Javier Cha

5.09 Run Run Shaw Tower
University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong


2014-present Postdoctoral Fellow in Sino-Korean Cultural Interactions
School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Hong Kong
2013-2014 Kyujanggak Fellow B
Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies, Seoul National University


2014 PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard UniversityGeneral examination fields:
– history of premodern Korea, early times to 1900
– history of middle-period China, 700-1700
– intellectual and cultural history of early modern Europe, 1500-1750
2006 MA in Asian Studies, University of British Columbia
2004 BA in Asian Studies, University of British Columbia

Awards and Fellowships

2012-2013 Graduate Society Dissertation Completion Fellowship
Harvard University
2010-2012 Fellowship for Graduate Studies
The Korea Foundation
2011 Excellence Award
Thesis and Research Grant
The Academy of Korean Studies
2006-2010 Doctoral Fellowship
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Language Proficiency

Native-level English, Korean
Advanced literary Chinese, modern Chinese, Spanish
Intermediate Japanese, French

Academic Activities


9/2014 SMLC Seminar Series, University of Hong Kong
“Rethinking the Rise of Confucianism in Medieval Korea”
3/2014 AAS Annual Meeting 2014, Philadelphia
“To Build a Centralizing Order: A Comparison of Two Aristocratic Regimes”
2/2014 Kyujanggak Colloquium, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
“The Reception of Neoclassical Confucianism in Medieval Korea”고려시대 신고전주의적 유학의 수용 (in both English and Korean)
10/2013 Kyujanggak International Symposium, Seoul National University, Seoul
“Genealogies of the Past: The Production of Histories and Anthologies in Medieval Korea”
3/2013 AAS Annual Meeting 2013, San Diego
“The Dawn of a New Era: Teleology, Geomancy, and the Yuan Origins of Early Chosŏn State Ideology”
3/2012 AAS Annual Meeting 2012, Toronto
“Figurations of Power in Medieval Korea: 1095 and 1454 Compared”
7/2011 2011 International Toegyehak Conference, Daejeon, South Korea
In Korean: “중세 말 한국의 신유학과 독서 관행”(Neo-Confucianism and Reading Practices in Late Medieval Korea)
6/2011 AKSE Biennial Conference 2011, Moscow
“Voices of Dissent: The Limits of the Civilizing Project and the Moralization of Politics”
3/2011 AAS Annual Meeting 2011, Honolulu
“Data-Intensive Methods and the Logic of Scientific History”
5/2010 humanities+digital Visual Interpretations Conference, MIT HyperStudio
“The Virtues and Limits of Data-Intensive Methods in Korean History”
10/2009 New England Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Brown University
“Korean History in the Digital Age”


20/10/2011-22/10/2011 NEH Reunion Conference, IPAM, UCLA
“Marriage Networks and Figurations of Power in Late Medieval Korea”
15/8/2010-27/8/2010 NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities, IPAM, UCLA
Networks and Network Analysis for the Humanities
“The Marriage Networks of Late Medieval Korean Elites”
4/10/2010-8/10/2010 History as Social Process: Forging and Forgeries in Korean History, Leiden University
“The Logic of History-Writing in Later Medieval Korea”
2/2010 Harvard-SNU-UCLA Workshop for Graduate Students in Korean Studies, UCLA
“Digital Humanities and the Future of Korean History: Historiography, Epistemology, Narratology”
8/6/2009-19/6/2009 GIS Institute Workshop, Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University
“Historical GIS of Middle-Period Korea: Prospects and Challenges”


5/11/2014 SMLC 7004: Thesis Writing, HKU
“The Use of Theory—Definitions, Significance, and Limitations”
3/9/2014 SMLC 7005: Transferable Skills in the Humanities and Area Studies, HKU
“Collaborative Research in Pairs or Teams”
4/7/2013 Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea
“Why Compute? Changing Approaches to the Koryŏ/Chosŏn Transition”
19/7/2013 Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea
“The Past and the Present in Korean History”
1/2/2013 First Friday Lunch Series, EALC, Harvard University
“Structural Endogamy in Late Medieval Korea: Research Questions and Computational Tools”
27/10/2011 Korean History 111: Traditional Korea, Harvard University
“Intellectual Trends in the Late Koryŏ and the Early Chosŏn”
7/4/2010 Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding 35: Korea Indigenous, Harvard University
“The Korean Appropriation of Sinitic Culture”

Event Coordination

Speaker Series and Roundtable

AY 2014/15 SMLC Seminar Series, University of Hong Kong
AY 2011/12 The Historian’s Craft in the 21st Century, Harvard University
eight sessions of roundtable discussions about technology and research methods
co-organized with Rachel Leow and Konrad Lawson

Conference Panels

3/2014 AAS Annual Meeting 2014, Philadelphia
“Bridging Korea Old and New: Re-Periodizing Korean History”
3/2013 AAS Annual Meeting 2013, San Diego
“In Search of New Orders: Geopolitics, Ideology, and Intelligence Gathering in Post-Mongol China and Korea”
7/2011 AKSE Biennial Conference 2011, Moscow
“The Objects and Processes of Social Transformation in Sixteenth-Century Korea”
3/2011 AAS Annual Meeting 2011, Honolulu
“Digital Humanities and the Mechanics of Knowledge Production”
2/2009 HEAS Graduate Student Conference, Harvard University
“Brushes, Blocks, and Bibliophilia: The Order of Books in East Asia”


11/2009 Review essay of Kungmunhak kwa minjok kŭrigo kŭndae (National Literature and the Nation–and Modernity) and Konganp’a wa Chosŏn hugi hanmunhak (The Gong’an School and Late Chosŏn Literature) by Kang Myŏnggwan. Journal of Asian Studies 68.4.
7/2009 Translation of Yi Hyunhae, “The Formation and Development of Samhan,” Early Korea 2 Cambridge, MA: Early Korea Project, Harvard University.

Teaching Experience

Courses of Instruction

AY 2014-15 School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Hong Kong
KORE 2035: Thoughts and Society in Korea
KORE 2036: Korean Society Before 1900
SMLC 7001: Orientalism and Occidentalism

Undergraduate Thesis

AY 2009-10 Joa Alexander, Harvard University
“Visions of an Ideal Society: The Role of Neo-Confucianism, Local Leadership, and Community Compacts in Chosŏn Korea”

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