations of heroism from the medieval period to the present day. In particular, it will explore how heroic reputations are created, sustained or reinvented; the role of heroes and heroism in constructing identity and representing and legitimising different groups, or in creating and continuing national myths; and the importance of ‘cultures of heroism’ in particular societies.