Soliciting a book chapter on the history of heroic quest narratives

full name / name of organization: 
Prof. Bernard Schweizer
contact email: 

For an upcoming volume of criticism on literary works that deal with the theme of "The Hero's Quest," we are inviting contributors to submit 300-400 word abstracts about the literary and cultural contexts that gave rise to quest narratives. It would be up to the contributor to select the periods he or she wants to focus on, as long as the chapter gives a sense of the evolving tradition of quest narratives and how they reflect their respective circumstances of creation.

The volume will be part of Salem Press' and EBSCO's Critical Insights series, a literary criticism series designed to introduce high school and undergraduate students to commonly studied works, authors, and literary themes. Broadly conceived, the Hero's Quest book will consider poetry, fiction, and drama in which a character undertakes an actual or metaphorical journey to reach some physical, emotional, or spiritual objective, manifesting heroism and self-transformation in the process. Classics like Gilgamesh and The Odyssey are naturally be a part of it, but the book is also oriented towards more contemporary works, like Joyce's Ulysses, Margaret Atwood's Surfacing, and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. Methodologically, this volume is based on a pretty straight-forward history-of-ideas, literary-historical, and genre approach, with a dash of appropriate theory (Propp, Campbell, Frazer, etc.). There will be eleven literary-critical and four conceptual chapters in this volume. The chapter we are soliciting here will be one of the conceptual chapters at the beginning of the volume.