Promising the next quarter century
Quarter century has passed since our institute was established. In many difficult situations, senior professors had been accumulated a lot of valuable accomplishment. Today it becomes the Institute's strength. Selected as Key Institute(重點硏究所) of Korea Research Foundation(KRF) in 1999; it is also because of passions of junior professors and researchers following senior researchers. In the 2008, our institute was selected as Excellent Key Institute(優秀重點硏究所) in Korea Research Foundation; it is great honor of researchers.
Now we face the global challenges that our institute need to jump up as international institute studying island culture through repeated challenges. An island is a land above the sea, the relationship between island and sea is not separable. It is reason why we had been use the two terms 'island and maritime (島嶼海洋)" as idiomatic language in island study. Once sea recognized as a barrier of discontinuation, island is considered to be isolated. However, when the sea as a route to connect, the island is a stepping-stone of communication.
Depending on the perception of the sea, the island will have the duality. In the historical record, island in the Goryeo(高麗) Dynasty (AD918~1392) had role of stepping-stone, but it was an isolated space in the Joseon(朝鮮) Dynasty (AD1392~1910). In the Joseon Dynasty, two policies of 'prohibiting sea(海禁)' that bans the people's maritime activity and 'closing island(空島)' that bans the living in the island are shown the symbolic relations of island as a barrier and sea as an isolated space. Old-time space recognition to island and maritime had been continued even in modern time. We unconsciously ignore the island and maritime in the land-centric closed awareness.
The 21 Century is the "Era of Marine". Competition and conflict against maritime territory are occurring in the international society. In this meaning, it is important to think the island as national peace's keepers. Moreover, it is necessarily urgent that we have to move forward to island and maritime, openly recognized world.
Our institute is conducting diverse research on island and maritime to the practical response to the request. Starting as literature, history and philosophy, our inter-disciplinary researches are expanded to sociology and cultural studies, eco-geography and humanities policy. Therefore, we are promising the next quarter century. First instance is important! Don't forget the first instance!