MCC Lecture Series Looks at Mythology and Symbolism of Water Oct. 26

Muskegon Community College continues its focus on water during its 2017-18 Lecture Series with “Names Writ in Water: Mythology, Symbolism, and the Natural World,” a presentation by MCC English Instructor Michael Johnson.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, takes place on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in Stevenson Center Room 1110.

“Water is generally considered the mythological primal element,” explains Johnson. “It’s associated with life, sustenance, and the powers of nature. It is fluid, literally, but also metaphorically and therefore denotes change and eternity.”

“The title ‘Names Writ in Water’ is an illusion to the grave marker of John Keats, the romantic poet, who was referring to the mutability of the self. But since water is often seen as the original element of the cosmos, all our names are writ there.”

Johnson will discuss water’s role in creation/cosmogonic myths as well as its destructive powers, e.g. universal flood myths.

“I will touch on its roles in Norse and Celtic myth, reference water as a dividing line between this world and the Otherworld, and comment on Guillermo Del Toro’s new film, ‘The Shape of Water.’”

A native of Bloomfield Hills, MI, Johnson’s literature courses include World Mythology. He earned a B.A. in English from Michigan State University and a M.A. in Medieval Studies from Western Michigan University

For more information on the MCC Lecture Series, contact the MCC Arts and Humanities Department at (231) 777-0324.