Narrating Cats and Cat Lovers in Modern China: Animality, Subjectivity, and Media Space

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2020

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Abstract

This thesis examines cats and cat lovers in the intersection between the humananimal relationship and the cultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth century China and beyond. I argue that the presentation and representation of cats and cat lovers in the media space partake in the process of subjectivity formation and complicate the understanding of the human-nonhuman boundaries and the intersubjective space where humans and animals co-exist. Drawing evidence from cat anthologies in late Qing, newspapers, film magazines, pictorials in Republican Shanghai, manga, animation, and TV shows circulated in contemporary East Asian cyberspace, my project suggests three major realms of change associated with cats that have influenced the subjectivity formation in the human-animal interaction and imagination. My inquiry contributes to a deeper understanding of the agency of both cats and cat lovers actively embodies in the socio-cultural construction and the re-thinking of an alternative and non-anthropocentric way of reading and interpreting the practices and discourses related to animal-human relationships.

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Lu, Chuxu (2020). Narrating Cats and Cat Lovers in Modern China: Animality, Subjectivity, and Media Space. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20815.

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