Dr. Leslie Goss Erickson teaches literature and writing at Western Iowa Tech Community College. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska. Dr. Erickson is the Joseph Campbell Area and the Integral Studies Area Chair for the Southwest/Texas Region of the Popular Culture/American Culture Association and is a contributing member of the Integral Education Division of Integral University.
2006 0-7734-5911-1 This study explores the concept of every man and every woman as hero. Using three models of the heroic journey, this book identifies and delineates female and male heroes in a variety of works and genres of postmodern American culture. Joseph Campbell’s thesis as set forth in The Hero With a Thousand Faces (1949) maintains that regardless of manifestation, the heroic journey is one core myth describing venturing human beings as they progress through levels of consciousness to individuation, self-actualization, and enlightenment. Exploring that assertion, the study also uses two post-Campbell models, Carol S. Pearson’s archetypal model The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By (1986) and Susan A. Lichtman’s gender specific model, Life Stages of Woman’s Heroic Journey: A Study of the Origins of the Great Goddess Archetype (1991). These theories are applied to twentieth-century works from various cultures – Latin American, African American, and Anglo-American – and various genres – literature, film and drama. This work will appeal to scholars in a variety of areas including those researching identity, psychological development, and consciousness evolution in literary characters and how that development is influenced by the cultures and systems within which those characters live.