Heide Estes, Ph.D., professor in the Department of English, presented at a one-day symposium, “Aspects of Water in the Middle Ages,” at Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Nov. 10, 2018.
In a paper titled “Water and Power in Old English Poetry,” Estes discussed the “Storm Riddles,” which present water as a force of nature, as well as the poetic versions of Exodus and the life of St. Andrew, which depict water deployed as a divine force in support of human interests. Gender differences as well as proto-colonial ideologies affect the ways in which the power of water is deployed.
Estes was the only speaker invited from North America for the event, which also featured speakers from Ireland and England as well as other European countries. The symposium focused on the prominent role water played in the medieval period as both a physical and symbolic force.