Online Event – Animals, Science and Modernity: The Intricacies of Livestock Keeping in Late Imperial and Republican China

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Animals, Science and Modernity: The Intricacies of Livestock Keeping in Late Imperial and Republican China

Wednesday, 6 December 2023, 7:15 – 8:45am EST (1:15 – 2:45pm CET)

ASEH Connects Event

Speakers: Renée Krusche and Yan Gao
ASEH Connects Event Animals, Science, and Modernity

Winged, cloven-hoofed, furry, feathery or wooly – when talking about Chinese history and the societies situated therein, rarely do we mention the non-human populations despite their role in war, migration, culture and human lives. Bringing together approaches from environmental and medical history, this digital dialogue will explore the intricacies of rearing, keeping and treating livestock animals in late imperial and Republican China with a focus on horses and sheep. Delving into the history of these two species in China, the two speakers show their importance in the political and economic life of the time, but also the problems state officials, soldiers or medical professionals faced when trying to harness the two species for the state’s goals. Human objectives could be thwarted not only by unforeseen environmental factors but also by animals’ behaviors and their physical reactions, which not always conformed to human expectations but often ran counter to them. This event wants to invite reflection not only on the specific fate of these two species but also on human-animal relations more broadly.

Feature Image: “China Putzehei – livestock” by Anja Disseldorp is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
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is an environmental historian of Canada and the United States, editor, project manager, and digital communications strategist. She earned her PhD in History from the University of Saskatchewan in 2019. She is an executive member, editor-in-chief, and social media editor for the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE). Additionally, she is the Managing Editor for the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. She is also a working board member of the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society and Girls Rock Saskatoon and a Coordinating Team member of Showing Up for Racial Justice Saskatoon-Treaty Six. A passionate social justice advocate, she focuses on developing digital techniques and communications that bridge the divide between academia and the general public in order to democratize knowledge access. You can find out more about her and her freelance services at

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