Professor Chair for Asian Art
From 2018, Anne Gerritsen holds the Chair of Asian Art at Leiden University. This position is generously sponsored by the Royal Asian Art Society in the Netherlands, Hulsewé Wazniewski Foundation, Isaac Alfred Ailion Foundation, Foundation for the Study of China at Leiden University, and the Jan Menze van Diepen Stichting. She has her institutional home base in LIAS but contributes regularly to LIAS-LUCAS collaboration. She is also Professor in the History Department at Warwick University. Her research interests include material culture in history, food and food cultures in Asia and Europe, theory and methods of history, and gender.
From 2018, Anne Gerritsen holds the Chair of Asian Art at Leiden University. This position is generously sponsored by the Royal Asian Art Society in the Netherlands, Hulsewé Wazniewski Foundation, Isaac Alfred Ailion Foundation, Foundation for the Study of China at Leiden University, and the Jan Menze van Diepen Stichting. She has her institutional home base in LIAS but will be structurally contributing to LIAS-LUCAS collaboration. She is also Professor in the History Department at Warwick University. She holds an MA in Chinese Studies from Leiden University, and a PhD in East Asian Languages & Civilizations from Harvard University (2001). Her research interests include (Asian) material culture within (global) history, food and food cultures in the exchange between Asia and Europe, theory and methods of history, and gender. At Leiden University, in addition to programs in Asian Studies and Art History, she will contribute to the University’s collaboration with external partners such as VVAK and museums.
Fields of interest
- Art and material culture of Asia
- Late imperial Chinese history and culture
- Global history and the material culture of global connections
- Porcelain and the history of kilns sites in Jiangxi
Description of research
Most of my research to date falls into several separate areas. My dissertation research focused on Ji’an (Jizhou) prefecture in Jiangxi province during the Song-Yuan-Ming transition, exploring the ways in which literati ‘belonged’ to the locality. I found that temples, shrines and other local institutions were key sites for the expression of local belonging. I then published a number of pieces on the subject of women and gender in late imperial China, only to return to Jiangxi’s local history from a completely different angle: through the history of ceramics production sites, specifically Jizhou and Jingdezhen. I have also become actively involved in research on the theme of ‘global material culture’, exploring the ways in which ceramics and foodstuffs can be seen as part of a more widely shared material culture.
My forthcoming book, The City of Blue and White, deals with the history of the ceramics production centre of Jingdezhen.
We think of blue-and-white porcelain as the ultimate global commodity: throughout East and South-east Asia, the Indian Ocean including the African coasts, the Americas and Europe, consumers desired Chinese porcelains. Many of these were made in the kilns in and surrounding Jingdezhen. Found in almost every part of the world, Jingdezhen’s porcelains had a far-reaching impact on global consumption, which in turn shaped the local manufacturing processes. The imperial kilns of Jingdezhen produced ceramics for the court, while nearby private kilns manufactured for the global market. In this book, I ask how this kiln complex could manufacture such quality, quantity and variety. I explore how objects tell the story of the past, connecting texts with objects, objects with natural resources, and skilled hands with the shapes and designs they produced. Through the manufacture and consumption of Jingdezhen’s porcelains, I argue, China participated in the early modern world.
I teach only during the first semester in Leiden. I am available for supervision of MA and PhD theses.
PhD Harvard University (2001)
MA Leiden University (1992)
2016- Professor, University of Warwick
2013-2018-Kikkoman Chair for the study of Asia-Europe interaction, with special attention to art, material culture and human dynamics
2012- Associate Professor (Reader), University of Warwick
2006-2012 Associate Professor, University of Warwick
2001-2005 Lecturer B, University of Warwick
Selected grants and awards:
- Wellcome Trust seed grant, “Therapeutic Commodities”, 2017-2019.
- “Fellow-in-Residence” award, Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study, 2013-14.
- Arts and Humanities Research Council Network grant on ‘Global Commodities’, with Professor Giorgio Riello, (2010-2012)
- Arts and Humanities Research Council Early Career Grant on ‘Global Jingdezhen’ (2008-2011)
- The City of Blue and White: Chinese Porcelain and the Early Modern World, forthcoming in 2019 with Cambridge University Press
- Global Gifts, edited by Zoltan Biedermann, Giorgio Riello and Anne Gerritsen (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
- Micro-Spatial Histories of Global Labour, edited by Christian de Vito and Anne Gerritsen (Palgrave, 2017).
- Global Lives of Things: The Material Culture of Connections in the Early Modern World, edited by Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello. Routledge, 2016.
- Writing Material Culture History, edited by Giorgio Riello and Anne Gerritsen. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.
No relevant ancillary activities