Department of English

O'Dowd Hall, Room 544
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2250
fax: (248) 370-4429

Natalie Bell Cole


Teaching Victorian Afterlives

Ph.D.: State University of New York at Buffalo 1987 English
Dissertation: The Legitimate Self: Character in the Novels of George Meredith
M. A.: Michigan State University 1983 English
B. A.: Louisiana State University 1980 English

Teaching/consulting appointments
Visiting Assistant Professor U.S. Naval Academy 1987-1988 English Department
Assistant Professor Oakland University 1988 English Department
Associate Professor Oakland University 1995
Professor Oakland University 2008 English Department
Consultant Defense Intelligence June-Sept. 1987;June-Sept. 1988
College, Washington D. C.

Academic honors and grants


  • 2005 Oakland University Distinguished Faculty Award
  • 2001 Phyllis Law Googasian Award for Women’s Leadership
  • 1998 Oakland University Teaching Excellence Award
  • 1997 Oakland University Distinguished Faculty Award
  • 1993 English Department Merit Award for Teaching
  • 1992 NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers, Stanford University


  • Meadowbrook Hall Conference Grant, for 2003 Symposium, “Emma on the Couch,” (in conjunction with the Michigan Psychoanalytic Association) $5000. Co-Investigator with Jude V. Nixon.
  • Oakland University Research Fellowship, Summer 1995, $6500.
  • NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers, "Rereading Realist Fiction," Stanford University, Summer 1992, $4000.
  • Oakland University Research Fellowship, 1989, $4750.


  • Bear River Writers Conference May 2011
  • Sarah Lawrence College Writers Conference June 2012

Selected publications

“Dickens: Recent Studies (2013).” Dickens Studies Annual. 2015 Forthcoming.

“‘The rights o’ things by my own fireside’: Masculinity and Fatherhood in
George Eliot’s Fiction.” Fathers in Victorian Fiction. Ed. Natalie McKnight.Ed. Natalie McKnight. Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Series, 2011.151-183.

Dickens and Gender: Recent Studies, 1992-2008. New York: AMS Press, 2009. 214 pp.

“Private Snuggeries: the Spaces of Masculine Identity in Armadale.”
Armadale: Wilkie Collins and the Dark Threads of Life. Ed. Mariaconcetta Costantini.
Rome, Italy: Arachne, 2009. 109-131.

“‘A Bed Abroad’: Travel Lodgings and the “Apartment House Plot” in Little Dorrit and
The Haunted Hotel.” The Wilkie Collins Society Journal. 10:3 (Jan. 2008): 3-12.

“Dickens and Gender: Recent Studies, 1992-2007,” Dickens Studies Annual. Volume 38. Ed.
Stanley Friedman. New York: AMS Press,39 (2008): 305-396.

“Travel, the Road and the City in Adaptations of Great Expectations.” Nel laboratorio di Charles Dickens. Ed. Francesco Marroni. Rome, Italy: Arachne , 2006: 265-292.

“’So long as we are dirty we are pure’: Dickens and the Act of Gardening,” Dickens Quarterly
22:4 (Dec. 2005): 242-254.

“Amen in a Wrong Place: Charles Dickens Imagines the Victorian Church” in Victorian Religious
Discourse: New Directions in Criticism Ed. Jude V. Nixon New York: Palgrave Macmillan:

“Attached to Life Again: the Queer Beauty of Convalescence in Bleak House,” The Victorian
Newsletter, No.103 (Spring 2003): 16-19.

Selected Presentations:

“Teaching Dickens and Victorian Afterlives.” Bi-Annual North American Dickens Conference.
Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts, 26-28 September, 2014.

“’Her Girlish Manner’: Ten Girls from Dickens (1902) and Dickens’s “Girls” in the 21st Century.”
St. Anselm’s College, Manchester, New Hampshire. 2011 Dickens Symposium. 21-23 July, 2011.

“’Little else than monstrous’: the Bothers of Brotherhood in Dickens.” 2009 Dickens Symposium,
Providence College, Providence RI, 6-9 August, 2009.

“Giants’ Tea, Beanstalks, and Bride-cake: Problems of Leisure in Vacation Texts
by Dickens and Collins,” 2007 Dickens Symposium, Montreal, August 17-19, 2007.

“‘A bed abroad’: Travel Lodgings and the ‘Apartment House Plot’ in Little Dorrit and The Haunted Hotel,” Symposium on Dickens, Victorian Culture and Italy, Genoa, Italy, June 13-17, 2007.

“’The road that ran with us’: Great Expectations, the Road Movie,” 2006 Dickens Symposium,
Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland, August10-14, 2006.

“Flicks in the City: Remaking Sexual Violence in David Lean’s Oliver Twist and Jacob Tierney’s Twist.” Keynote lecture for film program, Department of Communications and Theatre, Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky, April 8, 2005.

“Between Nature and Culture: Dickens and the Act of Gardening,” 2004 Dickens Symposium, University of Edinburgh, September 6-8, 2004.

“‘Quiet in this world forever’: the Folkloric and Medicalized Corpse in Sensational Fictions of Dickens and Collins,” British Association of Victorian Studies Conference, Keele University, England, September 2-4, 2004.

Selected courses taught

  • Undergraduate Graduate 
  • Victorian Literature Victorian Afterlives
  • The English Novel Victorian Gothic
  • British Literature Jane Austen and George Eliot
  • Gothic Fiction Collins, Dickens and Gaskell
  • Film Adaptation Medical Fictions 
  • World Literature Travel and Leisure in the Victorian Novel
  • Modern Literature Commodity Culture and Victorian Fiction
  • Ethnic Lit. of America The City in Literature, History and Film
  • Detective Fiction Women and Work in Victorian Fiction
  • Death and Dying in Literature, History and Film

Teaching interests
Victorian Literature, the English Novel, Dickens, Collins, Meredith, Detective, Gothic and Sensation Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Film Adaptation, Medicine and Literature

Selected service

  • Reviewer, Dickens Studies Annual (2012-present)
  • Editor, The Oakland Journal (2009-2013)
  • Michigan Academy of Sciences and Arts (elected At-Large Member, 2007-2010)
  • Trustee, Dickens Society (2004-2007)
  • Director, M.A. in Liberal Studies Program (2003-2006)
  • Member (1999-2001; 2011-2014) ; Chair in 2001: FRPC (elected to university-wide 
  • ten-member Faculty Retention and Promotion Committee) 
Professional memberships
  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
  • British Association of Victorian Studies (BAVS)
  • Dickens Society
  • North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA)