Lucinda Cole

Visiting Associate Professor of English


Eighteenth Century, Seventeenth Century, Science, Technology, and Digital Media, Ecocriticism/Environmental Humanities

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century British Literature; Animal Studies; Gender Studies; Literature and Science; Environmental Humanities

Research Description

  • Although I am trained in early modern literature and culture, my research over the past ten years has been shaped by several new interdisciplinary fields: Animal Studies, Science Studies, Food Studies, and Environmental Humanities. My book Imperfect Creatures: Vermin, Literature, and the Sciences of Life, 1550-1750 explores how seventeenth- and eighteenth-century art and literature register and address environmental pressures during The Little Ice Age, when temperatures across Northwestern Europe dropped, on average, two degrees. Widespread food insecurity made rodents, birds, and other small creatures an ongoing threat to fragile food supplies. Forthcoming work attends to food systems, animals, and ecological pressures in several historical and geographic contexts. My new book, in progress, asks what humanists can bring to historical conversations about food-borne illnesses and zoonotic diseases, and advocates for a new field of study: the medical posthumanities. With Robert Markley, I am the editor of AnthropoScene, a book series published by Pennsylvania State University Press.


  • B.A. English, Auburn University, 1981 M.A. English, Louisiana State University, 1987 Ph.D. English, Louisiana State University. Distinction, 1990.

Distinctions / Awards

  • Imperfect Creatures was winner of the 2017 Robert Lowry Patten Award for the most outstanding recent book on Restoration and eighteenth-century literature.



Publication Photo

Book Contributions

  • "Swift Among the Locusts: Vermin, Infestation, and Natural Philosophy." Animals and Animality in the Literary Field. Ed. Bruce Boehrer, Molly Hand, and Brian Massumi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. Forthcoming.
  • "Out of Africa: Locust Infestation, Universal History, and the Early Modern Theological Imaginary." Lesser Creatures of the Renaissance. Ed. Keith Botehlo and Joseph Campana. University Park: Penn State Press, 2018.
  • "Guns, Ivory, and Elephant Graveyards: The Biopolitics of Elephants' Teeth.." Animals and Humans: Sensibility and Representation, 1650-1820. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. 35-55.
  • "Interspecies Tickling." Gender: Laughter. Macmillan Handbooks in Interdisciplinary Studies.. London: Macmillan, 2017. 393-407.
  • Cole, Lucinda, and Robert Markley. "Human, Animal, Machine in the Eighteenth Century." Blackwell Companion to British Literature. Ed. Robert DeMaria, Chang Heesok, and Samantha Zacher. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. 375-90.
  • "Scientific Revolution II: From Newton to Laplace." The Routledge Companion to Literature and Science. Ed. Bruce Clarke and Manuela Rossini. London: Routledge, 2011. 449-461.
  • "Posthumanist Measures: Elephants, Assessment, and the Return of Creativity." Assessment in the Disciplines: Literary Study, Measurement, and the Sublime. Ed. Donna Heiland and Laura Rosenthal. New York: Teagle Foundation, 2010. 153-70.

Journal Articles

  • "Gut Ecology: Meat Science, Modernity, and Carrion Aversion in Gandhi's India." Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology 25 (2017): 215-35.
  • "The Raw, the Cooked, and the Scavenged: Beasts of the Southern Wild." Journal for Critical Animal Studies 12.4 (2014): 136-147.
  • Wolfe, Cary , Bruce Boehrer, Erica Fudge, Donna Landry, Richard Nash, Lucinda Cole, and Robert Markley. "Speciesism, Identity Politics, and Ecocriticism: A Conversation With Humanists and Posthumanists." Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 52 (2011): 87-106.
  • "Of Mice and Moisture: Rats, Witches, Miasma, and Early Modern Theories of Contagion." Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 10 (2010): 65-84.

Special Issues of a Journal

  • Putrefaction: Life and the Ecologies of Decay. Spec. iss. of Configurations 23.2 (2017):
  • Animal, All Too Animal. Spec. iss. of Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 52 (2011):

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