Nathan Grande is a Master of Fine Arts graduate of the Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication program at The University of Texas at Dallas, where he served as a graduate teaching assistant in sound design. He continues his studies as an independent critical animal studies scholar-activist.
Nathan’s MFA thesis, Picturing Elephants, centered on the contradiction between the place of corporeal elephants in human cultures, and cultural representations of the elephant image. Through a curation of internet images, original music composition and poetry, and sound design, this media-art installation brings attention to the captivity, abuse, and killing of elephants, and the implicit role of consumer and visual culture in concealing such realities.
Nathan’s creative and written work continues to center on non-human animals. His current creative project, For Other Animals, received grant funding from the Culture & Animals Foundation. This website project employs written narratives and visual media to connect the public to the experiences of animal sanctuary residents and their human caretakers, while encouraging the public to see members of other species as unique individuals. Nathan’s first and forthcoming book chapter, Strategic Empathy, Intra-Sectional Demonstrations, and Animal Activism: In Pursuit of Total Liberation, attempts to influence and inspire activists by offering a framework of empathy in which they might operate when engaging with the public. The chapter is part of a critical animal studies anthology, which is in preparation for review by SUNY Press.
Nathan also has a background in music performance and digital-music composition. As a freelance music composer, he completed several compositions for Firstcom Music’s online production music library. These compositions have aired as incidental music on various network television programs, such as Unusual Suspects, America’s Most Wanted, Studio B with Shepard Smith, Master Chef, and E! News.
Nathan’s interests include the representation and use of nonhuman animals in film and media, the invisibility of animals in visual and consumer culture, film studies, affect, empathy, ecofeminism, ethics of care, phenomenology, posthumanism, cultural memory, and the rhetorics of animal activists and the animal-use industries.