Tag Archives: heroism science

Call for Papers: The Heroic Screen – Special Issue in Heroism Science



In 2020, our lives are lived on-screen now more than ever. Geographically restricted under lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we rely on computer and phone screens to connect with each other, to keep ourselves informed, and to divert ourselves from the constant barrage of bleakness pervading this year. But even before the coronavirus compounded our dependence on the screen, we’ve used it to game, to watch, to see and be seen.

Though it may not seem like it at this moment of history, the screen is replete with heroism. In addition to the dominant popularity of the superhero genre in film, television and video games, we witness real and fictional screen heroics on a regular basis: from the TV show detective finally catching the bad guy, to viral footage of indomitable Black Lives Matter protesters standing their ground against police violence, to Instagram images of children holding impromptu action-figure memorials to Chadwick Boseman through his inspiring turn as cinematic superhero Black Panther. Across political, cultural and social spectrums, the screen is a site for representing, understanding, demonstrating and transmitting heroism and heroic images.

This issue of Heroism Science invites contributors to widely consider how heroism coincides with the screen. The issue’s remit is purposefully broad in order to invite a range of perspectives and disciplines. As the issue arises during the COVID-19 pandemic, articles can, but are not required to, be COVID-19-centric in nature. Potential topics can include (but are not limited to):

  • Capturing heroic acts through smartphones
  • News broadcasts and the coverage of heroism and heroic acts
  • The heroism of fictional police as a contrast to the real police violence of 2020
  • Heroic and superheroic characters and narratives in screen fiction
  • Affordances of screen platforms and how they depict heroism (eg. Video games vs. television)
  • Medical heroes and the screen during COVID-19
  • Heroism, community and the unifying screen during COVID-19
  • Queer heroism on-screen
  • Whistleblowing and heroism
  • Psychological and cognitive processing of screen heroism
  • Heroic acts left out of or not captured on screen
  • Heroism and immersion in video gaming
  • Celebrity/persona heroics on social media
  • The screen as coordinator for heroism through organizing protests and civic action
  • The screen memorializing heroism

Interested contributors should submit an abstract of no more than 250 words and a short bio by 15 December 2020. Successful contributors will be informed in early January 2021, for submission of full papers in April 2021.

Please direct submissions and any questions to the editor, Dr. Chris Comerford, at ccomerfo@uow.edu.au.

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The Launching of ‘Heroism Science’: Blog, Journal, and Online Resource

Super siloBy Scott T. Allison

A new website devoted entirely to promoting heroism and heroism science has been launched by Olivia Efthimiou, a transdisciplinary researcher at Murdoch University, Perth and Associate Researcher at the Australian National Academy of Screen and Sound Research Centre.

The site is called Heroism Science: Promoting the transdisciplinary study of heroism in the 21st century.

The introductory page of the site explains:

“The 21st century has marked a shift in research trends across a number of disciplines, especially due to the increasing relevance of technologies in our daily lives and the demand for more complex and creative ways of thinking about our world. In particular, the focus in the sciences, psychology and the social sciences which have traditionally concentrated on the study of disease, evil, maladaptive and irrational behaviours, is now moving towards understanding positive behaviours and promoting personal and collective well-being.

“This has signaled an unprecedented rise in the study of such fields as resilience, flow, spirituality, sustainability, leadership, faith and many more. Heroism and heroic individuals represent the pinnacle of humanity – Heroismwhat we can become, do and experience. But, as we are discovering, decoding the heroic process, its antecedents and impacts, is far from simple. Heroism science seeks to uncover the many complex layers of this state of human consciousness which has fascinated us since the dawn of humankind, as we look to the future in both awe and fear of what we might achieve.”

The site includes:

Matt Langdon of the Hero Construction Company has already published a blog commentary at Heroism Today called Every Hero Needs a Team.

Scott Allison has published the first article in Heroism Science (HS) called The Initiation of Heroism Science.

Olivia Efthimiou has published the second article in HS entitled The Search For The Hero Gene: Fact or Fiction?

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So there you have it – a website that provides all the information about heroism that you’d ever want to know. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to this site — please consider submitting an essay to the blog or an article to the journal, or contributing new resources and readings about heroes and heroism.

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