Melissa BoydDr Melissa Boyde

Position: Senior Research Fellow
PhD (Macq); MA (UWS); BA Hons  (UOW)
+61 (02) 4221 3746


I am a researcher in the fields of modernist art and literature and the interdisciplinary field of Animal Studies. 

My work in literary modernism includes research on the history of the roman à clef developed by the seventeenth century French writer Madeleine de Scudéry and taken up by writers such as Hope Mirrlees, Renée Vivien, H.D., Gertrude Stein and Djuna Barnes.  

In the visual arts my research and curatorial work is on Australian artists, such as Mary Alice Evatt, Moya Dyring and Margaret Olley.  In 2014-15 I curated exhibitions of their work for Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Margaret Olley Art Centre, Tweed Regional Gallery. 

My research in Animal Studies is based in critical and cultural theory with a focus on the lived experiences of non-human animals – particularly those in the cattle industries in Australia.  I was Chair of the Australasian Animal Studies Association (AASA) (2011-15) and the founder and chief editor of their fully peer reviewed, open access online journal: Animal Studies Journal.  I am co-editor, with Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, of the Animal Publics book series published by Sydney University Press.  In 2009 philosopher Denise Russell and I developed the Replace Animals in Australian Testing (RAAT) website which provides information on alternatives to the use of animals in scientific experiments and medical research in Australia. 

Selected Publications

M.J Boyde Publications
Searchable RIS publications


  • Co-curator, with Dr Yvette Watt University of Tasmania and Madeleine Boyd Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Animaladies, Verge Gallery, Glebe, forthcoming July 2016.
  • Curator, 'Travels with My Art: Moya Dyring and Margaret Olley'. Tweed Regional Gallery, 20 March - 21 June 2015, Australia: Tweed Regional Gallery. (pp. 1-12).
  • Curator, 'Moya Dyring: An Australian Salon in Paris'. 24 October 2014 - 1st March 2015, Melbourne: Heide Museum of Modern Art.
  • Curator, Mary Alice Evatt ‘MAS’ 1898-1973. Toured 2002–2006 from Bathurst Regional Gallery to Heide Museum of Modern Art Melbourne, S.H. Ervin Gallery Sydney, Albury Regional Art Gallery, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and Canberra Museum and Gallery. 
  • Curator, ‘Art and Politics: Mas Evatt and the Evatt Collection’, catalogue, exhibition and paper, Flinders University Art Gallery, August- September, 2006.
  • Curator, Out on a Limb II: Sally Clarke and Brenda Factor, University of Wollongong Gallery 2005.
  • Curator, Out on a Limb: Pol Cruz, Anie Nheu, Sally Clarke and Brenda Factor on themes of identity, sexuality and the Australian bush. Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, 2004. Out on a LImb

Edited Books  

  • Editor, Captured: the Animal within Culture, (Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2013). 
  • Editor and Introduction, A Kingdom and a Place of Exile: Critical Essays on Postcolonial women’s writing by Dorothy Jones, University of Wollongong Press, 2010.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters     

  • ‘Cultural Myths and Open Secrets: the cattle industries in Australia’, Southerly 73.2, 2013.  
  • Mining animal death for all its worth' in Animal Death, Ed. J. Johnston & F. Probyn-Rapsey. Sydney: University of Sydney, 2013, 119-136
  • ‘The RAAT Project: Alternatives to using animals in research’ with D. Russell, The SInet 2010 eBook, pp. 25-35: 
  • ‘The Modernist roman à clef and Cultural Secrets, or, I Know that You Know that I Know that You Know’, Australian Literary Studies, 24(3-4), 2009, 155-166:      
  • ‘The poet and the ghosts are walking the streets: Hope Mirrless - life and poetry’, Hecate: an interdisciplinary journal of women's liberation, 35(1/2), 2009, 29-41:     
  • ‘A fresh point of view – the life and work of Mary Alice Evatt’: 
  • Boyde, M. J. 2005, ''Antipodean wanderer in the Mediterranean'', Art Monthly Australia, vol. 184, pp. 21-22.
  •  "'Mrs Boss! We gotta get those fat cheeky bullocks into that big bloody metal ship!': Live export as romantic backdrop in Baz Luhrmann's Australia." Captured: The Animal Within Culture. Ed.M. J. Boyde. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 60-74.
  • Christian the lion: an interview with Ace Bourke.’ Captured: The Animal Within Culture. Ed.M. J. Boyde. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 43-59.  
  • ‘The poet and the ghosts are walking the streets: Hope Mirrlees - life and poetry’ in Poetry and the Trace, Puncher & Wattmann, 2013, 220-232
  • 'You for Whom I Wrote': Renee Vivien, H.D. and the Roman a Clef. Chapter in The Unsocial Sociability of Women’s Life Writing, Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2010.  
  • ‘Making it Accessible: Mary Alice Evatt and Australian Modernist Art’, in Dixon, R & Kelly, V (eds), Impact of the Modern: Vernacular Modernities in Australia 1870s-1960s, Sydney, Sydney University Press, 2008, 125-136:
  • ‘Art and Advocacy: Mary Alice Evatt in the 1930s and 40s’, Kunapipi, vol. XXVI, 2005: 

Professional Associations and Research Affiliations

Recent Awards and Fellowships

NSW Premier’s History Fellowship, 2003

Mary Alice Evatt Art Prize, Evatt Foundation and University of Western Sydney, 2002

Last reviewed: 23 May, 2016