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# 3 (32) 2018: Hero in Culture

Guest Editor

pict Francisca FOORTAI
Professor, Leningrad State University named after A.S.Pushkin (St.Petersburg, Russia)
Doctor of Arts, Member of the Union Artists of Russia

This issue is dedicated to Chester Bennington as a bright example of modern media-hero.
The history of world culture cannot be imagined without its main actor – the Hero. Historically, the word «hero» has two etymological interpretations. One of them, at a later date, means the «actor», the character of any work of art, either dance, painting, sculpture, literary work or cinema. The original meaning of the word «hero» goes back to the Indo-European root «hier, hr, her», combining it with such concepts as «hierarhiae, haute, high» – «hierarchy, height, top», opening the ancient semantics of the word. In the vertical picture of the world created by the mythopoetic consciousness, the Hero is the one who united all the worlds – from the divine top to the posthumous gloom. Hero – a «bunch» of worlds in a single universe, and in this sense the phenomenon of the hero for the ancients was not only a deeply religious phenomenon, but also had an important ideological message.
Naturally, therefore, the problem of the Hero has been in the focus of attention since ancient times. So, Plato and Aristotle speculated in his treatises on those qualities that could make him a hero, believing in his ideal, embodying the best of the known human virtues. In the subsequent Medieval Ages and the epoch of Renaissance the intellectual reflection on the problems of the Hero and heroism was not. However, it did not mean that the heroes of both historical (from Charles the Great to St. Francis, from Jeanne d'Arc to Columbus) and artistic (from Sid to Parcefal, from king Arthur to Gargantua) did not exist in the variety of culture. The absence of reflection was determined by the specifics of the historical era, producing other anthropological concepts. Nevertheless, by the end of Middle Ages there was an archetype image of the ideal Hero – «Knight without fear and reproach».
The problem of the nature of heroism and his heroes once again stood in the New Epoch and the period of historicism, when the works of Giordano Bruno, Thomas Carlyle, Armand Renaud, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel appeared. In particular, the work of that one is great importance for understanding the dialectics of society and those historical characters that it generates at different stages of its development.
The hero as a cultural phenomenon is too various that researches in this subject were spent in different fields of humanitarian knowledge, in particular, in the branch of psychology, culturology, sociology, philology (works of K. G. Jung, K. Abraham, O. Ranka, G. Sachsa, J. Henderson, G. Tarde, G. Lebon, K. Levi-Strauss, D. Fraser, D. Campbell, M. Eliade, E. Fromm, K. Jaspers, H. Arendt, M. moss, J. J. Roy, F. Cardini, J. Flory, and others).
Russian thought (works of N. K. Michailovsky, S. N. Bulgakov, P. Sorokin, I. A. Ilyin, V. Ya. Propp, A. A. Potebnya, B. N. Putilova, E. M. Meletinsky, A. F. Losev, A. A. Takho – Godi, N.K. Roerich, L. V. Shaposhnikova, M. S. Kagan, V. P. Bransky, V. S. Barulin, A. V. Pavlov, I. T. Kasavin, O. A. Babenko, L. D. Gusarova, etc.) made special contribution into the history of the study of the Character of the Hero and the category of the heroism. A special Russian emphasis in the study of the problem of the Hero in culture is the appearance of works of pedagogical orientation. So in 1909 the scientist-teacher A. N. Chernyaev in an article devoted to the educational system, revealed the image of the Hero as an ideal model-aim to which the teacher and his pupils should strive in their works. The theme of Character of the Hero in education is very popular among Russian researchers nowadays (works A. A. Bodalev, E. F., Semenova, G. A. Krivoshekova, V.D. Plakhov, S. U.Smirnov, I. M. Suravniva, R. D. Lukyanova, M. I. Volovikova, M. G. Kazakina, V. E. Chudnovsky).
The theme of the Hero and heroism is still relevant among the foreign researchers; it is possible to identify the studies of Y. Mishima, Y. Kitayama, B. Cousins, N. Copeland, S. Cook, D’ Arnoux.)
Tempores mutantur et nos mutantur in illes! The global information network has created a new type of Hero. Like in modern architecture where the archetypes of «Day» and «Night», presented in traditional construction by a wall and a window, were combined into in a glass wall, and also the media-Hero united in himself which hadn`t been connected earlier. On the one hand, in the media-Hero there is the traditional trinity of attributes of the Hero – soteriological, adorational and similar. On the other hand, the media hero functions through information image (and not directly personally), he lost his sacredness and acts as an object of quasicult, the media- Нero synthesizes/sublimates elements of different cultures, often reaching the level of metaculture. Finally, a media hero in moral terms appears as an ethical ambivalent. (Christopher Lasch). Last three decades there are attempts (at least in the artistic sphere) to destroy the ontological identity of the Hero (meaning the modern hypermyth about the Borg civilization, having been developed for more than 30 years). The works of such authors are of a special interest as M. Shermer, A. Schuller, M. W. Jacson, P. T. Jackson, D.H. Nexon, Th.A. Georges.
Due to the versatility and duration of the presence of the Hero in the culture, the study of this phenomenon takes place on different philosophical grounds, in different humanities, with different methodological approaches, in fact, is an interdisciplinary study, which, however, has not yet found a common thought strategy in connection with the new factors of civilization.
We hope that the materials of this issue of the journal will reflect the search for this thought strategy, existential depth and versatility of the problem of the Hero in culture, requiring the joint efforts of researchers from different branches of human knowledge in the new socio-cultural conditions. We hope that the intellectual picture will be presented in all its diversity, reflecting the urgent relevance and the existential importance of this cultural phenomenon.
The following topics are proposed for discussion:

  • «Heroic anthropology» - author vs hero in the context of historical development
  • Hero ontology: Genesis, structure, functions
  • The hero and the heroic - the experience of sociological thinking
  • Ancient heroes: descendens and ascendens
  • Hero of the artistic and historical
  • Hero as an object and subject of religious and quasi-religious cult
  • Hero as an object and subject of the process of inculturation and education
  • The Hero as an aesthetic cult – fashion, model behavior, subculture
  • The Hero in the information civilization as the Hero of metaculture
  • A media-Hero as the archetype unconscious representator
  • «O brave new world!» Hero and Borg: psychological upgrade?

Deadline is 01.08.2018

 


 

# 4 (33) 2018: Cross-cultural research

Guest Editor

pict Anatoliy M. ALEKSEEV-APRAKSIN
Associate Professor of St.Petersburg State University
Professor of Higher School of Printing and Media Technologies, St.Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design
Doctor of Science (Cultural Studies)

Cross-cultural research is one of the most popular areas of the humanities. It effectively produces reliable knowledge about oneself and the world as a whole. Scholarly perspectives of this trend are associated with increasing mobility, changes in the information exchange patterns, growth of cultural diffusions, and dynamics of glocalization and transcultural processes. The comprehension of these phenomena determines the subject of the journal's issue. It intends to present the research directed to clear up various processes of rapprochement and delimitation of cultures in various spheres of life.
Today, perhaps, no one has any doubts that the world is driven by intercultural contacts. Interactions and borrowings enrich the world; collisions regenerate it; convergence of meanings and alliances of "the Different" develop it. It was always like this. However, the history of cross-cultural relations, unlike the history of art, technology, economics, and politics has not been written yet. There are numerous gaps in understanding of the current world, which is spontaneous and unstabledespite the successes of cross-cultural engineering. Thus the researcher (whatever the sphere of intercultural contacts one is interested in) is doomed to novelty, because even limited cross-cultural discourse leads the researcher to two types of valuable discoveries: 1) Identification of similarities, knowledge, and skills transferred and adapted, or derived from experience of different nations worked out in different places and at different times, i.e., the orderly, claiming universality knowledge; 2) Detection of differences and discrepancies in everyday practices and understanding of the world, which allows one not only to comprehend better "the Other" and to infer its cultural specifics but also to learn something new about oneself.
Taking into account the inter-discipline character of the problemsstated, the theoreticians (philosophers, culturologists, historians, psychologists, orientalists, religious scholars, anthropologists), practitioners (experts in intercultural management, administrators of multinational regions and international projects), and other authors representing social and humanist scholarly spheres are invited for cooperation. Researchers who are attracted by heuristic possibilities of cross-cultural research, inspired by the interactivity of modern knowledge, by possibilities of integration between scientific, artistic, religious, and philosophical perspectives, by opportunities of synthesis of Western and Eastern worldviews, are welcome.
Of particular interestare works dedicated to:
- history and theory of intercultural interactions;
- methodology of transcultural analytics;
- identification of new forms of identity;
- intercultural communication;
- identification of ethnosophistic specifications;
- juxtaposition of cultural codes of the West and the East;
- philosophical and culturologicalcomparativistics;
- problems of glocal synthesis, i.e., studies highlighting the problems of the transformation of cultural orientations, meanings, values, and needs.

Selected materials are supposed to be presented under three categories: history, theory, and current practice.

Deadline is 01.11.2018

 

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