Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Jacob Myers

Office Hours

fall 2023

By appointment

Portrait of Jacob Myers looking up at pink flowers in a tree

M.A. with distinction, English, Georgetown University, 2018
- Thesis Title: "Feeling Waste: Material Sensations in the Eighteenth Century"

B.A., English, Theater, and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, Oberlin College, 2012

Jacob Myers (he/they) is a PhD candidate whose research focuses on transatlantic eighteenth-century literature and the history of science. He pursues projects on colonialism, race, public health, and the environment. His work has been funded by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Huntington Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Fulbright Foundation, and UN Women. He has written articles forthcoming in Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpetation and Camera Obscura.

His dissertation, “Noxious Life: Figuring Vermin in the Natural Histories of the British Caribbean,” explores how colonizers conceputalized island fauna as hazards to the plantocracy before emancipation and how free and enslaved Africans proposed alternative material and cosmological approaches to these animals. Working across Anglophone literature, scientific treatises, and folklore, his project contends that tracking marginal creatures – rats, snakes, insects – across the archive can unearth the violent failures of colonial science and the importance of Afro-Caribbean animal knowledge to intellectual history. 

At Penn, Jacob has served as a co-coordinator for the Gender and Sexuality (Gen/Sex) Working Group from 2019 to 2021 as well as the 2019-2020 GEA's Funding Librarian. He also managed the 2022 PhD Career Exploration Fellowship program and co-organized film events at the Annenberg Center, the Rotunda, and the Lightbox Film Center. Before coming to Philadelphia, Jacob performed curatorial research for the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Reception Rooms and the Paley Center for Media, and he taught literature and film/media studies at Macao Polytechnic Institute and BNU-HKBU United International College.

Courses Taught