PAPER TIGER: A Visual History of the Thylacine by Carol Freeman. Brill Human-Animal Studies Series. September 2010.
Images of animals generate perceptions that have a profound effect on attitudes toward species. But can representations contribute to their extinction?
Paper Tiger considers the role of illustrations in the demise of the thylacine or Tasmanian ‘tiger’. It critiques 80 engravings, lithographs, drawings and photographs published between 1808 and 1936, paying attention to the messages they convey, the politics of representation, and the impact on the lives of animals.
This approach challenges conventional histories, offers new understandings of human-animal interactions, and presents a chilling story of just how misleading and powerful visual representation can be. It demonstrates how pictures, together with words, can have a vital influence on species’ survival.
This book will interest human-animal studies scholars, zoologists, conservationists, cultural historians, print collectors and museum curators. It provides both a visual resource and a compelling story for general readers.
Carol Freeman is a Research Associate at the University of Tasmania. Her publications focus on visual representations of animals, bioethics, and the role of popular culture in wildlife conservation. She is also co-editor, with Elizabeth Leane and Yvette Watt, of a forthcoming book Considering Animals: Contemporary Studies in Human-Animal Relations to be published by Ashgate.