Australasian Animal Studies Association

Cai, Shasha

PhD Candidate

University of Leeds
Research interests / activities

I am a PhD candidate in the School of English at the University of Leeds. My PhD research centres on exploring human-animal relationships within late imperial Chinese literary works. To date, I have successfully drafted three chapters for my thesis, delving into topics such as trickster figures, queer animals, and the concept of becoming-animal. The literary animals I have examined include the monkey, fox, and snake. Currently, my focus is on crafting the fourth chapter of my thesis, which will delve into the companion animal, the horse.


1. “Many are the turns of kingship; By next year it will be mine!”: Monkey King as the Disruptive Trickster in Journey to the West (Performing and Resisting Power in
Early Modern Life, Online Conference, May 2023)
2. The Liminality of Fox Spirits in Chinese Zhiguai (ASLE-UKI Biennial Conference: Transition, Liverpool, August 2023)
3. Tracing the Continuum of Zoébios Through the Queer Fox Spirit Motif in Chinese Zhiguai (Critical Animal Studies Graduate conference: Zoopolitics of Life and Death, Venice, October 2023)
4. Human Vulnerability Revisited: The Experience of Preying (Animals, Streets, and Health Workshop, Liverpool, Spring 2024)