Books, Travels, Travelers, and the Discourse of Water / Libros, viajes, viajeros y el discurso del agua
Rapid climate changes and increasing migratory flows emphasize ever more the crucial significance of water as a source of life but also as a threat to human existence. In this perspective the IV International & Interdisciplinary Symposium takes place under the heading "Books, Travels, Travelers, and the Discourse of Water / Libros, viajes, viajeros y el discurso del agua".
"Overall, the range of topics for the conference is very broad," explains Marco Thomas Bosshard, professor of Spanish literature and cultural studies, who organized the conference together with Iulia-Karin Patrut, professor of modern German literature in a European context. "We're looking at acts of violence and revenge in modern literature on the theme of water; human rights and water; water in the realms of politics, art and religion; water in historical events, from discovery, conquest and colonial times to the 21st century."
The opening lecture will be given by the renowned literary scholar and Romance philologist Ottmar Ette (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities). Titled "Mapping the World, Mapping the Mind," he will speak about Juan de la Cosa's "Carta," cartographic conceptions of islands, and archipelagic transcendence.
The first session of the conference, entitled "Crossing Waters and Mapping Worlds," focuses on travel routes across or around water. This session includes papers on cultural exchange in Europe across the Mediterranean, transoceanic routes, or the significance of water in the medieval tradition.
Session II examines mental cartographies around water and deals, for example, with the mythology of the river in literature and film, the water metaphor in Max Frisch's novel "Homo Faber" or the connection between water and identities in Latin American literature.
Session III looks ahead. Under the title "Knowing the Water, Anticipating the Future", topics include water ecology, rights and climate change, or water civilizations and utopias.