Cambridge Institute

Study of Korea



for the



The Korea Text Initiative is a network of writers, artists, translators, librarians, curators, book collectors, technologists, business people, and academics who produce, circulate, investigate or otherwise engage with texts that have a relationship to evolving (and often contested) concepts of “Korea.” In line with bibliographer D.F. McKenzie, we define “texts” quite broadly to include “verbal, visual, oral, and numeric data, in the form of maps, prints, and music, of archives of recorded sound, of films, videos, and any computer-stored information, everything from epigraphy to the latest forms of discography” and new media. Initial projects have focused on the translation and dissemination of Korean literary texts, enumerative and descriptive bibliographic efforts, the development of new technologies for textual studies, and efforts to identify the conceptual, technological, and social barriers that stand in the way of creating a comprehensive record of publishing activities on the Korean peninsula from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. Work on strategies (especially financial) for how best to preserve the textual heritage of Korea while making it widely available, interesting, and useful to readers, researchers, and international users of information will continue indefinitely.

The network-like structure of the Initiative means that its activities will be conducted in a wide variety of locations around the world. Workshops, conferences, exhibitions, strategy sessions, and informal gatherings will be convened at locations that minimize costs while enabling the dispersed and peripatetic members of the Initiative to meet conveniently. The aim is maximize the ability of the Initiative to collaborate with global partners, enhance the capacity of the Initiative to collect, curate, and/or disseminate texts from or about Korea. As with the Center for Early Korean Studies, the results of Initiative’s activities will be available in a wide variety of media, including print and electronic publications, online databases, and new media productions. Exhibitions, lectures, and live performances will be integral to the Initiative’s work. Please find more information at



This initiative serves as a center for research activities focused on the human past in Northeast Asia, an area that includes China, the Korean peninsula, the Japanese archipelago, and easternmost Russia. ISENEA is based in Massachusetts and involves activities such as academic workshops, laboratory and field research in various locations, and dissemination of the results of scholarly activity in various media. Activities are conducted by a variety of specialists in multiple academic fields and may involve projects conducted in coordination with other organizations. Research content emphasizes topics and programs that are not strongly addressed in current academia. The basic research programs focus on the early history and archaeology of Northeast Asia, but will strongly feature topics of general and scholarly interest with broad (even global) relevance. Examples of this would be the application of remote sensing in archaeological analysis, studies of the formation and collapse of state-level polities; the development and spread of technologies, such as metallurgy, in Northeast Asia; and the impact of national or ethnic identity on the interpretation of history. The initiative and its constituent projects will be conducted on an ongoing basis. The results of the activities will be disseminated through a variety of media, including print and electronic publication, online databases and related tools, exhibitions and performances. Constituent programs supported by the Initiative include Lost Archaeological Landscapes of Northeast Asia, the Early Korean Cultures Center, and others to be named at a later date. Goals of the Initiative and its programs include engagement with specialists across disciplines to focus resources on original research, creation of long-term working relationships among individuals and institutions, the enabling of innovative and useful research ideas, and the broad sharing of the research results at various levels through multiple media.