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Transformation of Heroism

Fredrik Schoug

As the audience, we have a propensity to seek the “truth” about stars and heroes. We want to know “how they really are” and see the reality “behind” the public performance. Thus, heroes and celebrities are increasingly depicted as common people in the media, which in turn indicates a revaluation of ordinariness. Since the Great Men therefore belong to the past, classical expressions of heroism are antiquated while new forms emerge. These new forms are required by the modern search for identification that presupposes a “bringing down” of the hero to the level of ordinary people. The transformation of heroism results in hybrids that blur the boundaries between the star’s role as a hero and average person, due to the fact that the ordinary becomes a constitutive element in the charisma. Hence, the medialization of celebrities tends to expose formerly hidden roles and spheres. Especially television has increased the focus on emotional expressions and private life. This eager attention to the hidden indicates that we live in an age of curiosity. Secret affairs ought to be discovered, fishy stories should be revealed. This tendency is explained in the light of the fragmentation and mobility of everyday life that create numerous stashes in every personality, to which importance and truth can be ascribed and which thereby can be transformed into desirable secrets. Thus, information about these hidden recesses becomes indispensable to stipulate identities.

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Heroism, Exoticism, and Violence

Representing the Self, “the Other,“ and Rival Empires in the English and French Illustrated Press, 1880-1905

H. Hazel Hahn

The English and French illustrated press between 1880 and 1905 depicted Europeans as superior to non-Europeans and rarely questioned the colonizing right of Europeans. The illustrated press, such as news magazines The Illustrated London News, The Graphic, and L'Illustration, as well as the newspaper Le Petit Journal, was consumed by colonial news, reported as a series of crises, battles, and frontier troubles, and represented colonial officers and soldiers as heroes. However, a series of imperial rivalries increasingly undermined any collective “European“ understanding of the imperial mission. By implicitly and explicitly questioning and criticizing other empires' motives and capacity for colonization, the press came to portray colonization as a power dynamic. Heroism was increasingly tied to nationalism rather than to broader moral principles. The rhetoric and imagery of imperialism were thus fraught with paradoxes and double standards. The press coverage also reveals close links between war and tourism imaginaries.

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Spectacles of Masculine Super-Heroism

Mapping the Early Superstardom of “Jayan” in Malayalam Cinema

Raj Sony Jalarajan

Krishnan Nair, popularly known by his screen name Jayan, is often hailed as the first-ever “superstar” actor in Malayalam cinema. The metamorphosis of Jayan’s cinematic stardom signifies the masculine prototype with which Indian film stars attain cultural dominance by aestheticizing their corporeal self. This article approaches the earlier superstardom in Malayalam cinema by deciphering the centrality of Jayan as a Superman-superstar figure. It argues that the heroic screen image, dialogue delivery, stylized stunts, and trendsetting costumes introduced by Jayan in the 1970s–1980s established a new reception of the masculine body that glorified the semiotics of the “Superman.” Using the spectator–spectacle discourse on superstardom, this article examines how different shades of superstardom, especially its posthumous restructuring and reproduction, affect the fate of superheroes in regional cinemas.

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Sartre's Theater of Resistance: Les Mouches and the Deadlock of Collective Responsibility

Andrew Ryder

Sartre's play Les Mouches (The Flies), first performed in 1943 under German occupation, has long been controversial. While intended to encourage resistance against the Nazis, its approval by the censor indicates that the regime did not recognize the play as a threat. Further, its apparently violent and solitary themes have been read as irresponsible or apolitical. For these reasons, the play has been characterized as ambiguous or worse. Sartre himself later saw it as overemphasizing individual autonomy, and in the view of one critic, it conveys an “existentialist fascism.” In response to this reading, it is necessary to attend to the elements of the play that already emphasize duty to society. From this perspective, the play can be seen as anticipating the concern with collective responsibility usually associated with the later Sartre of the 1960s. More than this, the play's apparent “ambiguity” can be found to exemplify a didacticism that is much more complex than sometimes attributed to Sartre. It is not only an exhortation about ethical responsibility, but also a performance of the difficulties attendant to that duty.

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Finally, Militarism Is a Legitimate Term

Yoram Peri

David Greenblum , From the Heroism of the Spirit to the Sanctification of Power: Power and Heroism in Religious Zionism between 1948 and 1968 (Tel Aviv: Open University, 2016). Uri S. Cohen , The Security Style and the Hebrew Culture of

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Recapturing the Lost

Digitalized Memories of the Rhodesian Bush War

Ane Marie Ørbø Kirkegaard

War took place. This was a society in which the jingoist militarized heroism of Victorian and Edwardian schools, modeled on the military ( Weeks 1989 ) and boys’ literature and widely consumed by British colonialists throughout the empire ( Woollacott

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Queering Lucrezia's Virtú

A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Radical Machiavelli

Andrés Fabián Henao Castro

-established heroism of Clizia, Lucrezia's remains politically ambiguous in the secondary literature. 4 Mandragola is a five-act comedy Machiavelli wrote in 1518 but set in 1504, during the period of the Florentine Republic. Like Livy's (2002: 100–104 ) story, with

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Sacrifice/Martyrdom in Lady Lumley’s Iphigenia and Contemporary Palestine

Bilal Tawfiq Hamamra

participate in the nationalist struggle against Israel, they can appropriate masculine identities, primarily through acts of suicide bombing, such as ‘heroism’ and ‘martyrdom’. Nationalism 2 thus lets Palestinian women transgress their conventional roles: the

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Narrating Muslim Girlhood in the Pakistani Cityscape of Graphic Narratives

Tehmina Pirzada

Muslim girlhood. I argue that these narratives offer a layered verbal-visual aesthetic by synthesizing codes of realism with the artifice of the graphic medium, subsequently allowing their girl protagonists to oscillate between the tropes of heroism and

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Competing Visions

The Visual Culture of the Congo Free State and Fin de Siècle Europe

Matthew G. Stanard

broader ambit of the following analysis reveals themes beyond the searing critique of Leopoldian misrule. Among these, CFS visual culture gave expression to a colonial-era dichotomy, that of heroism and violence, where depictions of European valor