Professor of Anthropology
Anthropology Department Chair
Joined Connecticut College: 2008
B.A., Portland State University; Cand. Mag., University of Oslo (Norway); Ph.D., City University of New York
Race and ethnicity
Food and agriculture
Much of Jeffrey Cole's research and teaching explores the movement of people and products, with a geographical focus on Europe. He offers an introductory course on cultural anthropology and a freshman seminar on immigration to the United States as well as topical courses on food, global migration, Europe and the history of anthropology.
Cole's research explores varied aspects of migration, with a focus on Italy. His first book, A New Racism in Europe: A Sicilian Ethnography, examines everyday reactions to immigrants on the part of rich and poor in the city of Palermo, Sicily; it also attempts to explain regional variation within Italy of political mobilization both in support of and against newcomers. His second book, Dirty Work: Immigrants in Domestic Service, Agriculture, and Prostitution in Sicily, examines the contours and consequences of immigrant employment in rural and urban Sicily.
Food and agriculture are increasingly of interest to Cole. He serves as assistant editor for Agriculture and Human Values, an interdisciplinary journal. In 2007 he edited a special issue of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies devoted to the anthropology of contemporary Italy. His contribution to the issue addresses the role of foreign workers in one of Italy’s most productive greenhouse districts.
Cole is the editor of Ethnic Groups of Europe, a one-volume encyclopedia. Together with Pietro Saitta of the University of Messina, Italy, he has recently co-edited two special issues of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies devoted to the second generation.
Cole is the recipient of grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren, the Fulbright program, and the H.F. Guggenheim Foundation. He is an associate member of the Columbia University seminar on modern Italy and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Archivio Antropologico Mediterraneo, and Perspectives on Europe. In November 2010, Cole began a two-year term as president-elect of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, a section of the American Anthropological Association.
2011a. Editor and contributor, Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio.
2011b. Children of Immigrants in Italy I: Citizenship, Political Participation, and Belonging. Special Issue, Journal of Modern Italian Studies 16 (3). (Co-edited with Pietro Saitta)
2011c. Children of Immigrants in Italy II: Education, Family, and Gender. Special Issue, Journal of Modern Italian Studies 16 (4). (Co-edited with Pietro Saitta)
2010. “La prostituzione nigeriana a Palermo e gli interventi per le riduzione del danno.” In Asilo/esilo: donne migranti e richiedenti asilo politico in Sicilia, ed. Clelia Bartoli, 83-109. Palermo: duepunti edizioni. [Italian translation of "Reducing the Damage"]
2007. "In Pursuit of 'Green Gold': Immigration and the Fortunes of a Sicilian Greenhouse District.” Journal of Modern Italian Studies 12(4): 387-396.
2007. Modern Italy in Anthropological Perspective: Essays in Honor of Anthony Galt. Editor, special issue, Journal of Modern Italian Studies 12(4).
2007. (and Sally S. Booth) Dirty Work: Immigrants in Domestic Service, Agriculture, and Prostitution in Sicily. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
2006. (and Sally S. Booth) "Domestic Work, Family Life, and Immigration in Sicily." Journal of Modern Italian Studies 11(1): 22-36.
2006. "Reducing the Damage: Dilemmas of Anti-Trafficking Efforts among Nigerian Prostitutes in Palermo." Anthropologica 48(2): 217-228.
2006. "People on the Move in Europe." Review essay, Identities 16(2): 309-325.
2006. "Racism." Europe since 1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction. Vol. 4: 2147-2153. Scribner Library of Modern Europe. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale.