Jeffrey Cole

Jeffrey Cole

Professor of Anthropology

Joined Connecticut College: 2008

B.A., Portland State University
Cand. Mag., University of Oslo (Norway)
Ph.D., City University of New York


Food and agriculture


Race and ethnicity

Jeffrey Cole, Professor of Anthropology, was appointed Dean of the Faculty effective July 1, 2018; he had served as chair of the department of anthropology 2008-14 and as Associate Dean of the Faculty from January 1, 2015. The highest ranking officer after the president, the Dean of the Faculty is responsible for providing academic leadership for the College and its faculty. Food matters increasingly figure in Cole’s teaching and research. His earlier research explored varied aspects of migration, with a focus on Italy.

Cole is a fellow of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment (GNCE) and has supervised individual studies and honors theses conducted by students in the GNCE and the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA).

He has long offered a six-themed exploration of food and drink (Worlds of Food). In the spring of 2014, he developed Food and Migration, and with funds from the Travelling Research and Immersion Program (TRIP), led students on a five-day excursion through Long Island and New York City. Cole is currently exploring the phenomenon of beginning farmers in New London County. Thanks to two Margaret Sheridan '67 Community-Learning Research Initiative grants from the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy, he was able to include students in his Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 course, Cultivating Change, in that project. His latest publication concerns teaching and learning in that course.

His first book, A New Racism in Europe: A Sicilian Ethnography (1997), examines everyday reactions to immigrants on the part of rich and poor Italians 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 (2007), with Sally Booth, examines the contours and consequences of immigrant employment in rural and urban Sicily. Together with Pietro Saitta of the University of Messina, Italy, Cole later co-edited two special issues of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies devoted to the second generation. He also revisited the processes of ethnic and national identity as editor of Ethnic Groups of Europe (2011), a one-volume encyclopedia.

Professor 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 served as president (2012-14) of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, a section of the American Anthropological Association. 

Recent publications and presentations:

2017 “Cultivating Change: Teaching and Learning in the Classroom and on the Farm.” Food, Culture, and Society 20(1): 153-173.

2017  “Assistant/Associate Deans—Solving Problems (Before and After They Arise).” Panel presentation, American Conference of Academic Deans/AAC&U Annual Meeting. San Francisco, California, January. 

2016  “Assistant/Associate Deans—Translating Ideals into Practices that Work.” Panel presentation, American Conference of Academic Deans/AAC&U Annual Meeting. Washington, DC, January. 

2014 “Engaging Undergraduates through Research on Beginning Farmers,” Innovation and Collaboration Across the Food System Conference, Burlington, Vermont, June.

2013 "An Experience in Learning: Leading Student Research on Beginning Farmers," Sustainable Foodscapes and Landscapes Conference, East Lansing, Michigan, June.

2013 (with Sally S. Booth) "Farming and Educational Initiatives: Cultivating the Public," Sustainable Foodscapes and Landscapes Conference, East Lansing, Michigan, June.

View the anthropology department website.

Majoring in Anthropology.

Contact Jeffrey Cole

Mailing Address

Jeffrey Cole
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


210 Fanning Hall