Piers Beirne: Hogarth's Animals

Event Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM

Join us for the Annual Provost Research Fellowship Talk.

As the recipient of the 3rd annual USM Provost’s Research Fellowship for the 2012-2013 academic year, Professor Piers Beirne examined the pervasiveness of animals in Hogarth’s art, focusing on the 1751 print collection The Four Stages of Cruelty, in light of how the animals are portrayed and the artist’s interpretation of animal cruelty.

Question & Answer Session to follow. Refreshments served.


It is well established that discursive innovations in literature and philosophy encouraged pro-animal sentiments in eighteenth-century England. Far less well known in this regard is the animal turn in the graphic arts. In his talk, Beirne seeks to redress this imbalance by documenting the extensive representation of animals in the paintings, drawings and printed engravings of the English artist William Hogarth (1697-1764). He outlines the four chief ways in which Hogarth pictured animals, namely, as hybrids, as edibles, as pets and as signs of satire. In so doing he asks:  How did Hogarth see animals? How should we see Hogarth’s animals?

Event flyer

Glickman Library Events Room, 7th floor, Portland Campus
Contact Name: 
Lourdes Alvarez
Contact Phone: 
Contact Email:


The University of Southern Maine supports research, scholarship and creative activity to:

  • Promote knowledge, discovery, and creative solutions that advance Maine's economy, communities, and quality of life for all Maine citizens;
  • Strengthen classroom education and transform the lives of student through real world learning opportunities; and
  • Support faculty and staff commitment to excellence in scholarly accomplishments regionally, nationally and internationally.