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David Mervart, Ph.D. (Tokyo)


David Mervart, Ph.D. (Tokyo)


  • Assistant Professor Japanese History
  • Member of the Cultural Economic History research team
  • Deputy Speaker of the Junior Researchers, Cluster "Asia and Europe"

Contact information

About David Mervart

My main interest is the history of political discourse in the broad sense, in the period when this includes both the debate over moral foundations of sociability and the questions raised by the rise of commercial society. From this perspective, I have tried to work on the parallel intellectual histories of mainly 18th-century Western Europe and Japan.

My doctoral research dealt with the notion of ‘manners’ (and its Sino-Japanese equivalent of fengsu/fūzoku), in particular its eighteenth-century uses in both Far East and Far West as a term expressive of the difficulties political and moral theory encounters when faced with the experience of the social world rendered fluid by commerce, in what comes to be portrayed as an increasingly unstable history. Currently, I am rewriting this into a publishable form and teach courses on reading primary sources for early modern Japanese history.


Curriculum vitae

B.A. in English literature, M.A. in Japanese studies, Charles University, Prague.
Ph.D. in history of Asian political thought, Graduate School of Law and Politics, University of Tokyo (2009).
Research Fellow University of Cambridge, Centre for History and Economics (Andrew W. Mellon Prize Research Grant, 2008) and Leiden University, Modern East Asia Research Centre (NWO Rubicon fellowship, 2009). Research associate of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.