Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Jacob Myers

Office Hours

spring 2024

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 who researches global Anglophone literature of the long eighteenth century and the history of science, medicine, and public health. He has additional graduate certificates in One Health (Perelman School of Medicine), Cinema & Media Studies, and Teaching. He focuses primarily on colonial biopolitics, plantation logics, and their imprint in the collective memory and media. His work has been funded by the Science History Institute, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, Wolf Humanities Center, Huntington Library, Library Company of Philadelphia, Winterthur Museum, Fulbright Program, and UN Women. His peer-reviewed articles are forthcoming in Eighteenth Century: Theory and InterpetationCamera Obscura, and Early American Literature.

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. Bringing together 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. 

Jacob's service includes working as the McNeil Center's 2024-25 Brown Bag series coordinator, Gender and Sexuality (Gen/Sex) Working Group's 2019-21 coordinator, and Graduate English Assembly's 2019-20 funding librarian. He was also Career Services' 2021-22 PhD Professionalism Fellow where he managed the PhD Career Exploration Fellowship program. Along with teaching courses in English and Cinema & Media Studies, he has taught in the Health & Societies and the Pre-First Year Writing programs. He has provided transcription support for the digital project, The Revolutionary City, and he co-organized numerous public humanities events in Philadelphia, including at the Annenberg Center, the Rotunda, and the Lightbox Film Center. Before coming to Penn, 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 University and BNU-HKBU United International College. He also organized the 2018 symposium, New Biopolitics: An Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities, at Georgetown University.

Courses Taught