Brett Mizelle

Brett Mizelle, Ph.D.


Chair, American Studies Program
Ph.D., American Studies (2000), University of Minnesota
M.A., History (1995), University of Minnesota
B.A., American Studies (1990), Georgetown University
Contact Information:
562 985-4424
Office: FO2-109
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd., MS 1601
Long Beach, CA 90840-1601

Brett Mizelle is Professor of History and Director of the American Studies Program at California State University Long Beach. His publications include articles, book chapters, and reviews in the fields of nineteenth-century American history and the history of human-animal relationships. His most recent articles tell the story of James Capen ‘Grizzly’ Adams and his role in the construction of knowledge about (and the destruction of) grizzly bears and trace the contestation over the training and exhibition of horses and big cats in the history of the American circus. His book Pig (Reaktion Books, 2011) charts how humans have shaped the pig and how the pig has shaped us, focusing on the unresolved contradictions between the fiction and the reality of our relationships with pigs. He has a sabbatical leave and fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts and the Library Company of Philadelphia in Spring 2014 to begin work on a book-length project tentatively entitled Killing Animals in American History. Dr. Mizelle is also a co-founder and current editor of the H-Animal Discussion Network ( and the recipient of the Humane Society of the United States’ “Animals and Society Course Award” for his class “Animals in American Culture.” He can be reached at

Selected Bibliography

  • “Unspeakable Visibility: Pigs, Pork and the Spectacles of Killing and Meat,” accepted for publication in Marguerite S. Shaffer and Phoebe S.K. Young, eds., Entangled Environments:  New Perspectives on Rendering Nature in American Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press) [in progress].
  • “Horses and Cat Acts in the Early American Circus,” in The American Circus, edited by Susan Weber, Kenneth L. Ames, and Matthew Wittmann (New York: Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture / New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012), 250-275.
  • Pig (Reaktion Books “Animal” Series, 2011).
  • “‘A man quite as much of a show as his beasts’: James Capen ‘Grizzly’ Adams and the Making of Grizzly Bears,” Werkstatt Geschichte 56: Animals (2010), 29-45.
  • “Contested Exhibitions: The Debate Over Proper Animal Sights in Post-Revolutionary America,” Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion 9.2 (2005), 219-235.
  • “Displaying the Expanding Nation to Itself: The Cultural Work of Public Exhibitions of Western Fauna in Lewis and Clark’s Philadelphia,” in Robert S. Cox, ed., The Shortest and Most Convenient Route: Lewis and Clark in Context (American Philosophical Society, 2004), 215-235.
  • “‘I Have Brought my Pig to a Fine Market’: Animals, Their Exhibitors, and Market Culture in the Early Republic,” in Scott C. Martin, ed.,  Cultural Change and the Market Revolution in America, 1789-1860 (Madison House, 2005), 181-216.
  • “‘Man Cannot Behold it Without Contemplating Himself’: Monkeys, Apes and Human Identity in the Early American Republic,” in Explorations in Early American Culture: A Supplemental Issue of Pennsylvania History 66 (1999), 144-173.