Emanuel Pastreich writes extensively on culture, technology, the environment and international relations with a focus on Northeast Asia. He serves as a professor at Kyung Hee University’s College of International Studies and as the director of the Asia Institute in Seoul, Korea.
Pastreich majored in Chinese at Yale University (1987) and received an M.A. in comparative literature at the University of Tokyo (1992), where he did all coursework in Japanese. After receiving a Ph.D. at Harvard University (1997) he started teaching at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign as a professor of Japanese literature. His research focused on the reception of Chinese vernacular narrative in Korea and Japan in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a topic about which he has written two books.
Pastreich served as the director of the KORUS House (2005-2007), a policy think tank operated in the embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington D.C. and as editor-in-chief of Dynamic Korea an on-line newspaper produced by the Korean foreign ministry. He founded The Asia Institute in 2007 while working as a consultant for Daejeon’s Korea’s IT cluster.
Pastreich has been an advocate for a more rigorous environmental policy in Asia. While in Daejeon, Pastreich helped to found the Daejeon Green Growth Forum, a group of researchers at major institutes dedicated to encouraging environmentally friendly policies in the city of Daejeon and Korea as a whole. The Daejeon Green Growth Forum was made an official NGO working closely with the Daejeon Metropolitan City and also collaborating with the 3E Forum of Tsukuba, Japan.
Pastreich has conducted research projects on technology and its implications for society with the Korea Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology, Korea Research Institute for Standards and Science, the Korea Research Institute for Geoscience and Materials, Seoul National University, Center for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology and the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety. In 2010, Pastreich co-founded the Global Convergence Forum, an association of research institutes dedicated to international collaboration in technology convergence. The Global Convergence Forum was later incorporated and works with research institutes on the future prospects for the convergence of technologies.
Pastreich is active in the internationalization of local government in Korea. Starting with his work as adviser to the governor of Chungnam Provence from 2007, he has advised the mayor of Daejeon, the mayor of Gwangju and the president of the Daedeok Innopolis Research cluster. He currently works closely with Seoul City.