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.
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.
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-NK, where 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).
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.
School of History, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom