Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

JLanguages and Cultures of Asia and Afrika

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.06.00  Humanities  Culturology   
6.05.00  Humanities  Linguistics   
6.07.00  Humanities  Literary sciences   

Code Science Field
H630  Humanities  Paleo-Siberian languages and literatures, Korean, Japanese 
H640  Humanities  Languages and literatures of South and South-East Asia, Chinese 

Code Science Field
6.02  Humanities  Languages and Literature 
Japanese language, Chinese language, Japanese literature, Chinese literature, language politics, intercultural studies methodolgy, political systems in East Asia, Asian epistemologies, comparative psychology, East Asian history, African literatures
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  06980  PhD Andrej Bekeš  Linguistics  Researcher  2009 - 2013  378 
2.  13008  PhD Neva Čebron  Linguistics  Researcher  2013  180 
3.  28532  PhD Tinka Delakorda Kawashima  Culturology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  67 
4.  06389  PhD Tamara Ditrich  Linguistics  Researcher  2009 - 2013  123 
5.  26518  PhD Tina Ilgo  Culturology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  26 
6.  32275  PhD Saša Istenič Kotar  Culturology  Researcher  2009 - 2013  168 
7.  15862  PhD Maja Lavrač  Literary sciences  Researcher  2009 - 2013  181 
8.  15382  PhD Marjanca Pergar-Kuščer  Psychology  Researcher  2009 - 2013  234 
9.  24035  PhD Mateja Petrovčič  Linguistics  Researcher  2013  144 
10.  13009  PhD Jana Rošker  Culturology  Head  2009 - 2013  781 
11.  16232  PhD Mitja Saje  Culturology  Researcher  2009 - 2013  278 
12.  20753  PhD Chikako Shigemori Bučar  Linguistics  Researcher  2009 - 2013  229 
13.  24509  PhD Nataša Vampelj Suhadolnik  Humanities  Researcher  2009 - 2013  254 
14.  35347  PhD Matjaž Vidmar  Culturology  Junior researcher  2012 - 2013  10 
15.  24432  PhD Sašo Živanović  Linguistics  Researcher  2009 - 2011  64 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  96,932 
2.  2158  University of Primorska Faculty of Education  Koper  1810014003  15,135 
The aim of the research program is to gain new knowledge on languages and cultures of Asia and Afrika, based on developement of interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies oriented towards the object of research. Such choice means rejection of a particular tradition of research in humanities, based on 19th century European colonial expansion. Main areas of the research program are corpus based text pragmatics of Japanese language, Chinese literature, African literatures, political systems in East Asia, Asian epistemologies, Japanese society from the comparative psychology point of view, East Asian history, and as the methodological framework for the whole enterprise - methodology of intercultural research.
Significance for science
The incorporation of research sources in native languages has enhanced access to autochthonous, genuine information and knowledge. Such procedures are grounded on our firm belief that access to this kind of foreign knowledge is essential for fostering relations between Europe and Asia, and, in particular, between Slovenia and the P.R. China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and India. The members of the program group have created, through interdisciplinary research, a coherent framework for new theoretical and methodological paradigms in the field of Asian studies; they outlined a new idea of intercultural exchanges founded upon recognition and consideration of cultural idiosyncrasies of the regions researched. This research is further developing currently existing theories and methodologies in the area of Asian studies. Apart from the substantial outcomes and findings, the program has produced significant implications in the fields of social sciences and humanities. It proposes a development of a system which will reduce the danger of culturally conditioned misunderstandings or false interpretations of the social, political, linguistic and cultural phenomena of Asian traditions. The program’s conceptual framework has been avoiding the research methods which investigate the subject matter exclusively through the lens of methodical procedures drawing from the Euro-American epistemologies and theories of science, but has also included the logic of traditional categorical systems and conceptual structures which were developed in Asian traditions. The innovative component of the applied methodology is manifested in the application of new methods in the field of intercultural studies; recently, the process of intercultural methodology has shown that concepts and categories cannot be simply transferred from one cultural context into another. Hence the members of the program group have created a theoretical foundation of a new, discursive or conceptual translation method which will be further developed in the continuation of the program; the new approach has been already introduced to a wider academic audience at two international scientific conferences where it was extremely well received. The methods of such discursive translations are not a part of any existing methodologies in the fields of social studies or humanities, but rather represent a potential foundation of new, specific methodologies which will form a basis for future, more objective approached in Asian studies. Investigations of specific Asian theoretical models, social, political and economic structures, analyses and interpretations of cultural contributions which are offered by Asian regions, as well as their incorporations into Western discourses on this region fill an important gap in Western implementations of regional studies. Among its contributions, the program has also created possibilities of new insights into epistemological systems that emerged outside the prevailing guidelines of Euro-American intellectual history. Hence its outcomes also opened new ways for surpassing and eliminating Eurocentric, culturally conditioned prejudices concerning the putative superiority and omnipresence of Western theoretical models and clearly showed that the results of Western discourses are not the only driving force behind the theoretical innovations of the present time. The cooperation with European and Chinese partners has offered us possibilities for the deepening of academic collaboration and exchange with these regions. The inclusion of three junior researchers and two researchers who are in the phase of postdoctoral education has offered us additional opportunities for the education of future academic staff in the fields of Asian studies. The program has also enabled us to establish two new optional subjects on international relations in the East Asian region at the Department for Asian and African studies at the Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana University.
Significance for the country
The program is consistent with strategic developmental areas and national priorities of the Slovene Republic. Offering new insights into the culturally conditioned structure of Asian societies, it has contributed to the improvement of political, economic and cultural relations between Slovenia and the Asian countries. In the 21st century, Asian societies redrew the map of progress: the balance of economic power, if not the political one, is shifting from the Euro-American to the Asian region. This shift faces us with many problems linked to transformations of material and ideational paradigms, defining not only the development of Asian societies, but also strongly influencing international relations. Strategic solutions to these problems need to consider broader perspectives within the context of particular cultural backgrounds. They are not limited to economic and ecological issues, but also include political and social roles of ideologies and culturally conditioned values, representing the axial epistemological grounds on which rest the most characteristic and enduring institutions of these societies. The analyses of epistemological systems in the Asian region have offered new modes of reading of specific cultural features and their corresponding ideologies. Exploration of these issues is important for Slovenia as it includes studies related to the concept of “Asian values”, a new crucial element of contemporary political diction in Eastern Asia. The program demonstrated a potential for transferring research results into social praxis in various fields, ranging from the didactics of Asian languages and translations of literature, to the application of theoretical findings, thus drawing on cultural, historical, epistemological aspects of the program, so as to inform the economic and cultural relations with Asian countries. Its results have thus improved our understanding of the regions in question and raised the competitive advantage of the Slovenian economy and businesses, while also improving efficiency in other activities involving global societies. Translations of literature and works on humanities and social sciences have offered Slovenian readers a direct access to the cultural world of Asian regions. Thus the program has helped raising awareness of national identity and promoted preservation of natural and cultural heritage. The program findings have been included regularly into the study programs at Slovene universities and independent high school institutions in Slovenia and abroad. Continuous academic contacts and exchanges – especially in the framework of joint projects, research work and guest lectures in Asia – played an important role, enhancing visibility and promoting the Slovenian state. In this sense, the program was incorporated into the international division of labor which has important implications for the field of education of prospective young experts in the field of Asian studies. Studies in the field of international economy and in the trade relations with Asia, have namely repeatedly pointed out the importance of sensitivity to local, international and intercultural understandings. The project results which were directed towards the explanation of the cultural relativity and cultural conditionality of modernity Asia, have raised awareness of the differences and similarities of cultural expectations and values; they also offered new insights in the dynamics of their interaction, as they form the broader context for contemporary business relations between China and Europe (including Slovenia). Previous experiences, obtained through observations by the graduates of the Department of Asian and African studies at the Faculty of Arts at the University in Ljubljana, have namely clearly shown that the lack of success in Slovenian business relations with Asia (especially regarding smaller enterprises) is linked to the lack of knowledge and understanding of Asia’s cultural peculiarities.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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