East Asian Studies

Aerial shot of the Great Wall of China in mist

East Asian Studies at Leeds traces its roots back to 1963 when it was founded by the renowned scholar of China and Inner Asia, Professor Owen Lattimore. Since then we have grown to become one of the largest centres for research and teaching on East Asia in the UK, covering China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the wider Asia Pacific generally. Most recently we have established the Centre for New Chinese Writing, which is emerging as an internationally-important centre for the study of contemporary literature in Chinese, and its translation and reception in the West.

Find out more about our Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentships in Japanese Studies (worth £10,000). 

We welcome applicants for research degrees in most areas of East Asian Studies, and current staff specialisms include:-

Literature and film

  • Modern and Contemporary Chinese literature
  • East Asian cinema
  • Japanese film, cultural and media histories
  • Literary translation between Chinese and English
  • Supernatural fiction and informal literary genres in late imperial China

Societies, Religions and Cultures

  • Ethnography and anthropology in China, Japan, Korea and Thailand, including ethnic minorities such as the Tibetans
  • Religion in contemporary East Asia
  • Buddhism in Thailand and wider South-East Asia
  • Gender, the body and technology in Japan
  • Civil society and social movements in East Asia
  • Social marginalisation and poverty in East Asia 
  • Socio-cultural dimensions of health and medicine in East Asia

International Relations

  • Sino-Japanese Relations
  • International relations and development in the Asia-Pacific Region
  • China in Africa