Adam Cathcart

Adam Cathcart


From 2006–2009 I was an avid researcher in the PRC Foreign Ministry archive, and from 2010–2012 I was largely living and working in Chengdu. Frequent trips to the Chinese-North Korean border region helped to underpin my work on that area until the Covid-19 pandemic. I am currently working on a series of projects united by broader interests in transnational movement of people and ideas around the time of the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War. I am a relatively frequent co-author, including with my PhD students. I am interested in PhD supervision in areas relating to 20th century East Asian history, especially projects dealing with the Chinese Communist Party, foreign relations in the Cold War, and occasionally topics relating to the arts and politics. Since 2011 I have managed an online scholarly portal,, which has been a useful entry point and vehicle for analysis of Chinese-North Korean scholarship. 


  • Link tutor for Northwest University (Xi'an, PRC)
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

Although the modules I teach are each themed around a specific nation, my teaching across all modules tends to be quite transnational. Teaching about Japan invariably engages with Koreans in the colonial period and the puppet state of Manchukuo, and the impact of American women on the US occupation of Japan. Likewise, the Korean War is examined from an international perspective, including recent scholarship on British dissent and China’s involvement. Discussing modern China, I focus on source provenance, using the work of Frank Dikotter as a problematic baseline and try to unpack the value and the drawbacks of defector literature in modern East Asian history, as well as Mao’s own mercurial writings. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Empires and Aftermath
  • Politics, Diplomacy, and International History
  • War Studies

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>