Call for Paper: Animal-Human Interactions in Anthropocene China and Asia: Interdisciplinary Approaches (University of Hong Kong, Dec. 5-6, 2019)

Victor Teo's picture
Call for Papers
May 31, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Animal Studies, Asian History / Studies, Anthropology, Diplomacy and International Relations, Environmental History / Studies

The workshop organizers, based at the University of Hong Kong are now inviting paper proposals for colleagues working in diverse fields in Humanities and Area Studies to scrutinize the theme of animal-human interactions contextualized against the idea of the Anthropocene, with a focus on China and Asia. We are particularly interested in securing the participation of scholars working in fields such as Area studies, anthropology, history, political science, International Relations, International Political Economy specialists, environmental humanities, sociology, development studies, Film Studies, literature for an engaging and sustained conversation.  By centralizing how animals are broadly treated and discussed across disciplines, the workshop aspires to enhance the understanding of existing broader environmental and ecological problems related to animals through discussion and criticism. In particular, the workshop hopes to transcend the duality of nature versus culture debate by locating animal-ecological problems in the behavior of human institutions, beliefs and practices – often which are affected by prevailing political ideologies, economic interests and scientific agendas. This workshop accords humanists and area studies specialists,  particularly so in China and Asian studies  an opportunity to provide a voice to these challenges and advocate perspectives and solutions. 


The workshop is particularly interested in papers that would interrogate continuities and discontinuities in dimensions of human-animal interactionsin Chinese / Asian cultures. In examining the evolving role animals played in contemporary Chinese / Asian in everyday life such as work, pleasure, entertainment, food, law and religion, we hope that the papers can collectively to respond to changing patterns and challenges for China’s and Asia’s ecology and environment. For instance, one area the workshop could probe is how the rise of modern legal infrastructure has impacted on the political economy created by consumption and trade in animals, particular wild and exotic animals, and well as on everyday social activities such as the maintenance of (exotic) pets, the wearing of fur and even zookeeping practices.  Other themes that can be discussed is the role of wild/domesticated/exotic animals in changing patterns in logistics, transportation or medicine in Chinese and/or Asian cultures overtime. A third area of interest could be the evolving practices in the advocacy of animal rights ( e.g. regulations governing pets or wildlife or marine-life). Given the propensity to “humanize” animals in Chinese culture, it is strange that animals’ rights are a relatively alien concept in China. We are also open to papers that discusses animals in other approaches as long as it relates to China and/or wider Asia and can speak to the theme of the workshop. 





The workshop scheduled tentatively on the 5th & 6th December 2019 for accepted participants to come to Hong Kong to discuss the papers.  The deadline for abstract submissions is 31 May 2019.  As a condition of funding, it is essential that a publication be born out of this. All participants are therefore encouraged to think of this as a book / special issue project as opposed to just a workshop, and acceptance of an invitation to come to Hong Kong is indicative of a willingness to write and publish a paper in a volume edited by the workshop organizer (subject to fulfilling peer-review comments). We have limited funds to supplement economy airfare, accommodation and subsistence for faculty/students who are unable to secure their own funding if their papers are accepted. The workshop is jointly funded by the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Arts Conference Fund and the Harvard-Yenching Institute.  


Please email the abstract ( max. 500 words) and a short bio. (150 words) to workshop secretariat ( by 31stMay 2019. Kindly indicate if you are applying for partial/full funding in your email.  Accepted papers will be notified by the 21 June 2019. Please note these important dates.



31 May 2019            -           Deadline for Abstracts

22 June 2019           -           Paper Acceptance Results sent

07 Nov 2019             -           Deadline for draft paper ( 7000 words approximately )

21 Nov 2019             -           Preliminary Comments from referees returned to participant

30 Nov 2019             -           Powerpoint Slides / Revised papers due

4 Dec 2019               -           Workshop at the University of Hong Kong


Contact Info for further enquiries:

Dr Victor Teo (




Contact Info: 


Submit Proposals to 

Contact Info for further enquiries:

Dr Victor Teo 

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