Institute for East Asian Studies at Sogang University (SIEAS): A Brief Introduction
The Institute for East Asian Studies at Sogang University (SIEAS) was established in November 1981 with the aim of promoting and facilitating pure and applied academic research on the politics, economies, societies, and cultures of East and Southeast Asian countries and regions, as well as to enhance public understanding. Since its establishment, the Institute has led East Asian and Southeast Asian studies in Korea, and it has played the role of a research hub, closely working with scholars, area specialists, research centers and public organizations in Korea and abroad.

SIEAS has demonstrated outstanding performance among area studies institutions in Korea. SIEAS has conducted numerous research projects, many of which have been granted through highly competitive national research grant organizations. In recent years, the Institute was the principal research center of the Inter-University Consortium for East Asia Studies, collaborating with more than 60 scholars and 40 research associates, with the support of a research grant from the Korea Research Foundation, and the Korean Ministry of Education between 2002 and 2004 (2.6 billion Korean Won). In 2008, SIEAS was selected as the first Korean research institute of Southeast Asian studies to receive a ten-year research grant: the Humanities Korea (HK) Program from the National Research Foundation of Korea, the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (9.2 billion Korean Won). With the generous grant program, the Institute commenced a ten-year project, titled “Southeast Asia as an Open Regional System: A New Paradigm for Communicating with the Globe and Reaching Out to the Public.”
  • The Institute currently has nine full-time faculty members and three affiliated research fellows whose area specialties are Southeast Asia and all of whom have extensive field research experiences. Their disciplinary subjects include political science, geography, history, and art history. Organizing research clusters with SIEAS faculty and international scholars, they are currently conducting research along the theme of the Humanities Korea program, "Southeast Asia as an Open Regional System: A New Paradigm for Communication with the Globe and Reaching Out to the Public", as well as their individual research on Southeast Asia.
  • SIEAS has established a strong research network of East and Southeast Asian studies nationally and internationally. The Institute currently has collaborative strategic relations with major research institutions abroad as well as academic associations and scholars in Korea, including the Korean Association of Southeast Asian Studies and the Korean Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
  • SIEAS has also been active in publication. In February 2015, its academic journal, "East Asian Studies" (published twice a year in Korean, English and other East Asian languages and indexed by the Korean Citation Index) marks its 34th. Since 2013, SIEAS is publishing a new journal, TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia, with Cambridge University Press. In addition, ten monographs of the Institute’s East Asian Research Consortium Series and three monographs of SIEAS East Asian Studies Series have been published by renowned publishers in Korea.
  • SIEAS has organized international and national conferences, seminars, and workshops to facilitate academic research and exchange. The Institute organizes two international conferences annually. It also hosts national conferences more than twice a year. In addition, SIEAS invites scholars of East and Southeast Asian studies to present their works and ideas at monthly workshops, seminars and colloquia.
  • SIEAS operates an undergraduate student fellowship program, aiming to provide undergraduate students at Sogang University the opportunity to broaden their horizons and discover and develop prospective scholars who may work on East and Southeast Asian studies in the future. Additionally, SIEAS faculty members offer two credited courses on Southeast Asian studies at Sogang. In 2013, the institute, with three departments at Sogang, launched an interdisciplinary M.A. program in Southeast Asian Studies.
  • SIEAS provides visiting fellowships for researchers affiliated in overseas institutions to conduct comparative or field research in Korea.
  • SIEAS houses the University’s Southeast Asian book and media collection : an in-house library and specialized archive for collected primary materials and books relating to Southeast Asia.
Former Directors
  Name of Directors Period (From)
Founding Director Hae-jong CHUN 1 February 1981
The Second Sang Woo RHEE 2 March 1984
The Third Tai Wook RHEE 2 March 1989
The Fourth Sang Tae PARK 1 February 1992
The Fifth Soo Yong KIM 1 February 1996
The Sixth CHUNG In-chai 1 February 1998
The Seventh SHIN Yoon-Hwan 1 August 2001
The Eighth Jin Seok CHOI 1 September 2005
Current (The Ninth) SHIN Yoon-Hwan 1 October 2007 ? Present