Lucinda Cole

Research 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

  • 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, 1600-1750 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. With Robert Markley, I am the editor of AnthropoScene, a book series published by Pennsylvania State University Press. I am also co-editor (with Barbara Benedict) of The Palgrave Handbook of Literature and Science: Eighteenth Century.


  • 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 won the 2017 Robert Lowry Patten Award given by Studies in English Literature for the most outstanding recent book on Restoration and eighteenth-century literature. It also received Honorable Mention for the Michelle Kendrick Prize, given by the Society for Literatures, Sciences, and the Arts for outstanding interdisciplinary work.



Publication Photo

Book Contributions

  • "Out of Africa: Locust Infestation, Universal History, and the Early Modern Theological Imaginary." Lesser Creatures of the Renaissance. University Park: Penn State Press, 2019. Forthcoming.
  • "Insects as Symbols: Evidence, Emblem and Allegory in the Christian Renaissance." A Cultural History of Insects in the Renaissance. London: Bloomsbury, 2019. Forthcoming.
  • "Zoonotic Shakespeare: Animals, Plagues, and the Medical Posthumanites." Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Animals. Ed. Karen Raber and Holly Dugan. London: Routledge, 2019.
  • "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. 136-155.
  • "Interspecies Tickling." Gender: Laughter. Macmillan Handbooks in Interdisciplinary Studies.. London: Macmillan, 2017. 393-407.
  • "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.
  • 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

  • "Crusoe's Animals, Annotated: Cats, Rats, and Rabies in the 1815 Naval Chronicle Edition." Eighteenth Century Fiction (2019): forthcoming.
  • "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):

Get in Touch

Cookie Settings