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EWHA WOMANS UNIVERSITY

Research

Korean Women's Institute

Korean Women's Institute

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Korean Women's Institute

Office

Longview House 1st, 2nd & 3rd Floors

Tel

82-2-3277-3225~8, 3458, 3864, 3865, 3797, 3798

Email

kwiewha@ewha.ac.kr

Fax

82-2-312-3625

Introduction

The Korean Women's Institute (KWI) was founded on 1 March 1977, under the auspices of Ewha Womans University, to serve as a professional research institute dedicated to advancing women's issues through education, research, and outreach with a vision of creating a gender-equal society. In the 1970s, when women's studies was relatively unknown in Korea, KWI launched a wide range of educational, outreach, and advocacy programs from a feminist perspective with the goal of improving the status of women.
KWI was instrumental in creating the first undergraduate course in women's studies in Korea in September 1977, and the first master's degree program in women's studies in March 1982. Since then, KWI has played a leading role in organizing academic exchanges between women's research institutes in Korea. It initiated the founding of the Korean Association of Women's Studies (KAWS) in 1984, the first nation-wide academic society for women's studies. In December 1994, KWI launched a major initiative to globalize and internationalize women's studies with the goal of making KWI into a world-class institute by the 21st century. The Asian Center for Women's Studies (ACWS) was established in May 1995 as an umbrella organization of KWI to play a leading role in the development of women's studies in Asia.
Since December 2005, with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea, collaborative research teams at KWI have been working on a variety of cultural, socio-economic, and political projects from a feminist perspective under the theme of “Global Cultural Changes and Women’s Post-colonial Experiences in Asia: Constructing Categories of Asian Women’s Studies.” This collaborative project explores the modernization process in Asia from a postcolonial perspective. It also seeks to incorporate the experiences of Asian women. The long-term goal of KWI is to create an integrated curriculum and establish an Asian women’s studies program in a decade. In 2009, collaborative research teams at KWI moved into the second stage of its exploration of the theme “Producing Feminist Knowledge in Asia and Constructing the Category of ‘Asian Women’s Studies.’”
Since September 2010, another long-term project “Becoming Modern: Women’s Oral History, the Politics of National Division and Development in Postcolonial History” has been underway. It is supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea and will be conducted until 2015. This project aims to reinterpret modern experiences in Korea from a feminist perspective by adopting a women's oral history research methodology.
KWI launched its own peer-reviewed journal, Yosung'hak-Non'jib (Women's Studies Review) in 1984 which is a KCI-graded journal by the National Research Foundation of Korea, and continues to provide a forum for scholars working on women to publish their work. KWI also Publicize the outcomes of research projects as monographs and reports. These include Women in Unification, Modernity and Transformation of Patriarchy in Korea, Globalization of Information Media and Women, Globalization and Women’s Citizenship, Locational Feminisms in the Global Era, Women in Asia, and others. English books such as Challenges for Women: Women’s Studies in Korea, Feminist Cultural Politics in Korea, and others were published to make known as Korea’s Women’s Studies to foreign scholars.
In addition, KWI has been hosting conferences, workshops, and seminars on a variety of issues such as gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment. KWI regularly offers visiting scholars appointments to foreign scholars who are interested in researching on women’s issues. Since the 1980s, more than 50 foreign scholars have been in residence at KWI. In addition, KWI has been involved in a variety of academic exchange programs.
KWI runs an online website entitled “Ewha Women’s Studies”(http://ewhawoman.or.kr) as a hub for women’s studies and to inform the development of Ewha's women's studies, research outcomes, and activities both home and abroad. As such, KWI endeavors to explore women's issues of the past, present and future, and to combine academic idealism and actual practice.