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Dr John Knight

PhD (London)

Reader in Anthropology

Anthropology Undergraduate Pathway Co-ordinator

Minzu Exchange Co-ordinator

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9097 3703

Office: 14UQ.203


John Knight completed his doctorate in 1992 at the London School of Economics on the theme of social change in Japanese mountain villages. Before coming to Queen’s, he held research fellowships in Japanese Studies at Wadham College Oxford and at the International Institute of Asian Studies in Leiden University.

Research Interests

He has undertaken extensive field research in rural Japan on a range of topics, including migration, forestry and tourism, on which he has published widely. His other main area of research is human-animal relations, including hunting, people-wildlife conflict, and wildlife tourism.

Select Publications


Herding Monkeys to Paradise (Brill, 2011)

Waiting for Wolves in Japan (OUP, 2003, Hawaii, 2006)

Animals in Person. Edited (Berg, 2005).

Wildlife in Asia: Cultural Perspectives. Edited (Routledge Curzon, 2004)  

Demographic Change and the Family in Japan’s Aging Society. Co-edited with J. Traphagan (SUNY 2003).

Natural Enemies. Edited (Routledge, 2000).


2012. ‘The anonymity of the hunt: a critique of the hunting–as–sharing thesis’. Current Anthropology 53. (in press)

2010.  ‘The ready-to-view wild monkey: the convenience principle in Japanese wildlife tourism’. Annals of Tourism Research 37 (3): 744-762.

2009.  ‘Making wildlife viewable: habituation and attraction’. Society and Animals 17 (2): 167-184.

2006.  ‘Monkey mountain as a megazoo: analysing the naturalistic claims of “wild monkey parks” in Japan’. Society and Animals
14 (3):245-264.

2000.  ‘From timber to tourism: recommoditizing the Japanese forest’. Development and Change 31 (1), pp.341-359.

1999.  ‘Monkeys on the move: the natural symbolism of people-macaque conflict in Japan’. Journal of Asian Studies 58 (3): 622-647.

1998. ‘Selling mother's love: mail order village food in Japan’. Journal of Material Culture 3 (2): 153-173.

1997. ‘A tale of two forests: reforestation as discourse in Japan and beyond’. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (MAN) n.s. 3 (4): 711-730.

1996. ‘Competing hospitalities in Japanese rural tourism’. Annals of Tourism Research 23 (1): 165-180.

1995. `Tourist as stranger? Explaining rural tourism in Japan’. Social Anthropology 3 (3): 219-234.

Entry on PURE research portal



Dr. Knight teaches on the following modules:

ANT1003 A World on the Move: Anthropological and Historical Approaches to Globalization

ANT2007/3027 Human-Animal Relations

ANT2008/3033 Japanese Society

ANT7009 Ethnographic Writing in Social Anthropology


Current PhD supervision

Stuart Greenberg. ‘The relationship between humans and bears in Anchorage, Alaska’.

Elina Rowley. ‘Human–shark relationships in coastal Queensland’.

Gavin Watters. ‘The twelfth man: an anthropological study of Cliftonville F.C. football supporters’.


Recent PhDs supervised

Gemma Wieberg (2010) ‘Opening the way: Hmong kinship and belonging in far north Queensland’.