香港中文大學 歴史系 歴史系

HIST5506D Special Topics in Comparative History: Human-Animal Relationship in History

2019-2020年度 第二學期

時間星期一 6:30pm-8:15pm



課程講師 潘淑華 ((852) 3943 1757 /


This course examines the changing cultural and social positions of animals in the human world from ancient to present times. Adopting cross-cultural and comparative approaches, this course investigates the various and changing roles of animals in the long course of human history as totems, food, working companions, pets, etc. The changing human-animal relationship is a useful lens to understand not only the important role animals have played in human society, but also the changes in the ethical values of the humanity over time. 


Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to 

  1. identify the various forces and factors that have shaped the human-animal relationship in different periods of time.
  2. analyze current controversial animal issues with a historical and comparative perspective.
  3. synthesize primary, secondary, written, and visual sources to make informed interpretations of historical and current issues about animals.

Lecture 01:  Introduction: Background and Issues

  • Franklin, Adrian. “Good to Think with”: Theories of Human-animal Relations in Modernity.” A Sociology of Human-animal Relations in Modernity (London: Sage Publication, 1990).
  • Sterckx, Roel & Martina Siebert Dagmar Schafer, “Knowing Animals in China’s History: An Introduction.” Roel Sterckx,  Martina Siebert & Dagmar Schafer eds., Animals Through Chinese History: Earliest Times to 1911 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).


Lecture 02:  From Hunting to Domestication of Animals

  • Bulliet, Richard W. Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers: The Past and Future of Human-Animal Relationships (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005).
  • Diamond, Jared. “The Anna Karenina Principle: Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated?” In Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (London: Vintage, 1998), pp. 157-175. 


Lecture 03: Animals in Asian Religious Traditions

  • Kemmerer, Lisa. Animals and World Religions (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • Liu, Chungshee Hsien. “The Dog-Ancestor Story of the Aboriginal Tribes of Southern China.” The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 62 (Jul. – Dec., 1932), pp. 361-368.
  • Sterckx, Roel, “Animal to Edible: The Ritualization of Animals in Early China.” Roel Sterckx,  Martina Siebert & Dagmar Schafer eds., Animals Through Chinese History: Earliest Times to 1911 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).


Lecture 04: Animals in Western Religious Traditions

  • Kemmerer, Lisa. Animals and World religions (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • Page, Sophie. “Animals in Medieval Folklore and Religion.” In Brigitte Pohl-Resl ed., A Cultural History Of Animals in the Medieval Age (Oxford: Berg, 2011).


Lecture 05: Animal Food Taboo (Tutorial 1)

  • Goossaert, Vincent. “The Beef Taboo and the Sacrificial Structure of Late Imperial Chinese Society.” In Roel Sterckx ed, Of Tripod and Palate: Food, Politics, and Religion in Traditional China (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp. 237-248.
  • Harris, Marvin. “Mother Cow.” In Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches: The Riddles of Culture (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1975), pp. 11–32.
  • Poon, Shuk-wah. “Dogs and British Colonialism: The Contested Ban on Eating Dogs in Colonial Hong Kong.” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. (Volume 42, Issue 2, 2014), pp. 308-328.


Lecture 06: The Age of Reason and Modern Zoos (Tutorial 2)

  • Cowie, Helen. Exhibiting Animals in Nineteenth-Century BritainEmpathy, Education, Entertainment (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
  • Rothfels, Nigel. Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002).


Lecture 07: Animals, Science, and Epidemics

  • Goodall, Jane. Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990).
  • Pepin, Jacques. The Origins of AIDS (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).
  • Torrey, E. Fuller & Robert H. Yolken, Beasts of the Earth: Animals, Humans, and Disease (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2005).


Lecture 08: Pet-keeping Culture and the Rise of the Middle Class

  • Kete, Kathleen. The Beast in the Boudoir: Petkeeping in Nineteenth Century Paris (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).   
  • Ritvo, Harriet. “The Emergence of Modern Pet-keeping.” In Flynn, Clifton P. ed. Social Creatures: A Human and Animal Studies Reader (New York: Lantern Books, 2008), pp. 96-106.
  • Serpell, James & Elizabeth Paul. “Pets and the Development of Positive Attitudes to Animals.” In Aubrey Manning & James Serpell eds. Animals and Human Society: Changing Perspectives (London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 127-141.


Lecture 09: Animals in the Age of Imperialism

  • Mackenzie, John. The Empire of Nature: Hunting, Conservation and British Imperialism (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1988).
  • Sramek, Joseph. ‘“Face Him Like a Briton”: Tiger Hunting, Imperialism, and British Masculinity in Colonial India, 1800-1875.’ Victorian Studies, vol. 48, no. 4 (2006), pp. 659-680.


Lecture 10: The Emergence of Animal Protection Movements in the 19th Century

  • Davis, Janet M. The Gospel of Kindness: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).
  • Harrison, Brian. “Animals and the State in Nineteenth-Century England.” The English Historical Review, Vol. 88, No. 349 (Oct., 1973), pp. 786-820.
  • Kete, Kathleen. “Animals and Ideology: The Politics of Animal Protection in Europe.” In  Rothfels Nigel ed., Representing Animals (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002), pp. 19-34.


Lecture 11: Politics of Animal Protection in the 20th Century (Tutorial 3)

  • Duffy, Rosaleen. Killing for Conservation: Wildlife Policy in Zimbabwe (Bloomington: Indiana University Press; 2000).
  • Morikawa, Jun. Whaling in Japan: Power, Politics and Diplomacy (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009).
  • Poon, Shuk-wah. “Buddhist Activism and Animal Protection in Republican China.” In Paul Katz and Stefania Travagnin, eds., Concepts and Methods for the Study of Chinese Religions III: Key Concepts in Practice (De Gruyter, Germany, 2019).


Lecture 12: Animals as National Symbols (Tutorial 4)

  • Nicholls, Henry. The Way of the Panda: The Curious History of China’s Political Animal (London: Profile Books Ltd., 2010), pp. 38-75.
  • Skabelund, Aaron Herald. “The ‘Loyal Dog’ Hachiko and the Creation of the “Japanese” Dog.” In Empire of Dogs: Canines, Japan, and the Making of the Modern Imperial World (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011), pp. 87-129.


Lecture 13: Conclusion: “Why Look at Animals”

  • Berger, John. “Why Look at Animals.” In About Looking (New York: Pantheon Books, 1980), pp. 1-28.

Class Participation: 15%


Tutorial presentation and discussion: 15% (6% + 3%x3)


Tutorial report (due on Apr. 10): 15%
1,500 words in English


Mini-presentation: 4%
Mar. 30, Apr. 6


Draft of Term Paper: 6%
5 pages, due on Mar. 26


Term Paper: 45%
3,500-4,000 words in English, due on Apr. 20





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