UBC CNERS Grad ConferenceFrom: "UBC CNERS Grad Conference"
WATER IS BEST: THE ROLE OF WATER IN THE ANCIENT WORLD
The Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia is proud to present their 12th Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. The Conference will be held at Green College on the UBC Vancouver Campus on April 29-30, 2011.
To Thales of Miletus, water was the source of all things. Pindar exclaimed that water is best. In Genesis, before the creation of the world, Elohim sweeps over preexisting waters. Water is an omnipresent element and theme throughout antiquity. lt is a source of physical life, an element that nurtures and unites cultures and civilizations, and a force that defies control. The dual aspects of Water, as a provider and as a destroyer, are reoccurring themes throughout human history. Water is depicted in literature and art, monumental architecture was built to carry it, and it was often used by religious groups as a symbol and as a part of rituals. Water was harnessed to supply cities, to cleanse sins, and to represent political power, but just as easily it can sweep away cities or even whole civilizations, be a setting for warfare, and become a stormy obstacle for travel. Whether controlled by man or in its natural state, water flows through all aspects of civilizations, from the physical to the spiritual world.
We are seeking graduate student papers on any topic related to this theme. Suggested topics for papers include:
-Sociological function of water
-Symbolic use of rivers
-Water as landmarks/barriers
-Political philosophy of water
-Symbols of purification
-Non-utilitarian uses of water
-Water as a literary motif