A new chapter in the history of Modern East Asia Research Centre is about to begin with the new team of directors. Frank Pieke (China), Katarzyna Cwiertka (Japan) and Remco Breuker (Korea) represent East Asia in its full breadth. Their work puts particular emphasis on East Asia’s everyday realities beyond the headlines.
MEARC’s mission is to be an international centre of excellence for research on contemporary East Asia. MEARC aims to maximize the impact of East Asia research on stakeholders within and outside academia in the Netherlands and beyond. MEARC funds original research projects, serves as hub for academic and non-academic networks, organizes targeted dissemination events, and offers bespoke executive courses. MEARC’s expertise includes politics and international relations, and deep insight into the socio-cultural and economic dynamics of contemporary East Asia.
Frank Pieke received his Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley in 1992. After lectureships in Leiden and Oxford, he was appointed chair professor of modern China studies at Leiden University in 2010. Pieke is coordinator of the Leiden University research profile area Asian Modernities and Traditions. Pieke’s work on contemporary Chinese society and politics on focuses on the changing role of the Chinese Communist Party. His most recent book is The Good Communist: Elite Training and State Building in Today’s China (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Pieke’s other specialization is Chinese international migration. In 2004 he published Transnational Chinese: Fujianese Migrants in Europe with Stanford University Press. Pieke’s current research revolves around foreign immigrant groups in China.
Katarzyna J. Cwiertka is Chair and Professor of Modern Japan Studies at Leiden University. She is the author of Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power and National Identity (Reaktion Books 2006) and Cuisine and Colonialism and Cold War: Food in Twentieth-Century Korea (Reaktion Books 2012), and the editor of Asian Food: The Global and the Local (University of Hawaii Press 2002), Critical Readings on Food in East Asia (Brill 2012) and Food and War in Mid-Twentieth-Century East Asia (Ashgate 2013). Cwiertka is also the Principal Investigator of the project ‘Garbage Matters: Comparative History of Waste in East Asia’ (2013-2018) funded by the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research).
Remco Breuker is Professor of Korean Studies at Leiden University. He has published extensively on Korean and Northeast Asian history and is a frequent commentator in the print media, on TV and on the radio about Korean affairs. He is the author of Forging the Truth: Creative Deception and National Identity in Medieval Korea (East Asian History 35, 2008) and Establishing a Pluralist Society in Medieval Korea, 918-1170: History, Ideology and Identity in the Koryŏ Dynasty (Brill, 2010). He has also published several translations of modern South Korean literature into Dutch. Breuker is the founder of Leiden Initiative on Northern Korea, a platform that seeks to study northern and North Korea in its historical and linguistic context.