Humanities Korea(HK)

* Funded from NRF(National Research Foundation) of Korea

Agenda of IEAS “Asia as Culture: Reconstructing Asia through Ideology, Institution, and Everyday life


In 2007, the IEAS at Sungkonghoe University was selected as one of the study institutes for the‘Humanities Korea Project’, part of the Korean government’s     Humanities Development Enterprise.‘Asia as Culture: Reconstructing Asia through Ideology, Institution, and Everyday Life’is our response to this role and is a research project that will eventually span 10 years. The project includes the chief of IEAS, 9 full time researchers, 6 joint researchers and 10 research assistants and has a budget of approximately 7 hundred million won per year.
Purpose of the project
The ultimate goal of this project is to establish a new cultural pathway toward an alternative Asian regionalization. Our aim is to sketch an innovative picture of Asia on the basis of lateral relations that will provide a cultural path that can be actively pursued. Our vision is to structure a perspective on Asia, not merely as a geographical category, but as a value-oriented category. Our study therefore intends to conceptualize Asia not only as an ideal, but as an actual form whilst retaining a distance from a fundamental Asianism which premises the continent as a static concept. Our analysis subsequently approaches the processes through which Asians‘in the real world’actively construct their own multi-faceted‘Asia’in relation to the trajectories and prospects of their lives. Attention is paid to culture on the basis of our creating a standpoint from which to separate both the macroscopic structures and microscopic interactions from the universal image of Asia and to understand how these structures and interactions make our lives. Culture simultaneously becomes a tool through which we can acquire views of who, and what we are; where we come from; and ultimately how we perform our daily lives. Today, Asianconsciousness and lives are largely structured by, and move within, complex economic flows and political change. Through regional mechanisms, diverse counter flows have emerged and our project subsequentlyconsiders the competitive social spaces where reaction and counter-reaction collide and reveal distinct‘cultural areas’. We argue that we should turn our eyes toward such cultural areas and recognize that they indeedsuggest the path to discovering the contemporary‘pulse’of Asia. When the idea of Asia is grounded on such foundations, we can concretely explore its future and potential. From this perspective, Asian cultural change or cultural academic change with regard to Asian studies is inevitable and essential. Through this approach we hope to reconstruct Asia as culture and consequently realign the idea of Asia to that of a close cultural movement group – in doing so we are engaged in an ambitious attempt to restore historical complexity to the inner space of Asia.  Many post-limitary and post-territorial flows that serve to transcend particular or mere national territories have steadily emerged and taken hold in the history of the continent. We therefore recognize Asia as a network of historical relations and not just as the sum of inter-Asian individualnations. Under this premise, this project will recover Asian regional characteristics and hybrid truths formed through triggers such as occupation, war, colonization, the Cold War, nation, capital and the market in terms of three categories: ideology, institution, and everyday life. Our project will interconnect with the pursuit of anacademic methodology to meet new demands in Asian study. Such a pursuit will naturally complement cultural, regional, contemporary, and historical studies.


[Expectant effects]


[Research Plan]

Asia as Culture Reconstructing Asia through Ideology, Institution, and Everyday life
Our research project is divided into several central categories which constitute, interpret and practice Asian regional cultures on the basis of Ideology, Institution, and Everyday life. It will consider both the autonomy of each category and the relationships between them. Primarily, we will diachronically review those ideological andmaterial characteristics of nationalism and regionalism which have proliferated in Asian areas. We also analyze the economic, political, and social systems that exemplify features of regional reality within Asian areas. We also study the institutions of education, marriage, employment, law and administrative policies in Asia. Finally, weconsider how local residents live their lives as citizens in relation to the ideologies and institutions outlined above. As a result, a complex reflection on Asian life will be revealed through examination of the everyday sectors affected by change, practice and the dislocation of the ideologies and institutions.


[Sub-categories of Culture]
  • Ideology : Knowledge/discourse, ideology, value regime and symbolic systemlaw and regulation
  • Institution : norms, rituals and customsagency,
  • Everyday life : structure of feeling, and performative practices


[Relationships among Ideology, Institution, and Everyday life]


[3-step Plans]


[Process of Agenda]