Email Address
List Hall 114B

Onno Oerlemans’s areas of research are British and American Romanticism, ecocriticism, and critical animal studies. His most recent book is Poetry and Animals: Blurring the Boundaries with the Human, published by Columbia University Press (2018), which surveys the ways in which animals have been represented in English-language poetry. His first book is Romanticism and the Materiality of Nature (University of Toronto Press, 2003) examined the ways that several British Romantic poets explored the physical (as opposed to transcendent) reality of the natural world. He has published articles on a wide range of topics and writers, and is currently working on a history of writing about the Adirondacks. His degrees are from Queen’s University and Yale University.

Recent Courses Taught

Transatlantic Romanticism
American Literature of the 19th Century
The Romantic Poets
Literature as/of Medicine
Poetry and Poetics
Forever Wild: Natural and Cultural Histories of the Adirondacks
The Literary Animal
Literature and the Environment

Selected Publications


  • Poetry and Animals: Blurring the Boundaries with the Human. Columbia University Press, 2018. 
  • Romanticism and the Materiality of Nature. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003. (Short-listed for 2003 Raymond Klibansky Prize for best English-language book in the humanities published in Canada).

Published Articles:

  • “Cooper’s Animal Offenses: The Confusion of Species in Last of the Mohicans.” Palgrave Handbook of Animals and Literature. Eds. Susan McHugh, Robert McKay, John Miller. New York: Palgrave MacMillan (2020): 307-17.
  • “Sing and Be Heard: Birdsong and the Romantic Lyric,” Mosaic 51:2 (June 2018): 1-16.
  • “The Animal in Allegory: From Chaucer to Gray,” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment 20:2 (Spring 2013): 296-317.
  • “Literature in the Wilderness: Teaching Adirondack Writing in an Interdisciplinary Context.” (Co-authored with Patrick Reynolds and Ernest Williams.) Nature and Culture in the Northern Forest. Ed. Pavel Cenkl. University of Iowa Press (2010): 77-97.
  • “Romantic Poetry, English.” Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy.  Ed. J. Baird Callicott. Farmington Hills, Mich. Gale Publishing 2008.
  • “A Defense of Anthropomorphism: A Comparison of Coetzee and Gowdy.” Mosaic: A journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature 40, 1 (2007): 181-196.
  • “Romanticism and the City: Towards a Green Architecture.” Coming into Contact. Eds. Annie Merrill Ingram, Ian Marshall, Daniel J. Philippon, and Adam W. Sweeting. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press (2007): 168-184.
  • “Romantic Origins of Environmentalism: Wordsworth and Shelley.” Every Grain of Sand: Canadian Perspectives on Ecology and the Environment. Ed. J.A. Wainwright. Wilfred Laurier University Press  (2004): 101-114.
  • “Romanticism and the Metaphysics of Species.” The Wordsworth Circle 28: 3 (1997): 136-48.
  • “Representing the Kosmos: The Lyric Turn in Whitman’s ‘Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking’.” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 12 (winter 1995): 150-69.
  • “Shelley’s Ideal Body: Vegetarianism and Nature.” Studies in Romanticism 34:4 (1995): 531-552.
  • “The Meanest Thing that Feels: Anthropomorphizing Animals in Romanticism.” Mosaic, 27 (March 1994): 1-32.
  • “Whitman and the Erotics of Lyric.” American Literature 65 (1993): 703-728.

College Service

Associate Dean of the Faculty, 2017-20
Chair, Student Success Strategic Planning Committee, 2017-18
Member, Environmental Studies Committee, 2016-
Member, Committee on Appointments, 2015-17
Building Shepherd, and Chair of Root Hall renovation committee, 2015- Member, Ad Hoc Long-Term Planning Committee, 2014-15
Member, Academic Program in the Adirondacks Committee, 2014-19
Faculty-in-residence, Academic Program in the Adirondacks, fall 2015
Member, Committee on Appointments, 2013-present
Member, Network for Teaching and Learning Steering Committee, 2012-13
Member, Humanities Forum Steering Committee, 2012-13
Member, Watson Fellowship Committee, 2011-present
Chair, Department of English and Creative Writing, 2010-13
Senior project shepherd, Environmental Studies Program, 2008-09
Faculty secretary and member of Academic Council, 2008-09
Chair, Carbon Emissions Inventory Subcommittee, 2007-09
Member, Hamilton Sustainability Committee, 2007-12

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., Yale University
M.A., Queen's University-  Kingston, Canada
B.A., Queen's University- Kington, Canada

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