Department of East Asia

The East Asia Department (EAD) focuses on the study of history, society, culture and literature of China, Japan and Tibet with a significant overlap with Inner and Central Asian studies. Combining the qualities of thorough philological training and comprehensive knowledge of the source languages with methodological approaches that are often taken from the social sciences, the EAD fellows pursue their research along three main lines of enquiry:  1) philosophical and institutional underpinnings of the legitimacy of power in Ancient and Medieval China 2) the PRC’s propaganda, the governance of the Party-State and its ethnic minorities policy with special regard to Han–non-Han dynamics in Xinjiang and Tibetan regions 3) postcolonial developments within the wider area of Japanese Empire including, beside Japan, also Manchuria and Taiwan. In terms of research focus the EAD goes beyond the limits imposed by usual understanding of Sinology or Japanese Studies, opening new areas of enquiry. In case of China the focus on national minorities (such as Uighurs, Tibetans, or Yi) brings in a different perspective on the history of China transcending the artificial paradigm of national history. Such an approach enables the researchers to better analyse the dynamics of inner development of the PRC as well as its dealings with neighbouring regions.

At present the members of the department deal with the following areas of research:
Chinese studies:
  • Colonial modernity and identities in China and East Asia (Martin Blahota)
  • History, culture and postwar literature of Taiwan (Táňa Dluhošová)
  • History of Medieval China (Jakub Hrubý)
  • Silk Roads and China, the history of religion in China (Vladimír Liščák)
  • Phonetics and phonology of Mandarin; teaching Mandarin pronunciation (Hana Třísková)
  • Mahāyāna Buddhism, classical Chinese philology, philosophy and exegesis (Jan Vihan)
  • Ancient Chinese language, literature, thought, and culture up to c. 100 BCE (Oliver Weingarten)
Tibetan studies:
 Uyghur studies:
  • Politics and history of Xinjiang, politics and history of modern China (Ondřej Klimeš)
Japanese studies:
  • Cultural and intellectural history of early modern and modern Japan (Nobuko Toyosawa)