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Conference | Tracing the Heroic through Gender: 1650, 1750, 1850

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on January 26, 2015

As posted at H-ArtHist:

Heroes—Heroizations—Heroisms: Tracing the Heroic through Gender
Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, 26–28 February 2015

In most societies the heroic is in many ways gendered. When considering the heroic, attributes of masculinity might first come to mind. Yet, from a historical perspective it becomes apparent that heroizations also often have feminine connotations. The social and cultural production of the heroic cannot be analyzed exclusively in terms of masculinity; nor can we regard women or femininity merely as exceptions in this field. Rather, we need to reconsider the relational character of the category gender. We propose to use gender as an analytical tool in a new way. Metaphorically speaking, gender as a ‘tracer’ can help us uncover new aspects of heroic ideas and concepts. In natural science experiments, a ‘tracer’ passes through different environments and reacts to each of them in a different way. Hence, the tracer is not the object of study, but is used to examine a third element: our conference shall try to use gender systematically to ‘trace’ various historical ‘environments’ of the heroic. By using gender as a tracer, the conference will explore forms, mediums and processes of heroization as well as discourses of heroic transgression, exceptionality or veneration. The conference will focus on three points in time (1650, 1750, 1850) and the continuities and transformations that may become apparent from interrelating the tracing results in a diachronic perspective.

Please register by an informal e-mail: info@sfb948.uni-freiburg.de. More information is available at the research program website. Questions may be directed to Andreas Friedrich, andreas.friedrich@sfb948.uni-freiburg.de.

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T H U R S D A Y ,  2 6  F E B R U A R Y  2 0 1 5

14:00  Introduction

Panel 1: 1650
14:30  Women in writings on the heroic in 17th-century academic instruction, Joseph Freedman (Montgomery, Alabama)
15:15  Anti-heroes: Masculinity and civic ethics in literary academies of 17th-century Florence, Eva Struhal (Québec)
16:30  Gendering fear: Transformations of courage and masculinity in heroic drama, Christiane Hansen (Freiburg)
17:15  Testing times for anxious he-roes: Tracing the end of a heroic figuration in England and France, ca. 1650, Andreas Schlüter (Freiburg)

Evening Lecture
18:30  From viragos to valkyries: Transformations of the heroic woman from the 17th to the 19th century, Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly (Oxford)

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Panel 2: 1750
9:30  (Keynote lecture) When heroes sigh… Sentimental heroism in 18th-century opera, Melanie Unseld (Oldenburg)
11:00  A reigning woman as a heroic monarch? Maria Theresa and the roles of emperor, wife and mother, Anne-Marie Wurster (Freiburg)
11:45  Creating and subverting German models of ‘Galanterie’? Heroes and heroines in texts by Christian Friedrich Hunold and Maria Aurora von Königsmarck, Madeleine Brook (Oxford)

Panel 3: 1850
14:00  Heroism of a melancholy look from blue eyes, Petra Polláková (Prague)
14:45  What is the Polish peasant hero’s gender? Representations of peasant citizenship in Polish culture, ca. 1850, Alicja Kusiak-Brownstein (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
15:30  Untangling the heroic from the sacrifice: Malwida von Meysenbug’s attempt to appropriate a common female topos in and for her political novel Phädra (1885), Birgit Mikus (Oxford)

Lecture and Round-table Discussion
16:45  Rethinking the heroic: Difference as a tracer?, Monika Mommertz (Freiburg)

Concert Talk
20:00  ‘En travesti’ The female as male in early 19th-century operas, Thomas Seedorf (Karlsruhe/Freiburg)
Mezzosoprano: Felicitas Brunke / Piano: Freya Jung

S A T U R D A Y ,  2 8  F E B R U A R Y  2 0 1 5

Panel 4: Connections
9:30  Gendering the operatic sound of the heroic: 1647 – 1749 – 1843, Anke Charton (Leipzig)
10:15  Victorian male heroes and romance in Elizabeth Bowen’s short fiction, Laura Lojo-Rodríguez (Santiago de Compostela)
11:15  The tragic hero and the gendered imaginary in early modern German drama, Barbara Becker-Cantarino (Columbus, Ohio)