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Official Opening Ceremony for Graduate School of East Asian Studies

Graduate School to Become Center for European Research on East Asia / Funded by German Excellence Initiative

№ 322/2013 from Oct 24, 2013

A new Graduate School of East Asian Studies (GEAS) will be officially opened at Freie Universität Berlin on November 8, 2013. Funding for the Graduate School was granted in the second round of the German Excellence Initiative in 2012. The Graduate School employs an interdisciplinary approach to the study of institutions in East Asia. It will analyze the origin and change of institutions, their effects as well as their interdependences in a global context. The keynote address for the opening of GEAS will be given by Ezra Vogel, Professor emeritus of sociology at Harvard University and one of the leading experts in the world on East Asia. Professor Vogel has advised, among others, governments in the United States and the region. He will address the “Slowing Down of Economic Growth: Institutional Change in Japan, China, and the Four Small ‘Dragon States.’” Welcoming addresses will be given by the Ambassadors of Japan, South Korea, and China. The ceremony will be held in the Henry Ford Building of Freie Universität Berlin. It is open to the public, and there is no admission charge. RSVP by email:

The Graduate School strives to become one of the leading centers of research on East Asia in Europe. It will train up to 15 doctoral candidates per year. Since October 2013, twelve graduate students have started working on their doctoral theses. In addition, three postdoctoral researchers are pursuing their research projects, and two of the three advertised positions for junior professors have been filled. The director of the graduate school is Verena Blechinger-Talcott, professor of Japanese studies. Eun-Jeung Lee, professor of Korean studies, and Klaus Mühlhahn, professor of Chinese studies, are vice directors.

The academic program combines area studies research on China, Japan, and South Korea with political science, law, business and economics, anthropology, history, and cultural studies. The Graduate School builds on networks between Freie Universität Berlin and the leading research universities and scholarly institutions in East Asia as well as the key research institutions in Europe and the United States that focus on East Asia.

The Graduate School of East Asian Studies is the seventh structured doctoral program to be funded by the German Excellence Initiative that is based at Freie Universität or with involvement of Freie Universität in the program.

Time and Location

  • November 8, 2013, 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Henry Ford Building, Lecture Hall A, Garystr. 35, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Thielplatz (U3)
  • Advance registration is requested by November 1, 2013: or call Katrina Walsh, Tel. +49 30 838-59697


Further Information

Katrin Gengenbach, Coordinator, Graduate School of East Asian Studies, Tel.: +49 30 838-51596, Email: