CFP: Greek Myths on the Map
The Sixth Bristol Myth Conference
31st July – 2nd August, 2013
Greek myths were inextricably connected to the physical environments in which they were set. This connection is strikingly evident in the use of myths to explain and communicate the significance of physical and human geography. Polybius boldly asserts that "in the present day, now that all places have become accessible by land or sea, it is no longer appropriate to use poets and writers of myth as witnesses of the unknown" (4.40.2). Yet mythology was never entirely banished: myths were incorporated into geographical descriptions throughout antiquity and across a broad spectrum of genres, even as activities such as exploration, conquest and scientific endeavour altered how the world was understood and perceived.
This conference will examine the various practical and conceptual roles Greek mythology played in attempts to describe, represent and explain the physical and human geography of the ancient world.
We invite proposals for papers on topics related to this theme. Questions that papers might address include: What motivates writers to incorporate mythical narratives into geographical descriptions? What can myths communicate about the environment that purely geographical description cannot? Do diverse and changing perceptions of the physical world affect the ways in which stories about the mythological past are told? How do mythical geographies relate to physical and conceptual geographies? In what ways do political, religious or social forces impact on the interplay between mythical and geographical thought?
Please send abstracts (c. 250 words) for proposed 25-minute papers to email@example.com by Monday, 17th September, 2012. Informal enquiries may be addressed to the conference organizers, Jessica Priestley and Greta Hawes, at the same email address.