Lucinda Cole

Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Specialized Faculty

Research Interests

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

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.


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

Highlighted Publications

Cole, L. (2016). Imperfect Creatures: Vermin, Literature, and the Sciences of Life, 1600-1740. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

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Recent Publications

Cole, L. (2019). Animal Studies and the Eighteenth Century: The Nature of the Beast. Literature Compass, 16(6), [e12536].

Cole, L. (2019). Crusoe's Animals, Annotated: Cats, Dogs, and Disease in the Naval Chronicle Edition of Robinson Crusoe, 1815. Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 32(1), 55-78.

Cole, L. (Accepted/In press). Insects as Symbols: The Christian Renaissance. In S. Smith (Ed.), A Cultural History of Insects in the Renaissance New York: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Cole, L. (Accepted/In press). Out of Africa: Locust Infestation, Universal History, and the Early Modern Theological Imaginary. In K. Bothelho, & J. Campana (Eds.), Lesser Creatures of the Renaissance University Park: Penn State University Press.

Cole, L. (Accepted/In press). Zoonotic Shakespeare: Animals, Plagues, and the Medical Posthumanities. In K. Raber, & H. Dugan (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Animals London: Taylor and Francis.

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