University of Minnesota Press

In Noah’s Arkive, Jeffrey J. Cohen and Julian Yates examine the long history of imagining endurance against climate change catastrophe—as well as alternative ways of creating refuge. Arguing that the biblical ark may well be the worst possible exemplar of human behavior, this book uncovers the startling afterlife of the Genesis narrative and surveys the long history of dwelling with the consequences of choosing only a few to survive in order to start the world over. Here, Cohen and Yates are interviewed by Steven Swarbrick.

Jeffrey J. Cohen is Dean of Humanities at Arizona State University. He is author or editor of several books, including Noah’s Arkive, Stone, Veer Ecology, and Elemental Ecocriticism.

Julian Yates is H. Fletcher Brown Professor of English and Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware. He is author or editor of several books, including Noah’s Arkive; Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast; and Error, Misuse, Failure.

Steven Swarbrick is assistant professor of English at Baruch College, City University of New York. He is author of The Environmental Unconscious.

Episode references:
Bible (Genesis)
Athanasius Kircher (Arca Noe)
N. K. Jemisin (Emergency Skin)
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
Rebecca Solnit (A Paradise Built in Hell, “disaster utopias”)
Donna Haraway (A Cyborg Manifesto, The Companion Species Manifesto)
Anna Tsing
Silo (Apple TV+ show) (with speculation spoiler alert)
William de Brailes (The Flood of Noah) (image appearing in color in the book)

Arks visited in this book include:
Ark Encounter, Williamstown, Kentucky
Biosphere 2, Pinal County, Arizona
The Ark of Safety, Frostburg, Maryland

Keywords: environmental humanities, climate change, Genesis, catastrophe, disaster utopias, artificial intelligence, ark thinking, medieval studies, monsters, giants, groundless reading, tension, contradiction, hope

“The worst thing you can do, we have learned, is to imagine that you are no longer on an ark.” (from Noah’s Arkive, page 3)

What is University of Minnesota Press?

Authors join peers, scholars, and friends in conversation. Topics include environment, humanities, race, social justice, cultural studies, art, literature and literary criticism, media studies, sociology, anthropology, grief and loss, mental health, and more.