Javier Cha

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Medieval City of Rhodes

I’m a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong, where I research and teach subjects related to Sino-Korean cultural interactions and the digital humanities.

My academic training is in the history of medieval and early modern Korea. In the spring of 2014, I completed a PhD degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University with a dissertation on the social, intellectual, and geopolitical factors that contributed to the Korean adoption of Confucianism between 900 and 1500. A more detailed outline of my indulgence in Korea’s distant past is available here.

On the contemporary side, I am a committed observer of South Korea’s ICT sector. My fascination is with South Korea’s spectacular and unexpected transformation from a low-wage manufacturing economy to a major player in consumer electronics, telecommunication, and R&D. But not every aspect of South Korea in the 21st century is rosy. I am deeply concerned about interrelated issues such as income inequality, population aging, automation of labor, and dependence on large conglomerates. I provide a historian’s perspective to South Korea’s hopeful and worrisome prospects, through which I try to gain some insights into life after the end of Fordism and fossil-fuel economy.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading popular psychology. For those visitors who are familiar with MBTI and Enneagram, I am an ENFP 4w5.

I travel a lot. Few things in life I find more delightful than encountering new cultures and, especially, trying new types of cuisine. At the moment, I am enamored with Southeast Asia.

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Banteay Srei, Cambodia

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