IM Issue 11, 2016

Heroic Reflections: Heroism in Popular, Visual and Digital Cultures, and Creative Production


From the Editor

IM11 Heroism Cover ImageHeroism remains a persistent phenomenon in both lived experience and the media in contemporary Western and non-Western societies. This special edition of IM: Interactive Media explores the diverse, complex and, at times, problematic representations of heroism in popular, visual and digital cultures, and creative production. Through select contributions from the inaugural cross-disciplinary conference The Rise and Future of Heroism Science held at Murdoch University, 11-12 July 2016, it aims to showcase the communicative power of various creative mediums in conveying the heroic in its many forms.



IM11-heroism-article-01-allen-image-miniQuest of the Goddess:
Is There a Unique Journey for the Heroine in Popular Fiction?
Lillian Allen

Allen argues that the heroine’s journey becomes centred on reconciliation with the feminine and reincorporation of the masculine, so there is harmony between the feminine and masculine in the heroine, resulting in a strengthening of personal identity.

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IM11-heroism-article-03-comerford-image-miniAmbiguous Heroism:
Anti-Heroes and the Pharmakon of Justice
Christopher Comerford

Comerford uses three characters (Doctor Who, Batman, and 24’s anti-terrorist agent Jack Bauer) – each at a different position on the anti-hero spectrum – to examine their capacity for questioning how complicated, ambiguous forms of heroism are negotiated in contemporary popular culture.

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Heroic Play:
Heroism in Mindful, Creative and Playful Participation
Olivia Efthimiou

Efthimiou explores the presence of heroism in playful engagement with mobile, locative and social technologies, drawing on select ethnographies of Australian households. Heroic play emerges as the height of transformative, mindful and creative playful participation.

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New Heroes, Ideological Shifts and Chinese Visual Culture
Justine Poplin

Poplin explores the hero and new symbolism in 21st century mainland China. Online social media culture is a testing ground for visual metaphors that represent changing tides in China in the digital age. Poplin argues that a new hero has risen from online collective co-creation.

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IM11-heroism-article-06-wibawa-image-miniChildren’s Heroism in Indonesian Cinema:
The Representation of Child Heroes in Djenderal Kantjil (1958) and Jenderal Kancil (2012)
Satrya Wibawa

Wibawa examines two films with the same title: “Jenderal Kancil”. The first was made in 1958, the second in 2012. Both present children in leading roles. Wibawa argues that the idea of heroism represented in those films changes given their differing social and political contexts.

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Image Credits

Issue Cover and Editorial
Photo: Cyberhero League, courtesy of Founder, Dana Klisanin

Article Image: Lillian Allen
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015)
Lionsgate Films

Article Image: Christopher Comerford
Batman Begins (2005)
Warner Bros. Pictures

Article Image: Olivia Efthimiou
Cyberhero League, courtesy of Founder, Dana Klisanin

Article Image: Justine Poplin
Screenshot of Google image search on keywords: grass, mud, horse (accessed June 11, 2016).

Article Image: Satrya Wibawa
Djenderal Kantjil (1958), Indonesia: Perfini
Jenderal Kancil (2012), Jakarta, Indonesia: Dagoe Film Workshop