Laura Gelfand received her PhD in Art History from Case Western Reserve University in 1994 after earning an MA from Williams College and a BA from SUNY at Stony Brook in Art History. Before coming to USU she served for two years as the Associate Dean of the Honors College at The University of Akron where she joined the faculty in 1997 and was promoted to Professor in 2005. At Utah State University she served as Head of the Department of Art & Design from 2011-2018.
Informed by art historical methods, Laura Gelfand’s current research engages the vibrant, interdisciplinary world of animal studies with a particular focus on canids. After editing the volume Our Dogs, Our Selves: Dogs in Medieval and Renaissance Art, Literature, and Culture (Brill 2016), Gelfand spent much of 2018-19 as a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of the History of Art at the University of York where she conducted research on historical representations of wolves. In addition to completing a book about wolves, her essay, “The Wolf at the Door and the Dog at our Feet,” is forthcoming in Home Cultures: Special Issue on Animals and Home in 2021, and she will contribute a chapter on “Human Animal Interactions and Art,” to The Handbook on Human-Animal Interactions, Interventions and Anthrozoology (Routledge, forthcoming 2022).