Contribute a chapter to "The Hero's Quest"

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

Seeking essays for an upcoming volume of criticism on literary works that deal with the theme of "The Hero's Quest." 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 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.

There will be four conceptual chapters and eleven literary-critical chapters in this book. The conceptual chapters include a cultural/historical context chapter, a critical lens chapter, a critical reception chapter, and a comparison chapter.

The literary-critical chapters are organized by distinct quest categories: "Epic Quest" (e.g. The Odyssey) "Mock Quest" (e.g. Don Quixote), "Female Quest" (e.g. Surfacing) "Bildungsroman" (e.g. David Copperfield), "Quest of Self-Discovery" (e.g. Huckleberry Finn), "Modern Quest" (e.g. Ulysses), "Modern Quest Drama" (e.g. Peer Gynt), "Fantasy Quest" (e.g. The Hobbit), "Philosophical/Spiritual Quest" (e.g. Moby Dick), and "Quest for Freedom" (e.g. Uncle Tom's Cabin). Each of the categories is based on three suggested core texts, from which the prospective contributor can chose ONE text to be treated as the main focus of the chapter. One or two of the remaining texts from the list can enter into the discussion as secondary and comparative texts.

Deadline for submitting abstracts is March 1st, 2011. Deadline for submitting the 5000 word full chapter is July 15, 2011. There will be a $250 honorarium for each accepted chapter.

If interested, please contact Bernard Schweizer, Assoc. Prof. of English (Long Island University):