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HOME > Research > HK Project
The "Trans-boundary Humanities" research of EIH aims to examine the many instances of "transcending" and "traversing" taking place around the world in this era of globalization with a humanities-based perspective, and focusing on the vast potential that 'trans'-phenomena bear, attempts to open a new horizon of humanities that actively responds to changes of our contemporary society and culture.

The 3 years of the first stage of the Trans-Humanities Research, which was conceived as a 10-year project is as the following:
First Year: To examine trans-boundary cultural phenomena and find a new possibility for humanities (from Nov. 2007 to Oct. 2008)
Second Year: To lead an in-depth study of trans-boundary cultural phenomena as a new humanities text (from Nov. 2008 to Oct. 2009)
Third Year: To establish a model of trans-boundary humanities studies that can be applied to society (from Nov. 2009 to Oct. 2010)

Current research trends centered around such themes are the following three:
 
First, defining the concept of boundary/trans-boundary studies, and attempting a theoretical approach.
This research is significant in that it attempts to initially define the basic concepts needed in examining the socio-cultural phenomena of today that concerns "boundaries," which is the founding principle to The Trans-Humanities agenda.
Also, boundary and trans-boundary phenomena of culture that occur in our current society are looked into in order to present a theoretical foundation for the study of concepts such as "multiculturalism," "interculturalism," and "transculturalism," terms which derive from a disparate understanding of culture.
 
Second, critically examining the various boundaries constituting the World, Human, and Media and proposing a corresponding discourse
This research focuses on the problem of "ethnicity/nationality," "man/woman," "majority/minority" and as the research progressed on each's generative structure and socio-cultural manifestation, it developed into an in-depth theme.
Research on the boundaries of ethnicity/nationality discusses how the power of locality has become a national ideology which influences many people through the keyword of "ethnicity." Research on the boundaries of man/woman aims to implement a gender paradigm which critically examines the boundaries between the subject and the other, and this perspective offers a basis for research on majority/minority boundaries.
 
Third, presenting a new humanities research methodology based on trans-boundary phenomena analysis.
This study takes issue with the trans-boundary socio-cultural phenomena, that is the movement of labor and 'migratory' phenomena crossing boundaries of ethnicity/nationality and reveals that gender order is being reflected and re-produced in the realistic context of globalization.
It also focuses on trans-boundary phenomena in representation or the media.
Analysis of media based on new technology which transcend traditional representation modes and research of crossing boundaries between media are being proceeded.
 
Glocality : Glocality as a Humanities Text
The Division of Glocality's aims are to observe and analyze the trans-boundary cultural changes of globalization's diversity, hybridity, and dynamism in relation to 'locality' and also develop a humanities paradigm of cultural communication which can overcome and heal the conflict and clash between the global and local.
The research objective from 2008 was to re-examine the overall phenomena of 'boundaries and trans-boundaries of culture' through the humanities approach.

Specific research objectives are to analyze and criticize the various perspectives toward world order of the globalized age, existing typological categorizations, and the cultural context of certain discourses by dealing with the concept of cultural boundary, humanities‘ inquiry into the nation/state, trans-ethical discourse, the issue of cultural translation represented by the processes of interaction, conflict, and exchange between cultures, etc.
Also, an international conference was held under the title 'Globalization and Cultural Borders: a Critical Re-examining of Trans-boundary Cultural Change' where issues concerning the spread of globalization/capitalism and its ramifications toward the Korean society could be re-examined with renowned international scholars.
This was a chance not only to provide an academic arena for establishing trans-boundary humanities but also to provide the foundation for spreading trans-boundary humanities to society.

The Division's 2009 research plan is, in continuance with that of 2008, to study the trans-boundary 'glocality' that can be found in humanities texts.
Ideas concerning nationalism and the division between nation/country, which are still significant in today's postcolonial and transnational condition, will be looked into, as well as themes related to diaspora and cultural boundaries in the globalized world, to the tensions between the center and the periphery, to the identity and/or multi-layer of local culture, and to the trans-boundary relation between man and the ecosystem in contemporary times.
As the changes in the ecological environment due to the spread of globalization have risen as a global issue, EIH reflects through humanities and engages in interdisciplinary study on the boundaries between nature and humankind.
Particularly, the relevance of anthropocentrism and the ecological crisis and the reciprocality between human/nature, history/nature, the earth/the universe, and life/ matter are being critically examined.
 
Gender : Gender (Un)consciousness and analysis of cultural texts
The Division of Gender set forth an incremental yearly plan concerning its main research topic, which is to systematize and pragmatize "co-existent" humanities through the introduction of a trans-boundary gender paradigm.
The objective for the first phase entitled, "Establishing a Trans-Humanities Research Model through the Introduction of a Gender Paradigm" has been carried out through 2008 and 2009.

In 2008, the focus was placed on setting up the foundation for upcoming research that would be done by the Division of Gender.
Particularly, the division studied ways in which the power dynamics between the center and the periphery could be critiqued with an analytical apparatus based on gender order.
The results can be summarized as follows: first, research on alterity and inter-culturality, through the exploration of the history between subjects who participate in humanities knowledge production and those who are excluded, and more specifically, probing into the cultural/social relations of migrant women or taking a historical, socio-linguistic approach to gender relations from the Chosun period to the modern era; second, genealogical research on how gender is constituted through the study of the reproduction of gender identity, specifically focusing on analyzing the manifestations of femininity and masculinity; and third, studies concerning a gender-based perspective towards "nature," and the possibilities of gender as an arena for cultural discourse.

The overall research theme for 2009 was "Gender (Un)Consciousness and the Analysis of Cultural Texts," which aimed to analyze the multi-level intersection of cultural power that occur (un)consciously, and the performativity that minorities possess.
Bringing together the various academic interests of the division, an international conference was held discussing the 'other' and alterity and it provided an opportunity to introspect on gender consciousness and the other as a cultural text.

The division also produced research results on areas such as everyday culture including that of the male and of the female, cultural power, and cultural hybridity, so that the accumulated end results could build a foundation for a trans-humanities gender model for the third year.
 
Multimedia : Field Analysis of High-tech Multimedia Culture
Under the objective "Research of the Multimedia Diversification and Cultural Transformation," the Division of Multimedia's first year action plan (Nov. 2007-Oct. 2008) examined new media environments and its subsequent reorganizations in the multimedia topography in an effort to establish a theoretical foundation for a 'Humanities of Convergence'.
Sub-themes such as: "An Analysis of Relationships between Developing Science Technology and Changes in Media," "Prospects of Trans-textual Culture," "Development of the Media and the Reorganization of Art," and "Changes of Human Values in the Development of Media Technology" were initiated.
In addition, much interdisciplinary output that traverses the fields of philosophy, philo-technology, arts, films, cartoons, photographs, literature, and advertisements, etc. was seen.

Through research focusing on issues such as "text culture and image culture," "the relationship between the image and the text," "media transference in the field of cultural arts and the movement of cultural areas," "understanding the French literary theorist’s, Gerard Genette, idea of the 'palimpsest' as an intermedial concept," etc., the members of the Division of Multimedia examined the phenomenon of media transition and convergence, which is a key aspect of trans-boundary culture.
Theories concerning intermediality, image/text analysis, and media aesthetics were able to be further developed.
The first research year marked an attempt to map the topology of the medium culture, while the second year's goal was to take a more active approach and study the actual areas in which new media culture is taking place.
Key activities include weekly seminars among division members, colloquia with invited experts, and distinguished scholars' lectures which all broadened research possibilities.

In the second research period (Nov. 2008 - Oct. 2009), under the project title "A Field Analysis of High-Tech Multimedia Culture", the division's focus lay on setting a course for a "Humanities of Convergence" by analyzing the current trends of the high-technology multimedia culture.
Sub-projects that were carried out include, "A Study of Inter-medium Trans-boundary Phenomena Taking Place in Cultural Arts," "Analysis of Human's Self-portrait in Multimedia Cultural Contents," and "A Critical Examination of the New Boundaries Created by Trans-boundary Studies" etc.
In May, 2009, an international conference entitled "Interface from a Humanistic Perspective -- Connection, Creation, and Communication" was held.
By setting forth "interface," as an important keyword in the cultural field of multimedia, the conference attempted to extend the interface discourse to new prospects from the previously mechanistic/technical centered discussions.
Discussions that transcended not only scholarly disciplines, but also the boundaries between academia and daily life were proceded.