The group and its main goal

Inter-Asia was born as a result of the impulse of eight members of the East Asian Studies section of the Department of Translation and Interpreting at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

The main goal of the group is to approach the problematics of interculturality in East Asia from an interdisciplinary perspective, covering both the dynamics within East Asia as well as in relation to the rest of the world. By increasing the volume and speed of the flows of people, capital, goods and information, globalization attaches special relevance to the contacts and exchanges between distant cultures. These movements—which are not unidireccional, but clearly multidirectional and fragmented—facilitate the contributions of the local and the particular to the global.

East Asia constitutes a privileged space in which to observe these flows and the intercultural dynamics they entail. In order to deepen our understanding of them, we will first analyze some of the existing theories and will attempt to elaborate an adequate theoretical framework. Then, through the study of specific examples, we will approach a series of linguistic, literary, social and political aspects that will be analysed through the prior theoretical reflections as well as through related concepts such as modernisation, production, circulation and consumption of cultural sign systems, plurilingual situations, cultural identity, diaspora and international relations.

By comparing the results of these specific analyses we aim to identify the cultural imperatives that apply to the terrain of intercultural relations and cross-cultural transfer. This should allow us to undertake a critical evaluation of the state of the field of interculturality in the context of East Asia and to suggest national strategies of implication and management of the Asian presence (economic, cultural and political) in the West.

Ultimately, we wish to contribute to the coexistence and understanding between cultures and languages in multicultural and plurilingual contexts (specifically related to East Asia).

Research lines

Following the goals previously traced and taking into account our research profiles, we have articulated our activities following three avenues of inquiry:

1. The construction of the discourse of (post)modernity in East Asia as a manifestation of cross-cultural processes (Seán Golden, Carles Prado).

2. The role of East Asian cultural products in the West and vice versa: processes of adaptation, incorporation, re-elaboration and suppression (Sara Rovira, Jordi Mas, Albert Nolla).

3. Ethnicity and cultural diversity in East Asia: dynamics of linguistic contact, identity construction, diaspora and international relations (Joaquín Beltrán, Helena Casas, Makiko Fukuda).