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2nd STAGE(2010-2013)

Cultural Negotiation and Hybridity

Objective : The study of cultural hybridty in cultural negotiation processes and the search for humanities' values for coexistence

Thanks to the development of digital media, a global network has been formed and the various culture of the late modern period is being spread.

What is more, local cultures with disparate language and culture systems intersect and co-exist, transcending time and place.

Complete cultural conversion in all areas of society is taking place and cultural hybridity is noticeably emergent in the intersections and boundaries between culture and culture. 

Research on cultural hybridity probes about the performative subjectivity that is manifested in the process of cultural negotiation to establish a society of mutual respect and open universality and aims to examine the humanities values necessary for pursuing co-existance. 

'Hybrid time/space and cultural identity', 'glocal cultural environment and gender dynamics', 'cultural translation and the performative subject', 'trans-cultural experience and diaspora' have been selected as key sub-topics. 

① Modern cultural experience and the reconstruction of identity

- Necessity of study: We need to correctly perceive the identity of culture/humanities while Korea has been experiencing modernity, and the process of deconstructing and reconstructing this identity is necessary in constructing the identity of 'new', Korean, and trans-boundary humanities.

- Research Content: As the 'beginning' of modernity in Korea and its experiences are centrally related with that of the Chinese and the Japanese, the research aims to closely examine modernity in Korea through a comparative historical study, especially, it will take a close look at the modern culture introduced through Japan.

Also, internally, it will examine the points where Korean traditional culture meets the modern. 

② Trans-boundary literature

‘Trans-boundary literature and humanities' imagination’ points out the problems with European-centered or Western literary studies and education and aims to bring a new paradigm to 21st century literary studies and cultural education.

Based on preceding research results such as comparative literary studies, trans-national literature, cultural hybridity, post-colonialism, it will try to establish a theoretical foundation in order to examine the position of literature in the trans-national/multi-cultural environment and study the poetics and canon texts of global trans-boundary literature. 

③ Study of cultural hybridity and the performativity of the acting subject

- Taking globalization and gender as parameters, this cell research will study upon the aspects of the performative subject's active intervention in processes of cultural hybridity, the process of conflict and competition between two cultures, the dynamics between two cultures and the results of cultural translation.

It aims to measure the possibility of producing a hybrid culture at a new dimension, going beyond just phenomenologically tracing the hybrid culture.

In the first year, it established the analytical research methodology through focused studies on cultural hybridity and performativity/behavior subjectivity theories. 

Posthumanism and Human

Objective : study of new perspectives and identity issues surrounding the human, transcending modern humanism

The reason-centered modern view of the human based on the dichotomy of the mental and physical lost its standing as the conceptual frame to understand the human after various criticism on its validity.
Moreover, contemporary humankind are faced with the emergence of various hybrid culture through migration and diaspora, the extension of the human body and mind due to developments in science and technology, destablization of the idea of time and space due to digital networking, appearance of a bodyless subject, and the emergence of various gender identity and other gender issues related with the aforementioned phenomena.
These trans-boundary cultural phenomena which are related to the traditional boundaries of 'human' concepts necessitates a re-examining of the basic categories that construct human understanding.

To correctly understand and define the hybrid, fluid, and multi-layered human identity that can be observed in these phenomena, a new conceptual framework transcending modern humanism is needed and we dub this as 'post-humanism'.
We set the new perspective of posthumanism through the link of physicality, the hybrid subject, sense and perception, constructive identity, and trace the identity of the individual (ego) and groups, the essence of humanity and the meaning of life, the status of the human in the natural world, and the various related ethical and political issues.

④ Reproduction of Posthuman and Cyborg Ontology Theory

- Aim for fusion studies approaching the various questions that are produced at the boundaries of humanities and natural sciences in the perspective of humanities

- Investigate the posthuman aspects in the reproductive media of SF literature, film, and art, etc as the products of trans-boundary cultural experience in which the human and technical media inter-penetrate, inter-sublate, and become fused and evaluate, through this, the new paradigm of 'posthuman'.

- Trace the transformation of human nature and life patterns which implicate the 'improvement' of the human or the emergence of the 'posthuman' through scientific technology and study related philosophical and ethical issues.

- Synthesize issues of 'interface' and 'convergence' which were the first stage agenda of EIH and approach the issue of "the human identity newly defined in the technology age', the core of the second stage agenda of 'posthumanism', in the perspective of the human and machine fused existence, cyborg ontology 

⑤ Homo Sentiens : the Co-evolution of the Media and the Senses

- Technology and media which were considered as human tools have now penetrated deeply into the human life and do not only coexist with human life but transform its patterns. Moreover, the perception and senses extended by technology is also changing the domains of the human mentality. The present cell studies on how the new media, adorned with digital technology, has changed and will be changing the human senses, perception, and sensibility and how related images exist and undergo transformation in various perspectives and areas. The characteristics of the digital world in which the division between the body and mind, virtual and reality, material and non-material become ambiguous and where variety, hybridity, interrelationship, seamlessness are emphasized, necessitate a new understanding of the human as a matter of course. In answer to this, the present cell has set the new understanding of the human as the main purpose of research while studying upon various keywords of the human and media, sensibility and image, and the digital and senses. Cell members’ specific research areas and direction are as follows: "image ontology' which studies upon the image and sensibility in the digital age through the esthetic perspective, "moist media and wet technology within contemporary art" which examines Bioart, etc. in the perspective of art history, "digital sensual theory studies" examined through media theories, "technology and sensibility" examined through the fusion of technology and literature, etc. 

Trans-Humanities Imagination and Reconstruction of Humanities Knowledge

Objective : Study of the identity of new humanities knowledge reorganized by contact and intersection with knowledge

The concept or system of knowledge is not fixed but transforms or is reconstructed through change in the cultural environment of each society or cultural contact and intersection.
In this sense, the Korean humanities of the early 20th century when modern studies were being introduced or the humanities knowledge discussed in the 21st century digital age are main themes to discuss in that new knowledge has emerged through intersection and contact between cultures.
In addition, to discuss the identity of 'trans-boundary humanities' which goes beyond modern concepts of humanities, research of contemporary changes should be proceeded with that of early modern period when new humanities‘ knowledge was being produced.

In the third phase, by researching on the identity of trans-boundary humanities knowledge putting weight on the dimension of humanities knowledge, we hope to contribute to the systemizing of trans-boundary humanities.
Setting the introduction of modern literature, the reconstruction of Korean humanities, the re-organization of the field of humanities knowledge in the digital age, the new humanities knowledge and 'trans-boundary humanities' as sub-topics, the theorizing of a new humanities knowledge will be possible.
Such research will be of a new humanities' paradigm which brings communication to and unites different academic divisions, and transcends the boundaries between different disciplines, between academics and practice, and between the academics and life.

⑦ Inter-cultural comparative literary studies

- Out of the trans-boundary humanities research team's first phase research results, it is necessary to deepen and extend the 'trans-boundary' research of theme dimension such as the 'diaspora' in the global age or 'trans-boundary cultural experience' at the dimension of a more humanities' introspection and interdisciplinary approach.

- Focusing on the fact that the meaning of 'trans-" has an emphasis on 'dynamic interaction' and 'inter-relationship', in humanities study, especially for the introspection of Korean humanities' formational stage, its current topology, and future vision, it is preferable to perceive Korean humanities within the international network, in a perspective differentiated from preceding methodologies and views, rather than perceiving it as particular phenomena within the geographical boundary of 'Korean' humanities.

- For this objective, we focus on the issue of communication/translation and the inter-cultural relationship between knowledge/ literature within the reciprocal relationship between cultures.  

⑧ Comparative and translation studies of East-Asia modern-contemporary literature and culture

1) Study of trans-boundary knowledge formation based on the dynamic process of knowledge formation: we examine the formation process and characteristics of early 20th century in light of creating a new trans-boundary knowledge based on the critique and reflection of modern knowledge systems.

2) Study of the creative aspects of modern knowledge reception and production through 'translative' and 'comparative' methodology: according to the modern diffusion model which contends that knowledge spreads from the west to the non-western societies, Korean modern knowledge formation can only be evaluated as one of imitation and lack.

The creative aspects of Korean modern knowledge can only be brought to light when the evaluating standards for knowledge that is received and newly formed does not resemble the original linguistic culture but newly produced.

3) The East Asian characteristic of knowledge formational process or knowledge identity, contrasting to that of the West: through the studying the process of three East Asian countries' ( Korea, Japan, and China) translating the same text, the aspects of translation, etc., we examine the characteristics of the three countries' knowledge systems and based on this, the East Asian knowledge system and characteristics contrasting to that of the West.

4) Gender and translation studies: we study what power the gender structure which moves modernity has on not only female translators, but translation choices for modern knowledge formation, translation circumstances, the form of adaptation, etc. 

⑨ Negotiation of Eastern-Western Culture

From the 16th century to the 18th, the West and East Asian (China) influenced each other reciprocally.

However, due to Eurocentrism which does not acknowledge other cultures, there was no real east-west negotiation thereafter.

Transcending pride and self-centeredness, east-west cultural negotiation which exchanges reciprocal influence should be resumed.

Through facing and negotiating with the other, the east and west can both have the opportunity to reflect on their prejudices and come to understand oneself and the world better.

We hope to contribute to trans-boundary humanities which overcomes the drawing of boundaries by pursuing mutually equal conversation amongst the east and west. 

Phase 2

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