OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE
The Conference will serve as a venue for presentation and discussion of all kinds of studies on myths and symbols all over the world ? using disciplinary, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, trans-disciplinary , non-disciplinary, or even that of mixed methodologies – which would give a chance for all voices to be heard, be they part of mainstream, conventional, academic (covering studies grounded in the sciences, social sciences, arts and the humanities), alternative, popular, folkloric and marginalized views. All will have equal chances in being considered for paper presentation and participation in this conference, so long as they comply with given provisions and specified requirements pertaining to the conference theme. Hence diverse views and approaches, even “forbidden” studies, (3) are welcome for a more holistic, balanced and complementary picture of myths and symbols in relation to the different aspects of reality studied, or according to the use of the multiple realities paradigm, in understanding and knowing particular myths and symbols.
Furthermore, the conference has also been conceptualized to serve as a venue for discussing diverse ways of studying myths – from the conventional and traditional to the contemporary and innovative ways touching on those started by internationally renowned scholars like Sir James Fraser, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Mircea Eliade, Levi-Strauss, Joseph Campbell, Edmund Leach, Roland Barthes, James Hillman, Alan Dundes, Paul Ricoeur, etc. , or those spearheaded by local, national and regional scholars - in the context of comparative mythology and in line with the present conference theme.
In addition, the conference aims to generate interest in the study of the relation between myth and symbol. Is myth just a symbol - either in the form of a social construct or an archetypal symbol? Or is myth based on a historical, sociological or biological phenomena, translated into symbolic forms? Can myths also refer to actual and external prehistoric, historical, and environmental phenomena?
The conference further aims to connect the ancient beliefs, myths, and legends on the phenomena of great flooding, lost lands / buried communities, and “sinking” / “drifting” continents, in line with contemporary parallel events, especially in connection with global warming. Since the U.P. Manila is a Health Sciences Complex, it will try to tie up the relation of myth, illness, healing, health to ancient cultures / civilizations. Moreover, for nation-building and greater forging of a national, regional and global identity, the conference seeks to recover and rediscover the ancient prehistory of the region through ancient myths and symbols serving as indicators, signs and symptoms.
Whereas the conference will attempt to be comprehensive in its coverage of regional areas in the world , this result will depend on the kinds and variety of abstracts submitted, and completed papers sent in response to the Call for Papers. The most that can be done in this conference is to highlight the Asian , Southeast Asian, Pacific, or Philippine elements as focus.
Moreover, basic research, descriptive studies, exploratory or preliminary papers on specific myths and symbols of any given people or area, covered by the conference theme will also be considered for paper presentation.
Lastly, the conference also aims to be the venue for discussions on the contemporary implications and significance of the pre-diluvian myths and symbols, on contemporary problems such as global warming, peace process, etc.
As specific objectives, the conference will have the following:
1. to compile the scattered bits and pieces of references and studies made on the myths and symbols pertaining to flood stories, lost lands, and sunken continents in Asia, the Pacific Region and the world;
2. to compile studies on science and social sciences-related investigations, issues, and controversies pertaining to the theme and symbols of the flood, lost lands and sunken continents;
3. to compile studies on survivals, remnants and vestiges of the myths, legends, forms, figures and symbols of a possibly pre-diluvian continent in world cultures, including their cosmic, cosmogonic , millenarian and teleological bases - especially those pertaining and related to the theme and motif of the flood, lost lands and sunken continents – as revealed by the arts, literature and folklore;
4. to document the current beliefs on this theme from the marginalized sector of the folk groups and the “kapatiran” centers like that of the Banahaw groups, the Rizalista groups, the Adarnistas’, etc. found all over the Philippines, as part of an empowerment agenda for the marginalized folk groups in the Philippines;
5. to document the use and application of rediscovered myths and symbols by various groups for cultural and ecological advocacy as well as for personal and social inspiration, liberation, healing and empowerment; and
6. to hear out contemporary victims’ voices and narrative accounts of their own personal and group experiences of today’s major floods and other catastrophes, thereby causing buried communities and sunken lands, as well as indicating continuing and evolving myth-making;
7. to put up poster exhibits of relevant papers , as well as art works, pertaining to the conference theme.