Katarzyna J. Cwiertka is Chair of Modern Japan Studies at Leiden University. She has an MA degree in Japanese Studies from Warsaw University, Poland (1990), an MA degree in Area Studies from Tsukuba University, Japan (1994), and a PhD from Leiden University (1999).

Cwiertka is an established expert on food history of modern Japan and Korea, both as a domain of culture and as a window into historical inquiry that extends beyond the realm of cuisine and nutrition. In her research, food serves as a vehicle to talk about social change and global interconnectedness facilitated by colonialism, war, and cultural imperialism.

Cwiertka is the author of Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power and National Identity (Reaktion Books 2006), Cuisine, Colonialism and Cold War: Food in Twentieth Century Korea (Reaktion Books 2012), Himerareta washokushi (Shinsensha 2016), and Branding Japanese Food: From Meibutsu to Washoku (University of Hawaii Press 2020). She has also edited several volumes with a larger geographical focus, including Asian Food: The Global and the Local (University of Hawai‘i Press 2002), Critical Readings on Food in East Asia (Brill 2012), Food and War in Mid-Twentieth-Century East Asia (Ashgate 2013), and Consuming Life Post-Bubble Japan: A Trans-disciplinary Perspective (Amsterdam University Press 2018).

Cwiertka is the recipient of all three grants offered within the framework of the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme of the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research: the VENI grant (2003-2007), the VIDI grant (2007-2012) and the VICI grant (2013-2018).

Cwiertka currently serves as co-editor of the book series Consumption and Sustainability in Asia (Amsterdam University Press), and editor-in-chief of the journal Worldwide Waste.