Shasha Cai

Shasha Cai


I joined the University of Leeds in 2021 as a PhD student in the School of English. My current PhD project is funded by the China Scholarship Council-University of Leeds Scholarship and is supervised by Professor Graham Huggan and Dr Richard De Ritter in the School of English at the University of Leeds.

My PhD thesis explores the Confucian anthropological machine, a concept indebted to Giorgio Agamben’s anthropological machine, as evident in literary works from late imperial China (Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644, and Qing Dynasty, 1644-1911). By investigating the operational mechanisms and frequent malfunctioning of the Confucian anthropological machine, I respond to Western Animal Studies from the perspective of ancient Chinese culture.

I have the active membership in Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (UK and Ireland) and Australasian Animal Studies Association.

Research interests

My research interests are Animal Studies, critical plant studies, ecocriticism, energy humanities, and environmental humanities in general. In the future, I will be interested in discussing animals from the lens of energy humanities, and collaborating ecocriticism with spatial theories.


  • MA, Foreign Language and Literature, China University of Petroleum (Beijing)
  • BA, English, China University of Petroleum (Beijing)

Research groups and institutes

  • Environmental Humanities Research Group