Journeys, Detours, Breakdowns
The 2015 Film & History Conference

CFP: The Quest: Heroes (and Villains) on a Mission

In our earliest films, we followed heroes (and villains) on their quests. In the course of their heroic journeys, heroes rescued people, fought fantastic creatures, and protected societies. Sinbad’s quest takes him to the Colossa to cure Princess Parisa. Aladdin has to brave the Cave of Wonders and defeat the evil wizard, Jafar, to save Princess Jasmine as well as all of Agrabah. Examining these heroic journeys leads us to topics that conform to the classic monomyth of journeying into the unknown, defeating fantastic forces there and then returning to bestow boons on others. Alternatively, they also highlight themes that resist the traditional narrative, such as the heroine’s journey, the journey of inner healing, and the quest that bridges the masculine/feminine divide. Along the way, some villains also become heroic (Maleficent) and those perceived to be heroes are actually villainous (Prince Hans). How do these heroic quests offer commentary on our contemporary values, identities, and shared hopes and fears?

The Quest area invites 20-minute papers that examine the constructions, understandings, and struggles as hero/ines quest to rescue, redeem, protect, serve and save. How are the often-shifting borders across and between heroism and villainy, good and evil? This area invites broad considerations of these conceptualizations and some topics to consider include:

Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website ( e-mail your 200-word proposal by June 1, 2015, to the area chair:

Norma Jones
Kent State University


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