Korean Studies Working Group

Dr. Jaok Kwon-Hein
(Social Sciences)

Dr. In Young Min
(Political Sciences)


Heidelberg Scholars interested in Korea and collaborative Research Projects

Prof Dr. Harald Fuess

Harald Fuess is Professor for Cultural Economic History at the Cluster "Asia and Europe" since summer 2009, is the speaker of research area C "Health and Environment" and the coordinator of the Korean Studies Working Group while teaching for the Centre for East Asian Studies and the History Department. Before taking up his post in Heidelberg, he taught modern Japanese history at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom and Sophia University in Japan.
Other employers include the Boston Consulting Group in Frankfurt and the German National Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo. At Oxford University, the University of Duisburg-Essen, Columbia University, and the University of Tokyo he held visiting appointments.
After a childhood in France and Germany, he received his academic training at Princeton University (B.A.) and Harvard University (M.A., Ph.D). Harald Fuess lived in Japan for 15 years and has been elected president of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS) for the 2008-2011 term and served on the executive council of EAJS since 2000. His numerous publications cover aspects of the history of Japan, gender, consumption, cultural-economic relations, and Eurasian cultural flows.

Tel: +49 (0) 6221-54 4080

Prof. Dr. Barbara Mittler

Barbara Mittler studied Chinese Studies, Musicology and the Japanese language in Oxford, Heidelberg, Taibei and at Harvard University. She was post-doctoral research assistent at Heidelberg University since 1994 where she habilitated in 1998. Since 2004 she is professor for Chinese Studies in Heidelberg. 2002 she received the Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz-Prize of the Germen Research Association (DFG) and the Ministry for Education and Research. She is speaker of research area B "Public Spheres" at Cluster „Asien and Europa in a Global Context" since 2007 where she is engaged  in a number of projects, from the discourse of large dams, to satire, global musics, nationalisms, visuality, heroes and encyclopedias.
">One of the larger projects I am involved in recently, is a study of women's magazines in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan from their beginnings in the final years of the 19th century to the present day. The project is concerned with uncovering the changing meanings of two conspicuous figures in these magazines, the so-called new (wo)men.

Tel: +49 (0) 6221 54 77 65

Prof. Dr. Gotelind Müller-Saini

Gotelind Müller-Saini is professor of Chinese Studies and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at Heidelberg University. She studied Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Cultural Anthropology at Munich University where she received her Ph.D. in 1992 for her thesis "Buddhism and Modernity - Ouyang Jingwu, Taixu and the Quest for a Timely Self-Definition of Chinese Buddhism in the Early Twentieth Century". In 2002 she completed her habilitation "China, Kropotkin and Anarchism: A Cultural Movement in Early Twentieth Century China under the Influence of the West and of Japanese Models" at Freiburg University.

Tel: +49 (0) 6221 54 77 64


Research Projects

Cluster-Project A2: Schoolbooks

Cultural Flows in History Education: Shifting Re-creations of European and Asian ‘Others’ in East Asian Schoolbooks

Coordination: Gotelind Müller-Saini, Wolfgang Seifert


History textbooks are visible signs of asymmetrical flows of concepts, ideals etc., taking in a large part of diverse production measures, educational frameworks etc. from Western models, combining it with an own understanding of national history. In the process of self-definition, the image of the ‘other’ is of crucial importance, be it the European or western ‘other’, be it the Asian neighbour. On the other hand, a new trend of ‘common textbook initiatives’ has taken off in East Asia to readdress this asymmetry in mutual representation. The planned conference will focus specifically on this shift to open up a new line of discussion in the whole East Asian textbook issue. Furthermore, it will bring together people involved personally in the writing of national and multi-national history textbooks and scholars working on textbook issues, thus bridging also the gap between practice and academic discourse.

Cluster-Project B 2: Creative Dissonance

Creative Dissonances: Music in a Global Context

Coordination: Oliver Seibt, Barbara Mittler, Dorothea Redepenning


Asian-European crossovers in both popular and art music are among the most successful experiments within the global music scene. This does not mean that music is a “universal language,” however: the alleged “harmony” of “World Music” is a problematic construction, hiding the cultural consequences of complex historical processes. One of its characteristic asymmetries is the fact that Western critics have described non-Western musical cultures in terms of deficiencies. Such evaluations have been adopted by Asians themselves and have been integrated into their educational systems. This process again triggered a creative impulse which constitutes yet another cultural flow, now returning to Western musical culture. This project aims to identify and to describe the creative dissonances inherent and engendered in this process of (double) mirroring which has produced challenging artistic conceptions of global interest.

Cluster-Projekt C 12: The Asian Sea

The Asian Sea. A Transnational Maritime History of the Age of Imperialism, 1850-1918

Coordination: Harald Fuess


Most historical narratives of modern Asia trace the development of newly emerging nation-states. When scholars look at the region more broadly they often do so from the point of view of Western imperialism. What is missing is a comprehensive overview beyond the textbook level of the transnational similarities of Asia's modern history as it has been practiced in histories of the Mediterranean since Ferdinand Braudel's seminal tomes. This collaborative project uses the construct of an "Asian Sea" as its starting point to explore the transnational experiences and commonalities of countries adjacent to what has been called "the Japan Sea," the "Korean Sea", "Chinese Sea" or "the Indian Ocean" as one interdependent narrative connected or disjointed by their mutual maritime and coastal experiences. Country specialists will develop together common issues and comparative topics to be published in collective thematic volumes with an overarching emphasis on the "asymmetries in cultural flows."

Editor: BK
Latest Revision: 2012-07-16
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