Transcoding as Cultural and Social Practice

A Hub of Korean Studies in Europe

Academy of Korean Studies

Academy of Korean Studies
Image Credit: 최광모 [CC BY-SA 4.0via Wikimedia Commons

Freie Universität Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin

Ruhr-University Bochum

Ruhr-University Bochum

Freie Universität Berlin & Ruhr-University Bochum

Under the auspices of the AKS - FUB/RUB OLUKS (Overseas Leading University Program for Korean Studies) Project Circulation of Knowledge and the Dynamics of Transformation (2009-2014), a unique hub of Korean Studies has been created in the heart of Europe. Building on the extensive outcomes of this initial project both institutes succesfully applied for a second project titled Transcoding as Cultural and Social Practice (2014-2019) within the AKS sponsored CUPKS (Core University Program for Korean Studies).

Both involved institutions at FUB and RUB work hand in hand through scholarly interaction, through the organization of international conferences within the scope of the project theme, and through raising the status of Korean Studies within humanities at and beyond the respective universities by integrating the theme and underlying approach of our project into larger collaborative research agendas.

By means of this jointly conducted research-project, cooperation between the Korean Studies Institutes has been greatly strengthened. Joint courses for students of both RUB and FUB have been and will be offered. The respective curricula have been diversified and accredited, project-related classes have been and will be offered to M.A.-students of both FUB and RUB. A cooperation in teaching between the participating institutes on the graduate level has thus been strengthened.

The theme of the projects as well as the approach implicated in it have drawn much attention from colleagues in other fields of the humanities at both participating universities and beyond.


The key objectives of the entire project

Immediate goals

  • creating a highly visible hub of Korean Studies in central Europe
  • creating a strong infrastructure of social science as well as humanities-based researchers on Korea that will facilitate a continued flow of outstanding researchers and lecturers in Europe, with special regard to integrating Eastern European colleagues

Strategic objectives

  • overcoming the generally accepted perspective of Korea as passive recipient and raising awareness of the active role of Korean agents in the flow of knowledge circulation, thus enhancing perception of both Korea and Korean Studies
  • raising awareness of the significance of Korean case studies for theoretical considerations, generating further interest by scholars of other disciplines, e.g. political science, historical science, and cultural studies etc.

Research objectives

  • attaining a deeper understanding of the underlying factors of social transformation in Korea throughout history
  • breaking up preconceived ideas of cultural transfer
  • identifying patterns of the transformative dynamics of knowledge circulation

Teaching objectives

  • strengthened cooperation between the participating institutes
  • diversification of the respective curricula
  • more research-oriented M.A. degree programs, in which students are being involved into the respective sub-projects