Founding Prospectus of the “Society for Cultural Interaction in East Asia”

    At the opening ceremony of the Institute for Cultural Interaction Studies, Kansai University (ICIS) held in October 2007, Princeton University Emeritus Professor Ying-shih Yu, recipient of the 2006 John W. Kluge prize ─often described as the Nobel Prize in the humanities ─spoke about the theories of civilization of Toynbee and Huntington in his keynote lecture, and provided encouragement by stating that the creation of “Cultural Interaction Studies” by the ICIS and the establishment of the “Society for Cultural Interaction in East Asia” were both very worthwhile. The distinguished guests from major universities and research institutes that attended the opening ceremony also expressed their support for the ICIS proposal. Afterward, we gradually established ICIS liaison offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, and Seoul, and took opportunities such as the international symposiums at Fudan University (held by the National Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies in December 2007 and by the Institute for Chinese Historical Geography in December 2008) to exchange opinions with a wide range of interested parties regarding the way the society should function, finally reaching the following consensus.
   Firstly, this society aims to carry out creative research activities with global perspectives and has defined its research focus as “Cultural Interaction in East Asia.” We consider this to include the topics of “Cultural Interaction between the East and the West in East Asia” and “Cultural Interaction between the Various Regions of East Asia.” In addition, rather than analyzing such cultural interaction (generation, contact, conflict, transformation, and integration) from “one-to-one” perspectives such as between two countries or two regions, we propose conducting analyses from the perspective of “many-to-many,” in other words, between as many countries and as many regions as possible.
   Secondly, in order to achieve the aforementioned goals we hold research meetings each year to exchange research results and promote reviews of methodologies and the sharing of resources. Furthermore, these research meetings are held on a rotating schedule in different countries and regions, enabling us to listen to the voices and opinions of the people in these countries and regions.
   Thirdly, regarding organization, the society will be run mainly by Executive Committee and Council based on the draft articles of the society . At the same time, the Secretariat in charge of the daily operations of the society is to be install ed in Kansai University for the next three years and we also plan to establish an Editorial Committee to edit the journal of the Society.

Institute for Cultural Interaction Studies, Kansai University (ICIS)
Director Demin Tao
April 2009