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AB Harvard University 1998
PhD University of Virginia 2009

In research and in teaching, Jim Cocola focuses on intersections between geography and the humanities, primarily in the field of modern and contemporary American literature and culture. His most recent study examines place making in American poetry and poetics through a comparative, multiethnic, and transnational lens. His newest project reflects on cultural production by Americans and others of Mediterranean descent, looking mainly at literary and visual artifacts. He is also interested in experiential and experimental forms of writing. Professor Cocola's primary teaching opportunities have occurred in literary studies, but he also offers courses in American studies, creative writing, film studies, and media studies, and he has advised student projects sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society and the Worcester Art Museum. In all of these cases he has been drawn to discourses and methods in critical theory and digital humanities. Teaching allows Professor Cocola to be in thought with others; teaching at WPI allows him to be in thought with creative, dynamic, and innovative students who are eager to test their sense of the world.

Scholarly Work

Places in the Making: A Cultural Geography of American Poetry (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2016).

"Mediterranean Americans to Themselves," in Redirecting Ethnic Singularity: Italian Americans and Greek Americans in Conversation, ed. Yiorgos Anagnostou, Yiorgos Kalogeras, and Theodora Patrona (New York: Fordham University Press, 2022): 72-102.

"Lifting the Color Curtain with the Clemente Course in the Humanities," in Public Scholarship in Literary Studies, ed. Rachel Arteaga and Rosemary Johnsen (Amherst: Amherst College Press, 2021): 90–111.

"Shallow Water in the Poetry of Robert Frost and A. R. Ammons," The Robert Frost Review 30 (Fall 2021): 29–47.

"Stallone's Creed," Italian Americana 35.2 (Summer 2017): 155-178.

Professional Highlights & Honors
Binienda Center Community Engagement Award, 2018
Worcester State University
Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education, 2015
Helen Tartar First Book Subvention Prize, 2015
American Comparative Literature Association
Resident Fellow, 2012
Academic Fellow, 2008
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center