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In Theory: The JHI Podcast

After the Flood: Lydia Barnett on Global Environment, Imagination, and Empire

By editor Luna Sarti

Editor Luna Sarti interviews Lydia Barnett, Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University about her book After the Flood: Imagining the Global Environment in Early Modern Europe (Johns Hopkins University Press: 2019) which has been honored with the Morris D. Forkosch Prize from the Journal of the History of Ideas for the best first book in intellectual history.

The book discusses how the story of Noah’s flood has been understood, interpreted, and retold by different authors between the late 16th and early 18th century and illuminates the flood’s complicated legacy in the emergence of a global environmental consciousness. They talk about deep time, human agency and “natural” disasters, and speculate on the role of sin as an intellectual tool of the Anthropocene.

Featured Image: Jammerliche und erschröckliche Zeittung auß Niderland, Brabandt, Holandt, Seelandt, Flandern und Frießlandt 1570), Münchener DigitalisierungsZentrum, Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek.

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