Heroes & Protagonists conference program

The program is now available for the conference NISE holds on 17 and 18 September 2014 in Vilnius, prepared together with the Lithuanian Institute for History and the Welsh Nationalism Foundation, on creating and interpreting heroes and heroism in a national context. It is the first part of a diptych called Heroes & Protagonists, paving the way for research and data gathering activities regarding the latter category.


Painting by Joan Junyer of Catalan nationalist politician Lluís Companys (1882-1940) (Fundació Josep Irla)

The central research question will centre around the key-figures (politicians, activists, philosophers, writers, poets, philologists, linguists etc.) within national and regional movements (incl. less well-known or less well-celebrated and also ‘contested heroes’) in relation to the concept of ‘hero’. This implies examining the relation between prestige and power, looking at their impact (a.o. through ‘key’ ideas, writings) as well as their ‘afterlife’ – for instance the (under)representation in ‘national’ encyclopedias etc.

The study is prepared by this conference on the much more popular and researched concept of ‘heroes’. Central to it stands the question why and how people become national heroes and how this is related to the stage of national development, from the nineteenth century onwards. In order to answer this question, several perspectives must be taken into account, including mass communication, education, gender and identity. The conference will have four thematic sessions, dealing with 1. the awakening of historical or mythical figures; 2. contemporary people and the acquisition/attribution of heroic traits; 3. the representation of heroes and heroism; and 4. the models used.

See the program. More on the subject, see here.

The results of the conference will be published in the NISE Proceedings publication series.

The venue is at the conference’s host, the Lithuanian Institute of History in Vilnius, Kražių g. 5.

Acces is free but registration is obligatory. Register here.