Mission Statement and Goals

The goal of the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations
can be elaborated as following seven different aims.

1. Establish the basic ground of humanities studies on four different regions of Asia

The department seeks to offer appropriate academic facilities for regional studies on West Asia, South Asia(India), Southeast Asia, and Japan. Individual facility is composed of various studies including language, literature, history, philosophy, religion and art, which synthetically serve to provide humanitarian knowledge for social scientific regional studies.

2. Provide the curriculum encompassing broad regional studies

The humanities studies besides on South Korea have been mainly focused on China and a few countries in North America, which inevitably entailed biased perspectives by overlooking major regions such as West Asia, South Asia(India), Southeastern Asia, Japan, and Africa. In pursuit of overcoming this tendency, our department established academic facilities which take four major regions into consideration: West Asia, South Asia(India), Southeast Asia, and Japan in order to provide broader perspectives on regional studies of Asia.

3. Encourage interdisciplinary studies

The previous system had offered separated studies on language, history and philosophy within humanities department, which led to the lack of communication among the related studies. We aim to overcome this limitation by providing broad academic system covering four different major regions in Asia in order to offer synthetic studies concerning literature, language, history, philosophy, religion and art. - The name of the department <Asian Languages and Civilizations> indicates our aim to overcome the tendency of language oriented academic system, and provide more integral approaches.

4. Develop an original research and education model of humanities

As interdisciplinary methodology and communicative approaches have become more important in contemporary academia, it is necessary to apply this interdisciplinary model not only to research but also to education. The department is bound to provide appropriate facility and encourages students to apply interdisciplinary research with related fields from different departments. In the process of it, an original model for humanities beyond the academic boundaries can be invented.

5. Apply complementary approach to humanities of Western and Eastern studies

The department aims to shed light on Asia within the broad context of the world by adopting academic results of established studies on Western culture in humanities. Being aware of predominance of Western research model in humanities, we are bound to contribute to develop our own independent perspectives and methodologies based on Asian tradition. In the process of it, we expect to establish complementary relations between studies on Asia and studies on Western within humanities department, so as to play a leading role in international academia.

6. Meet the demands of globalization of Seoul National University

By providing education on language and civilization of previously overlooked fields such as West Asia, South Asia(India), Southeast Asia, and Japan, we aim to offer humanities basis for ongoing regional studies and education from different academia in the university. We aim to strengthen the competitiveness of humanities, which will lead the humanities department to play a critical role in the university’s plan for globalization.

7. Meet the social demands for humanities

Aligned with increasing international exchange, the necessity of thorough understanding on culture and tradition of diverse regions in the world has been growing significantly. To react actively and appropriately to ever faster changes in social demands, we aim to provide education on regional languages and cultural traditions. By putting emphasis on liberal basis in specific contents of education, we aim to distinguish from social scientific approaches yet at the same time encouraging certain level of cooperation with them.