S/N Korean Humanities is a peer-reviewed journal that the Institute of the Humanities for Unification at Konkuk University (IHU) in South Korea publishes biannually. It is a unique journal (indeed, the first in its kind) discussing the division of Korea and its reunification from the perspective of humanities (all other existing journals in this area of research exclusively belonged to social science, not humanities, as of 2015 when the journal was created).
1) Facilitating New Reflections on the Overcoming of the Division of Korea from the Perspective of Humanities
The dissolution of the Cold War and the rapid advance of the so-called globalization today are reducing the meanings of both nation states and ideological blocs (U.S. and Soviet blocs). In order to form a unification discourse appropriate for such a turn of the world order, a new approach from the perspective of humanities is required, which must be distinct from old paradigms that, taking nation state as an unalterable framework, concentrate only on the aspect of politico-economical system. The problem of unification has such a complex and comprehensible character that a study confined to a specific academic discipline cannot help but face a limit in its effort to understand the true depth of the problem and discover a solution. A new paradigm for unification, therefore, must be found through an interdisciplinary study organically combining core disciplines of humanities such as philosophy, literature and history.
2) Establishing Complete or Unified Korean Studies
Korean literature and history studies so far done under the condition of the division of Korea largely remain incomplete insofar as they are confined to South Korea (the same thing, of course, goes for 'Chosŏn studies' of North Korea). Furthermore, it cannot be said that the current Korean studies are putting sufficient efforts into studying the cultural modifications made by Korean diaspora residing in various areas of the world. This journal tries to facilitate the mutual recognition and communication of historical differences among South and North Korea and Korean diaspora, through which their eventual and peaceful unification may be achieved. In other words, it aims at establishing complete Korean studies, namely unified Korean studies, which utilize all the resources of humanities in both South and North Korea and Korean diaspora.
3) Seeking out Humanities' New Vision for the Unification of Korea
Today's global cultural topography has given rise to a situation of the emergence of diverse identities, the coexistence of modernity and postmodernity, the spreading of universal human values all over the world (such as human rights and ecological rights), etc. This situation necessitates us to search for humanities' new vision for unification that goes beyond the framework of nation state. The unification discourse must not stop at justifying the reunification of Korea at the level of its national history, but proceed to ask what kind of society South and North Korea should become through their reunification, what kind of country peoples would enthusiastically agree to live in together. In this sense, this journal, although it begins with the particular situation of Korea largely defined by its division, nevertheless seeks out universal values of peace, ecology and human rights and reflects upon the problem of overcoming the modernity bound to the national identity. This journal's focus, as you can see, is on the issue of the unification of Korea, but the scope of its interests is certainly not limited to it. As it aims at establishing unified Korean studies, it wants to discuss all kinds of problems arising in both South and North Korea and Korean diaspora. All the papers (articles and reviews) submitted to the journal will be considered fully as long as they belong to the field of Korean studies.
Themes covered in the Journal include:
• Philosophical studies of systems of thoughts and ideologies of South and North Korea
• Theoretical and/or empirical studies of national identity (national commonalities and differences) of South and North Korea and Korean diasporas
• Historical studies of life and culture of South and North Korea and Korean diasporas
• Studies of South and North Korea's literary works, films and mass media (TV shows, propagandas, etc.)
• Studies of Koreans' historical traumas and their healing