TitleAnnual Medieval Academy of America Lecture: Outside Noah's Ark: Sympathy and Survival as the Waters Rise (Language: English)
Date/TimeTuesday 4 July 2017: 19.00-20.00
SponsorMedieval Academy of America
SpeakerJeffrey J. Cohen, Department of English, George Washington University, Washington, DC
IntroductionHelen Fulton, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bristol
AbstractA grim imagining of climate change and catastrophic deluge, the Noah story is a tale for our times. We frequently retell that narrative from Genesis as science or science fiction but too often simplify its biblical complexity. Medieval authors and illustrators found in the Vulgate version of the Flood tantalizing glimpses of stories not fully related, alternative possibilities for perspective, animal tales to companion, ambivalence to plumb, potential for 'misplaced' sympathetic inclinations. Focusing upon the lively retellings of the Flood narrative in Cleanness, 'The Miller's Tale', and the Chester play of Noah's Flood as well as artistic illustrations of the ark upon the inundated Earth, this talk explores the medieval impulse to find potential in cataclysm, dwelling with those whose stories do not necessarily survive.

About the Medieval Academy of America:
The Medieval Academy is pleased once again to host the Annual Medieval Academy Lecture, an opportunity for the Academy to showcase some of the important work being done by scholars in North America. We hope you will join us for a reception immediately following the lecture, where members of the Medieval Academy staff will be available to answer questions about the Academy and its work. For more information about the Academy, please see All those attending are warmly invited to join members of the Medieval Academy after the lecture for a glass of wine.

Please note that admission to this event will be on a first-come, first-served basis as there will be no tickets. Please ensure that you arrive as early as possible to avoid disappointment.