Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook

EH Cook IEES Picture
Associate Professor

Office Hours

Please e-mail for appointment

Contact Phone

(805) 893-4622

Office Location

South Hall 2503


Early Modern Studies, Literature and the Environment, and Restoration & 18th Century Literature

Faculty in English Department


  • Ph.D., Comperative Literature, Stanford University


After teaching in Yale University’s English Department from 1990 to 1995, Dr. Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook moved to UC Santa Barbara. She is affiliated with the Early Modern Center and the Literature & Environment initiatives in English, and with UCSB Environmental Humanities Center. 


Dr. Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook research interests include theater studies, letter-narratives, and nature/culture encounters in early modern British literature. In Epistolary Bodies: Gender and Genre in the Eighteenth-Century Republic of Letters (1996), she examined how epistolary novels play with and against print culture (Montesuieu, Richardson, Riccoboni, Crevecoeur). Her recent article on the French artist Sophie Calle reads her “Take Care of Yourself” project (2007) as a remediation of 18th century epistolary coventions. 


Together with several graduate researchers, Dr. Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook is developing the Early Modern British Theater: Access (EMBTA) project. Please visit the website, which collects resource for teaching theater studies 1500-1800s. Its goal is to facilitate the teaching of plays and their performance contexts in ways that bring theater's complex multisensorial and collaborative aspects into the classroom. Rather than focusing on one side or the other of the mid-17th-c. Puritan closure of theaters, our site ranges from 1500-1800. While the theater of Shakespeare is radically different from the theater of Garrick, our site aims to explore both continuities and innovations in British performance history and dramatic literature over three centuries.


In 2012 Dr. Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook  and co-editors published Invaluable trees: cultures of nature, 1660 –1830. The co-edited, interdisciplinary volume is the first to deal with the material culture of trees, forests, and wood in the early modern period; it includes essays by scholars in art history, history of science, musicology, agricultural and forest history, and literary scholars working in a number of European languages. Her essay in the volume, on Swift's poem "On cutting down the old thorn at Market Hill," argues that Swift employs a rhetorical strategy of distancing and displacement to argue for an ecocentric environmental ethics.


ENGL 169: Restoration and 18th Century Drama: Performing the Restoration Playhouse
ENGL 102: English and American Literature from 1650 to 1789
ENGL 102S: Seminar on English and American Literature from 1650 to 1789
ENGL 197: Seminar: Cultures of Nature in the 18th Century
ENGL 197: Writing Nature in the 18th Century**
ENGL 232: Studies in Restoration and 18th Century Literature: Writing Early Modern Nature
ENGL 128EN: Literary Genres: Going Postal - Letter Narratives
ENGL 102S: Seminar on English and American Literature from 1650 to 1789

**Elective course for IEES