Erica Fudge


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

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 Karen Raber and Holly Dugan ed., The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Animal Studies (2021) and Derek Ryan ed., The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Animals (2023).

I am also interested in the historiographical impact of animal studies and have had work on this in the journals History and Theory and Humanimalia, in The Oxford Handbook on Animal Studies, and 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. I also 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.

From 2007 to 2024 I was the director of the British Animal Studies Network (BASN). The network brought 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. From 2023 to 2024 it was 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, Animal Welfare, History Today, Renaissance Quarterly, and The American Historical Review, and have contributed to BBC Radio 4 programmes Natural Histories and Natural History Heroes.

Teaching Interests

I teach on the second year interdisciplinary option class 'The Making of the Modern Human'. In the fourth year I teach the 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.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The Contexts of Bear Baiting in Early Modern England, University of Sussex

Sept 1992Nov 1995

Award Date: 1 Nov 1995

Master of Arts, University of Sussex

Award Date: 31 Aug 1992


  • Animal studies
  • Early modern studies


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