Nir Avieli (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
Meir Shahar (Tel Aviv University)
Gideon Shelach Lavi (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
There is only a tiny thing that distinguishes human beings from birds and beasts. Commoners cast it away, while superior men preserve it (Mencius 8.19)
Animals – real and metaphorical – have played diverse roles in Chinese history, society, and culture. Bringing together scholars working in the disciplines of archeology, history, anthropology, art, religious and literary studies, this international conference will address the representations, roles and attitudes towards animals in the Sinitic world in the wide sense, including not only China proper but other regions that were in contact with it and adopted elements of Chinese culture. Extending from prehistoric times to the present and from Mongolia to Vietnam, and examining a variety of topics ranging from the domestication of animals, through dietary practices and sacrifice, to the representation of pets in the literature and art, the conference will address a crucial and hitherto neglected perspective on the global history of human interaction with the environment in East Asia.