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Animals through Chinese History
Earliest Times to 1911

$84.00 USD

Adam C. Schwartz, Roel Sterckx, Keith N. Knapp, Timothy H. Barrett, Mark Strange, David Pattinson, Francesca Bray, Martina Siebert, Han Yi, Dagmar Schäfer, Vincent Goossaert, Sare Aricanli, Zheng Xinxian, Mindi Schneider
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  • Date Published: December 2018
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108677554

$ 84.00 USD
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About the Authors
  • This volume opens a door into the rich history of animals in China. As environmental historians turn their attention to expanded chronologies of natural change, something new can be said about human history through animals and about the globally diverse cultural and historical dynamics that have led to perceptions of animals as wild or cultures as civilized. This innovative collection of essays spanning Chinese history reveals how relations between past and present, lived and literary reality, have been central to how information about animals and the natural world has been processed and evaluated in China. Drawing on an extensive array of primary sources, ranging from ritual texts to poetry to veterinary science, this volume explores developments in the human-animal relationship through Chinese history and the ways in which the Chinese have thought about the world with and through animals. This title is also available as Open Access.

    • These essays move beyond the issue of animal symbolism, instead placing animals in the context of evolving knowledge paradigms
    • Takes a longue durée view rather than focusing on a particular historical period
    • Based on hitherto unstudied materials from China
    • This title is also available as Open Access
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This thoughtfully edited collection offers rich and varied work by an interdisciplinary community of scholars thinking with and about animals over the longue durée of Chinese history. The volume demonstrates the value of ranging broadly across region, time period, and source, and readers will find exciting new work on animals in agronomy, ritual practices, consumption of all sorts, literature, ethics, material culture, and much more.' Carla Nappi, University of British Columbia

    'This thought-provoking collection represents both the cutting edge of animal studies and a necessary foundation for future scholarship. It reveals the profound material and symbolic influence of animals on state and society, and offers fresh insights into the impacts of four thousand years of human activity on zoological China.' Sigrid Schmalzer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    'Animals through Chinese History is a major contribution to Chinese, as well as animal studies. Bringing together leading experts, it explores the changing attitudes towards given species, and the animal world at large, across Chinese history. This rich volume is a must read for anyone interested in Chinese conceptions of nature no less than the global history of the human interaction with non-human animals.' Meir Shahar, Tel Aviv University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2018
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108677554
    • contains: 21 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Shang sacrificial animals material documents and images Adam C. Schwartz
    2. Animal to edible the ritualization of animals in early China Roel Sterckx
    3. Noble creatures filial and righteous animals in early medieval Confucian thought Keith N. Knapp
    4. Walking by itself the singular history of the Chinese cat Timothy H. Barrett and Mark Strange
    5. Bees in China a brief cultural history David Pattinson
    6. Where did the animals go? Presence and absence of livestock in Chinese agricultural treatises Francesca Bray
    7. Animals as text producing and consuming 'text-animals' Martina Siebert
    8. Great plans song dynastic (960–1279) institutions for human and veterinary healthcare Han Yi and Dagmar Schäfer
    9. Animals in nineteenth-century eschatological discourse Vincent Goossaert
    10. Reconsidering the boundaries multicultural and multilingual perspectives on the care and management of the emperors' horses in the Qing Sare Aricanli
    11. Animals as wonders writing commentaries on monthly ordinances in Qing China Zheng Xinxian
    12. Reforming the humble pig pigs, pork and contemporary China Mindi Schneider.

  • Editors

    Roel Sterckx, University of Cambridge
    Roel Sterckx is Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science, and Civilization at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Clare College. He is the author of Food, Sacrifice and Sagehood in Early China (Cambridge, 2011) and other studies on the cultural history of pre-imperial and early imperial China.

    Martina Siebert, Berlin State Library
    Martina Siebert works as area specialist for China at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and as an independent scholar. She has written on the role of nature studies in the Chinese world of learning, the classification of animals and the construction of technological pasts.

    Dagmar Schäfer, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin
    Dagmar Schäfer is Director of Department III, 'Artefacts, Action and Knowledge', of the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin. She has published widely on materiality, the processes and structures that lead to varying knowledge systems, and the changing role of artefacts – texts, objects and spaces – in the creation, diffusion and use of scientific and technological knowledge.


    Adam C. Schwartz, Roel Sterckx, Keith N. Knapp, Timothy H. Barrett, Mark Strange, David Pattinson, Francesca Bray, Martina Siebert, Han Yi, Dagmar Schäfer, Vincent Goossaert, Sare Aricanli, Zheng Xinxian, Mindi Schneider

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