ROEL STERCKX Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
I teach and study Chinese and Chinese civilization. Having grown up in a rural community in Flanders, studying China opened up a new world for me. I’m still learning. After my BA at the University of Leuven, I decided to focus on the study of classical and literary Chinese and the classical age of the great Chinese thinkers such as Confucius. Since my graduate student days in Taiwan, Beijing and Cambridge I have worked on Chinese cultural history, religion and thought, as well as classical Chinese philology. I am also fascinated by the ways in which the Chinese tradition reinvents itself constantly in the modern age. When I started with Chinese in the 1980s, people would ask me: “What will China look like twenty years from now?”. Today, they still ask that very same question. My answer: in order to understand China today and explore a China career in the future, you need to commit to mastering its language(s) and studying its past. That is what we try to do at Clare.