Heroes Conference: Registration now open (3rd to 4th October)

Various heroes and heroines through the agesRegistration is now open for this two-day conference at the Royal Geographic Society, which is being held as part of the Hero Project. Papers from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives will consider how heroic reputations are shaped and curated, and what heroes past, present, and future might tell us about the societies that make them.

The figure of the hero is a matter of great cultural debate at the present time, in British contexts and beyond. Recent conflicts; natural disasters; ambitious expeditions; Olympic and Paralympic events – all have forged potential hero figures, renewing centuries-old discussions about just who, or what, a hero might be. This two-day conference seeks to welcome academics from a wide variety of disciplines, alongside archivists, curators and librarians, plus colleagues from the commercial and charity sectors. It fosters conversations about hero figures past and present, considering their emergence or creation, their relationship with their fans or ‘worshippers’ in their own communities and/or further afield and, if relevant, the shifting fortunes of their reputations. We ask whether heroes emerge through deeds, character or morality, or whether they are created. We ponder the value of heroes to particular communities in the forging of their group identity. We trace the shaping and maintenance of heroic reputations in texts, art practice, oral culture and curatorship. Across the scope of the conference we ask: who were, or are our heroes, and how/why could or should future heroes be selected or permitted to emerge?

For further information regarding The Hero Project, and for advice on timetable, travel and accommodation for our conference, please see the project’s WordPress site.

Conference-related enquiries should be directed to Dr. Sarah Evans (sarah.evans@durham.ac.uk). Enquiries relating to The Hero Project more generally should be directed to Principal Investigator Dr. Abbie Garrington (abbie.garrington@durham.ac.uk).


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