The Writers

Dr Nigel Rothfels

Nigel Rothfels received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University and is the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He is the author of a history of the origins of naturalistic displays in zoological gardens entitled Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2002) and the editor of the multidisciplinary collection Representing Animals (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2002). 
His recent work has focused on ideas about elephants since the eighteenth century.  He has held postdoctoral research fellowships from Princeton University, the Australian National University, the US National Endowment for the Humanities, and the University of Oslo.  He sits on numerous editorial and advisory boards for journals in Animal Studies and, with Garry Marvin, has begun a new book series with The Pennsylvania State University Press called Animalibus: Of Animals and Cultures.

Dr Yvette Watt

Yvette Watt has been lecturing at the Tasmanian School of Art since 1999, primarily in the painting department. She currently teaches painting at all levels from undergraduate through to postgraduate. Yvette Watt completed a Bachelor of Education (Art) at Curtin University, Perth WA, in 1984. She was awarded a Master of Fine Arts in 2003 and a PhD in fine art in 2009, both of which were undertaken at the Tasmanian School of Art.

Yvette has held numerous solo exhibitions and has been the recipient of a number of grants and awards. Her work is held in a many public and private collections including Parliament House, Canberra, Artbank and the Art Gallery of WA.

Yvette is a co-editor of, and contributor to the collection of essays titled Considering Animals: Contemporary Studies in Human-Animal Relations (Ashgate, forthcoming) and was commissioned to contribute an entry on ‘Art, Animal and Ethics’ for the Encyclopaedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, (Marc Bekoff ed., Greenwood Press, 2009).

Yvette’s primary research interests are based in the burgeoning area of scholarly study known as human-animal studies (HAS). She has been actively involved in animal advocacy since the mid 1980s, and her artwork is heavily informed by her activism and her interest in the changing nature of human-animal relations. Her research also reflects an interest in the relationship between how nonhuman animals are depicted and what this might have to say about how these animals are thought about and treated. Related to this is an interest in the role that art can play in engaging the viewer with social and/or political issues.

Yvette is a committee member of the Australian Animal Studies Group and the UTas Animals and Society Study Group.