Professor Erica Fudge


Personal statement

My research is in the fields of Animal Studies and Renaissance Studies. In my work on the early modern period I have written on issues as varied as meat eating, dreams, children, laughter, reason, bladder-control and animal faces. In addition, I have also published work on contemporary culture, and  have looked at a range of areas where humans interact with animals, including pet ownership, experimentation, the wearing of fur, anthropomorphic children's literature and vegetarianism. Recent essays have been included in Susan McHugh et al ed., The Palgrave Handbook of Animals and Literature (2021) and Karen Raber and Holly Dugan ed., The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Animal Studies (2021).

I am also interested in the historiographical impact of animal studies and have had recent work on this in History and Theory, and in The Oxford Handbook on Animal Studies. A forthcoming essay will appear in Zoltán Boldizsár Simon and Lars Deile ed., Historical Understanding: Past, Present, and Future (Bloomsbury, 2022).

In addition, I am always interested in the links between my historical work and current debates about animals and in October 2017 a short essay, 'Re-enchanting the Farm,' was published on the website of the Centre for Animals and Social Justice. And in November 2021, during COP26, I organised the online seminar, 'The Nature of the Curriculum: How the Education System can Change the Future,' which included presentations by, among others, the conservationist and writer Mary Colwell, the poet Susan Richardson, and Ross Greer MSP (Scottish Greens Education Spokesperson).

My work is interdisciplinary: I use literary as well as archival materials in research and my book, Quick Cattle and Dying Wishes: People and their Animals in Early Modern England, which uses wills to trace people’s relationships with their livestock animals was published by Cornell University Press in 2018. I was awarded an AHRC Leadership Fellowship in 2015-16 to complete this book which was named a Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title in 2019. In recent years I have also held a Lynnette S. Autrey fellowship at Rice University (2014) and a Macgeorge Fellowship at the University of Melbourne (2015).

Throughout my career I have worked collaboratively with scholars from different disciplines. In 2006, I was a member of the Animal Studies Group whose collective work Killing Animals was published by the University of Illinois Press. In 2011 I co-edited a living book, Veterinary Science: Humans, Animals and Health, for the JISC-funded project Living Books About Life with the environmental ethicist Clare Palmer (Texas A&M University). And in 2012 I received a small grant from the Wellcome Trust to undertake a project with the zooarchaeologist Richard Thomas (Leicester University) on animal healthcare in the early modern period.  The outcome of this project was published as a feature article in History Today in December 2012. More recently I had another essay published in that magazine on the strange history of flesh avoidance which was made available for free during COP26 by History Today.

I am the director of the British Animal Studies Network (BASN) which holds two meetings a year, one always at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The network brings together those with an interest in human-animal relations from a range of backgrounds from both within and beyond academia and first ran in London from March 2007 to February 2009, funded by the AHRC and Middlesex University. It is now funded by the University of Strathclyde. 

I am on the editorial board of a number of journals: Society & Animals; Humanimalia: A Journal of Human/Animal Interface Studies and The Animal Studies Journal. In recent years I have reviewed books for Society and Animals, History Today, Renaissance Quarterly, and The American Historical Review, and have contributed to BBC Radio 4 programmes Natural Histories and Natural History Heroes.


Book Review : Loving Animals: On Bestiality, Zoophilia and Post-Human Love by Joanna Bourke
Fudge Erica
Social History of Medicine Vol 35, pp. 1038-1039 (2022)
Mouse-eaten records
Fudge Erica
Historical Understanding Past, Present and Future (2022) (2022)
'Forgiveness Horse' : the barbaric world of Richard II
Fudge Erica
The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Animals (2020) (2020)
The flourishing and challenging field of animal-human history
Fudge Erica
Society and Animals Vol 27, pp. 647-652 (2019)
Quick Cattle and Dying Wishes : People and Their Animals in Early Modern England
Fudge Erica
Re-enchanting the farm
Fudge Erica

More publications


I teach on the second year interdisciplinary option class 'The Making of the Modern Human'. In the third year I teach on the options 'Sex, Revenge and Corruption in Renaissance Drama' and 'Shakespeare'; and the fourth year option 'Wild in the Renaissance'. I also co-teach with Dr Elsa Richardson a masters class called 'Fleshy Histories: Meat Eating and Meat Avoidance, 1500 to the Present' at the University of Strathclyde. This is an option on the masters courses in Interdisciplinary English Studies, Creative Writing, Historical Studies, Health History, and Gender Studies.

I have supervised and am supervising postgraduate research students in English and in History working in early modern and modern and contemporary periods and would be particularly interested in working with graduates interested in PhD, MPhil or MRes in animal studies and / or Renaissance literary and cultural studies. I would also be interested, also, in supervising interdisciplinary PhDs.

Professional activities

The Life of Aesop's Fables
Final Words: The Affective Value of the Last Will and Testament in Early Modern Studies
Promotion reference
British Animal Studies Network: State of the Field
SGSAH English Catalyst+ Publishing Lunch
Language and Sustainability Workshop

More professional activities


SGSAH British Council EARTH Scholarships
Fudge, Erica (Principal Investigator)
I was deputy lead of the Glasgow cluster as part of the new SGSAH British Council EARTH Scholarships which saw 13 international PhD students, whose research focused on environmental issues, come to Scotland to work with an academic in a related area for a period of time.
23-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2023
The Unthinkable Renaissance ? Building transatlantic links with Scottish Animal Studies
Fudge, Erica (Principal Investigator)
The Unthinkable Renaissance ? Building transatlantic links with Scottish Animal Studies
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2019
Poetry Reading by Susan Richardson
Fudge, Erica (Principal Investigator)
Poetry Reading by Susan Richardson funded by the University Public Engagement Fund (£300)
19-Jan-2017 - 19-Jan-2017
AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Scotland
Edwards, Sarah (Principal Investigator) Fudge, Erica (Principal Investigator) Logan, Louise (Post Grad Student)
PhD studentship - 3 years - 2015-18
01-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2018
The Farmyard Worlds of Early Modern England: Animal Studies, History, Theory and Interdisciplinarity
Fudge, Erica (Fellow)
"What was it like to work with a cow in early modern England? What were people's feelings about and towards the livestock who worked with them? These questions are the starting point for the book project that is central to this proposal. Current historical analyses tell us how important livestock animals were to the development of the economy and to the process of industrialization, for example, but thus far little has been written recognizing the crucial fact that animals are, and always have been, more than simply stock: they are living, sentient beings with whom negotiated interaction is required. This project will take such interactions as its focus and will return animals to the central place they had in the domestic environments of so many, thus tracking a lost aspect of early modern life: the day-to-day relationships between humans and livestock animals.

Tracing the simultaneously emotional and instrumental relationships that humans had with their livestock is of value for a number of reasons.

1. Historical/Pragmatic: working with animals took up a lot of time (estimates suggest that for some in the early modern period, 75% of waking hours were spent in the company of animals); and the economic and nutritional value of animals (pulling the plough, providing meat or milk) meant that livestock would have been attended to with care because illness or injury would have been a real threat to both human and animal wellbeing. To ignore livestock in the period, therefore, is to ignore something that the people themselves thought of as vital.

2. Historical/Bigger Picture: the mid-seventeenth century has been recognized as a moment when herd sizes increased and intensive farming began to emerge as the norm. This project would offer a new perspective on this larger social shift, exploring its impact on human-animal relationships, and - by extension - on concepts of the home and the family.

3. Theoretical/Interdisciplinary: the project is part of a movement in the humanities and social sciences to engage with human-animal relations. Animal Studies is a cross- and interdisciplinary field, and this book will contribute to ongoing scholarly debates about human-animal relations, but also about how such relations might (or might not) be thought about within the theoretical paradigms that we have; and within the disciplinary contexts we work within.

Associated with this research are three other activities which will engage wider audiences, support interdisciplinary work, foster impact, provide intellectual leadership for junior scholars, and help to shape future research agendas. These are:

1. an article for the magazine History Today (the editors have already commissioned this). This will increase awareness of the history of animals and what it adds to our understanding of the past; and a report for the Centre for Animals and Social Justice on historical shifts in farming;

2. a postgraduate symposium offering the opportunity for current animal studies PGRs to meet and engage with experienced practitioners and scholars in the field. The symposium will focus on three issues: interdisciplinarity; the establishment of animal studies in the undergraduate curriculum; and the potential for those in animal studies to work with non-academic bodies (e.g. policy makers, charities, think tanks);

3. the establishment of an online bibliography, the aim of which will be to make it easier for those in the field to keep up with new work from the range of disciplines involved. Scholars as well as those working with animals outside of academia will be able to access and contribute to the bibliography, and as such it will also enhance the potential of academic work to find wider-than-academic readerships, and offer the opportunity for scholars to engage with work and from outside of academia"
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2016
Willing Livestock: links between humans, animals and wellbeing as traced in wills in early seventeenth-century London and Essex
Fudge, Erica (Principal Investigator)
Willing Livestock: links between humans, animals and wellbeing as traced in wills in early seventeenth-century London and Essex
01-Jan-2013 - 31-Jan-2013

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