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Call for Papers: “Writing Animals in East Asian Classical Literatureand Culture” Special Issue

The December 2025 issue of Chinese Studies will be a special issue entitled “Writing Animals in East Asian Classical Literature and Culture” and guest-edited by Chao-heng Liao 廖肇亨 and Wei-Jin Chen 陳威瑨, research fellow and associate research fellow, respectively, at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica. Papers may be submitted in either Chinese or English and should respectively be 30,000 characters or 10,000 words or less (including footnotes). Form and style should follow the “Guide for Submissions to Chinese Studies” and the “Chinese Studies Stylesheet.”

A research turn towards the cultural history of animals has become vogue within various disciplines, positioning it as a forward-looking research topic of interest. Related research questions, for example, have emerged in Chinese classical literature, philosophy, the Chinese classics, religion and belief systems, etc., leading us in explorations of subjects that encompass traditional Chinese culture and even greater East Asian cultural exchanges: the shaping of animal imagery; transformations of animals into supernatural beings; developments in natural science knowledge structures; relationships between such images and politics, notions of religious order, and civilizing institutions; and animals in the dissemination of cultural meanings and trade. With this in mind, (nonhuman) object-animal observations may develop further aspects of interest, including the origins of extant animal imagery, as well as the use of records on animals and ecology (i.e., those found in ancient texts) within civilization, the influence of these records on how transmitted texts have been (re)viewed, and the light they can shed on lesser-addressed thematic literature; furthermore, these observations may even invite the possibility of the participation of traditional East Asian human-object discourses in contemporary animal ethics. This special issue invites scholars from the above disciplines or others to discuss the meanings and connotations of writing animals in the contexts of East Asian classical literature or culture from any variety of perspectives.

The deadline for submissions to this issue is Mar. 11, 2025. Please send submissions to

us by e-mail at or by the online manuscript submission

website at