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Fire and Myth
MRIC 2004/05

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"Fire and Myth"

March 1st 
Lauren Fins - Forest Resources

Abstract: Images of fire are deeply rooted in the mythos of cultures around the globe. Of the many forces of nature, our relationship with fire is perhaps the most elemental and yet complex. Fire is both a creator and destroyer of worlds, requiring myth to help explain both its gifts and its perversely volatile nature. Prometheus in ancient Greek lore, the Phoenix in Arabian lore, and the image of a burning bush in Judeo-Christian tradition are but a few familiar fire images. Fire is used in music to convey uncontrollable passion. Witness the urgency in Jim Morrison's call to "Light My Fire." Even today, the mythic figure of Smokey Bear looms large. In this image-rich presentation, Dr. Fins will explore our complex love/hate relationship with fire, including the socio-political-economic forces that made fire, particularly wildfire the enemy for much of the 20th century.

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