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ERC Starting Grant for prof.dr. Remco Breuker

Professor of Korean Studies Remco Breuker has been awarded a subsidy from the European Research Council to study the dispute between both Koreas and China on the history of Manchuria.

Who owns the history of Manchuria?

This multidisciplinary project looks at the question of how the ancient history of the former Mancuria (now known as North-East China) influences present-day perceptions of identity in Korea and China. Breuker comments: 'There has for years been an ongoing struggle between China and South Korea about who is the legitimate 'owner' of the history of the Manchurian states. The dispute is purely about the history of the region and bears no relation to territorial ownership.' In the coming five years Breuker will investigate how this struggle has spread to informal history writing on the internet and television, and in film and literature.

 

The research group will also study how state institutions influence the writing of history and the role of North Korea in this dispute. 'A claim on the history of Manchuria is essential for the legitimacy of the North Korean regime, and it is this history that is now the focus of serious contention between China and South Korea,' Breuker explains.

With the subsidy of 1.5 million euros awarded to his project on ‘A War of Words: What Ancient Manchuria Does to Korea and China Today’, Breuker will be able to recruit four PhD candidates and a postdoc researcher.

 

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