Heroes and Heroines in World Literatures: Powerful or Powerless, Fascination, and Purpose

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Norfolk State University
contact email: 


What is a hero? Some might define a hero as “someone who gives of himself, often putting his own life at great risk for the greater good of others. Outside of the standard dashing war portraits of men/women facing the gates of Hell, the most heroic are often the most ordinary of people doing ordinary things for a greater humane purpose” (www.guardian.com). According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a hero is “a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” In World Literatures, sometimes neither of these definitions appropriately define, represent, or determine who or what a hero/heroine truly exemplifies. 

What is the fascination of literary heroes/heroines? What purpose(s) might they serve in world literatures? Some heroes/heroines master their own fate and affect, positively or negatively, how the story or message unfolds. Are heroes/heroines powerful in their presence, actions, message, and performance? Or, by contrast, are they powerless to overcome unforeseen situations, strong personalities, and evil enchantments greater than they? These and other questions will be closely examined in what promises to be a vibrant round-table session of scholarly discussions.


Please submit your abstract via the www.nemla.org website before the deadline: September 30, 2021.  The session ID# is 19135.  I look forward to reviewing and, hopefully, accepting your proposal.

Christina R. Pinkston, Ph.D.

Moderator of the Round-Table Session

Email: crpinkston@nsu.edu