Dr. Radu Leca
After completing a BA in Japanese Literature at Kanazawa University, Radu Leca undertook an MA and PhD in art history at SOAS, with a PhD thesis on images of outside and the other in the spatial imaginary of late seventeenth century Japan. Radu has held research positions at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in Norwich, the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden and the Institute of East Asian Art History at Heidelberg University.
Radu’s initial expertise is in early modern visual and scribal cultures in Japan, with interests in images of alterity, the role of materiality and social practices, and the interplay between manuscript and print media. Radu’s other major research topic is the history of cartography in Japan, with emphasis on transcultural interactions and on cartography as a form of visual and material culture. Two edited volumes on the topic are forthcoming from Brill. Radu also works on the reception of Japanese art and culture in the West, as well as media studies, with a focus on philately and deltiology.
My teaching is driven by three objectives: encouraging critical thinking and openness to connections between apparently unrelated fields of knowledge: I encourage interdisciplinary curiosity in students by showing artistic objects alongside other historical documents such as
maps or objects from everyday life; dispelling stereotypes about historical events by facilitating access to a variety of original sources and alternative viewpoints; and understanding the materiality and social life of objects: I often bring replicas of historical artefacts in class and organize viewing sessions, asking students to imagine how the objects might have been used.
Exhibition Publication Award & Achievements