Sheroes and Heroes: The Hero's Journey Across World Literature
In this talk, I invite participants to recognize, understand, and explain the elements of the s/hero's journey in important literary texts. Engaging critical thinking skills, we will identify patterns and symbols that will allow us a glimpse into the values, beliefs, and attitudes embraced by myriad cultures. We will explore the literary symbols and elements presented in and outside of our classrooms and apply these concepts to other literary pieces and narrative media. As we understand the stages of the s/hero's journey and development, we are guided by Joseph Campbell's scholarship: "We are all heroes struggling to accomplish our adventure. As human beings, we engage in a series of struggles to develop as individuals and to find our place in society. Beyond that, we long for wisdom: we want to understand the universe and the significance of our role in it." By highlighting and honoring the commonalities of our diverse experiences, we amplify our understanding of ourselves and of those in other cultures thereby strengthening the bond of our shared humanity.