Leo Ching to Lead Humanities and the Arts for Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Leo Ching, leaning against Duke stone building
Leo Ching, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. (John West/Trinity Communications)

Experienced faculty leader Leo T. S. Ching has been named the new Schiff Family Dean of Humanities and the Arts in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, effective July 1.

Ching is a professor of Japanese and East Asian Cultural Studies in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES). His research encompasses empire studies, postcolonial and decolonial theories, cultures of globalization, critical game studies, and oceanic and archipelagic studies.

This appointment “will ensure our continued excellence in the Arts & Humanities,” wrote Dean Gary G. Bennett in a message announcing the news to Trinity faculty and staff.

Ching holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California San Diego and he is the author of two books: “Becoming ‘Japanese’: Colonial Taiwan and the Politics of Identity Formation” (2001) and “Anti-Japan: The Politics of Sentiment in Postcolonial East Asia” (2019).

In addition to serving as AMES chair from 2008 to 2010 and again from 2011 to 2013, Ching’s many leadership roles at Duke include program director of International Comparative Studies; co-chair of the Duke University Press Editorial Board; and past chair of Asian & African Languages and Literature, which was the precursor to AMES.

Ching’s appointment follows the four-year term of William Johnson, professor of Classical Studies, who established and held the inaugural Schiff Family Dean of the Humanities and the Arts position.

“He has been a visionary leader,” Bennett wrote, “and I am personally grateful to William for choosing to extend his term through the past year and continue his work to amplify the college’s longstanding strength in the humanities.”