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The Dynamics of Knowledge Circulation

Cases from Korea


Edited By Eun-Jeung Lee and Marion Eggert

The book is about the evolution and transformation of knowledge and knowledge systems in the context of cultural contact. The articles take Korea as an example and deal with the configuration, dissemination and consolidation of knowledge in certain contexts of the past and present. Combining philological and social scientific approaches, this book is the result of a joint research project of the Korean Studies institutes at Freie Universität Berlin and Ruhr University Bochum pursued between 2009 and 2014.

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Marion Eggert, Eun-Jeung Lee - Introduction


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Cultural transfer processes, as well as the evolution and transformation of knowledge and knowledge systems, have been productive and rapidly growing fields of inquiry within cultural studies during the recent decades. This volume – and the whole series of which it is part – aim at combining these research trends and making them fruitful for Korean Studies, while at the same time demonstrating the richness of material that Korean culture offers for studies along these lines.

From 2009 to 2014, the Korean Studies institutes at Freie Universität Berlin and Ruhr Universität Bochum have jointly conducted a project on “Knowledge Circulation and the Dynamics of Transformation”, generously supported by the Academy of Korean Studies, of which our volume series is the result. Our guiding assumption was that the paradigms of knowledge circulation and transformation are valuable tools for analyzing the past and present of Korean culture and society in due consideration both of its entanglements with and embeddedness in regional and global history, and of the peculiarities and specific dynamics of national and local developments.1 The concept of knowledge we employed in this endeavor is an open and inclusive one, i.e. not tied to criteria of truth or even of social validity, since cognitive contents, abilities and tools that are not widely shared can also evince transformative powers. In a series of conferences, we have combined forces with international colleagues to stake out several areas of the vast field opened up by this...

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