Pitelka named new director of Carolina Asia Center

Morgan Pitelka
Morgan Pitelka

Morgan Pitelka has been appointed the new director of the Carolina Asia Center and will assume this position July 1. Pitelka is replacing director Kevin Hewison.

After having served as director of the Carolina Asia Center since 2005, Hewison is returning to Perth, Australia, to his alma mater, Murdoch University.

Pitelka is associate professor in the Asian studies department and adjunct associate professor in the history department. He joined UNC in 2010 after teaching for nine years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he served as chair of the Asian studies department. A historian of pre-modern Japan, his publications include Japanese Tea Culture: Art, History, and Practice (2003), Handmade Culture: Raku Potters, Patrons, and Tea Practitioners in Japan (2005), and What’s the Use of Art? Asian Visual and Material Culture in Context (2007, with Jan Mrazek).

In 2011-2012, Pitelka was a fellow at the National Humanities Center. For the past 2 years he has been the inaugural director of the Triangle Center for Japanese Studies, a collaborative endeavor of Duke, NCSU, and UNC, established with the aid of a major grant from the Japan Foundation. Courses taught at UNC include “Asia: An Introduction,” “First Year Seminar: Japanese Tea Culture,” “Ancient and Medieval Japanese History and Culture,” “Early Modern Japanese History and Culture,” “Swords, Teabowls, and Woodblock Prints: Exploring Japanese Material Culture,” and “Samurai, Monks, and Pirates: History and Historiography of Japan’s Long Sixteenth Century.”

The Carolina Asia Center, a unit of the College of Arts and Sciences, is a core part of UNC-Chapel Hill’s initiative to strengthen its position as a world-class international university. CAC is the hub for three sets of inter-related activities focusing on Asia: Cutting-edge Research; Innovative Teaching; and Strategic Partnerships.