Jeffrey Cole

Jeffrey Cole

Associate Dean of the Faculty
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 was appointed Associate Dean of the Faculty January 1, 2015; he had served as chair of the department of anthropology since 2008. Food matters increasingly figure in Cole’s teaching and research. Cole's 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 often supervises individual studies and honors theses conducted by students in the GNCE, Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA), and the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy interdisciplinary programs.

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 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, he was able to include students in his Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 course, Cultivating Change, in this ongoing project.

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), examines the contours and consequences of immigrant employment in rural and urban Sicily. More recently, together with Pietro Saitta of the University of Messina, Italy, Cole co-edited two special issues of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies devoted to the second generation. Cole 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. He is an associate member of the Columbia University seminar on modern Italy and member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies and Archivio Antropologico Mediterraneo. Cole also serves as assistant editor for Agriculture and Human Values, an interdisciplinary journal.

Recent publications and presentations:

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

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

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

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.

View the anthropology department website.

Majoring in Anthropology.

Contact Jeffrey Cole

Mailing Address

Jeffrey Cole
Connecticut College
Box #Dean of the Faculty
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


210 Fanning Hall