Adam Cathcart

Adam Cathcart, Ph.D., is Lecturer in Chinese History at the University of Leeds, and editor-in-chief of the online journal Sino-NK

Research and publication

Cathcart’s research program falls into three main categories:

1. China-North Korea relations, encompassing borderlands, the Korean War, North Korea in the late 1940s, socialist cultural construction, and Chinese Koreans in Yanbian.

2. Sino-Japanese relations, with research on war crimes in the late 1930s, Chinese views of the U.S. occupation of Japan (1945-1952), anti-Japanese themes in the “Resist America, Aid Korea” movement, Cold War consciousness of Japanese bacteriological weapons research in Manchukuo, and policy toward rehabilitated Japanese war criminals in China in the 1950s.

3. East-West Cultural Relations is a broad category that includes multiple “one-off” article manuscripts on diverse topics. A handful of Tibet-related research projects — as they involve culture clash of various kinds — are categorized here as well.

Teaching Activity

Dr. Cathcart’s teaching centers upon modern China, the Korean War, and the history of Sino-Japanese relations, but also occasionally spans into on topics like Modern Tibet, Music and War, and questions of historical memory. In Northern Ireland in 2012-2013, he contributed lectures and advised student public history projects about the divergent memories and histories of the Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976). He has previously taught at Pacific Lutheran University, and was PLU’s China site director at Sichuan University in Chengdu.

At Leeds in 2013-14, he is teaching a full-year course on the Korean War, a course on China during the Mao years, and teaching an introductory module on war crimes and war crimes trials in East Asia, 1931-1956.

Media Activity

His journalistic writing about North Korea and DPRK-China relations has been published in various venues such as The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Diplomat, The Daily NK, and South China Morning Post. He has been interviewed by BBC (radio and television), NPR, Huffington Post Live, various radio stations in Seoul, Ireland, and the U.S., and quoted in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.His analysis is regularly featured on the website Sino-NKwhere he works with a global group of colleagues in generating substantive essays and working papers about China’s relationship with North Korea and in documenting the DPRK border with China.

Languages and Archives

Cathcart reads and speaks Mandarin Chinese fluently, and works regularly in archival and contemporary sources in German, French, and Korean. He works regularly in the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archive (Beijing), the Bundesarchiv (Berlin), the Hoover Institution Archive (Stanford), and within a large collection of captured North Korean documents (National Archives II, College Park, Maryland).

Current Activities

He is presently at work on a book manuscript concerning North Korean-Chinese relations and borderlands from 1945-1950, a project co-authored with Charles Kraus for the University of Washington Press in Seattle. He most recently lectured about the project on July 4, 2013, at Cambridge University. Cathcart is the founder and editor-in-chief of Sino-NK, an academic web resource devoted to chronicling and analyzing China’s ties with North Korea, as well as the historical and cultural politics of both Koreas in relationship to northeast Asia.

Adam Cathcart in Shanghai, December 10, 2011. Photo by Wang Yue.

Contact information:

Mailing address: 

School of History, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom

12 thoughts on “Adam Cathcart

  1. Pingback: 特爱的作现代作曲家,高平 / Gao Ping, Beloved Modern Composer « Sinologistical Violoncellist

  2. Adam,

    It seems in northward haste my transcription of the manuscript was left behind. Thus come to pass aforeprophesied unpleasantries, including but not limited to could you kindly pass on the original document that you printed out to the email seen above, as I think your additions to the less than supple machine translation I can reinstigate from memory.

    Praying the cult of techno-narcissism brings this message to you without delay,


  3. Pingback: A Note on Plagiarism « Sinologistical Violoncellist

  4. Pingback: Kim Jong Un in Bern: Full Translation of Die Welt Interview « CanKor

  5. Dear Professor Cathcart,
    Your extentsive travels and musical talents both in the Asian world and around the United states are very inspiring to me and our revolutionary China class continues to facinate me as it is my first asian studied class! My Ah Q paper is going well I think! I really feel like I grasped the reading and epressed myself in this first paper!
    P.S Speak more french in class! it’s lovely!

  6. Professor Cathcart, I am excited to learn all you have learned in all your incredible travels in the Tibet class this semester! I also didn’t know you played the cello!!!

  7. Kind of pumped that wild “Music and War” class I took with you at Hiram College got a shout-out here…that is still one of my favorite courses from my ol’ undergraduate days — well, half of it is my favorite…

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