The Institute of Russian Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies was established as the Institute of the Soviet Union and East European Issues on January 13, 1972 in Seoul. In those days, the international community was dominated by cold war ideology, which made any communication or exchange between the Republic of Korea and the Communist bloc virtually impossible. The IRS was the first research center that began collecting and examining periodicals from the Soviet Union, North Korea, and other socialist states. Being the only Soviet Union and East European Issues research institute in Korea, the IRS was able to obtain an unrivaled position in this field. In a country where little research was being conducted on socialism, the IRS exerted a strong influence on the direction of these studies, leading the discourse on communism. From the early 1990s the IRS began to narrow its research subjects to Russia and the CIS region. Concentrated studies on the economies, politics, societies and cultures of the CIS region and Russia became the focus of the Institute. In 1993, the Institute officially changed its name to the Institute of Russian Studies, and in July of 1999, due to space constraints, the IRS relocated to Hankuk University’s Global Campus in Yongin.

The IRS regularly invites distinguished scholars from Russia and other parts of the world to give special talks.
Invited speakers come from diverse academic fields, including politics, economics, and literature.


제184차 The debate on the history of modern cultural intelligence in Russia: Westernism and Slavism, or Russian self-identity.

On April 26, 2022 (Tue), the Russian Institute (Director: Pyo Sang-yong, Professor of Nor Language) HK+ Research Group held the 184th Coloquium online as part of its academic activities for the Humanities Korea Project (AGenda: Re-recognition of Russian Humanities Space: Russia in the World). 

The speaker, Choi Jin-seok, a professor of humanities and social studies at Seoul National University, presented the topic "Controversy over the history of modern cultural intelligence in Russia: Westernism and Slavism, or Russia's self-identity." Professor Choi Jin-seok began his presentation in the 19th century, noting that a group called "revolutionary intelligence" emerged from aristocratic intellectuals to miscellaneous intellectuals, and that disputes among intellectuals actively outside the university system were the mainstay of Russian cultural and intellectual history in the 19th century. He pointed out that questions about Russia's position in world history and its direction of development ignited the Western-Slavist debate in Chadiev's "Philosophical Book," explaining how their ideas deepened, especially among the key figures in the debate, which is a watershed in Russian intellectual history. Professor Choi Jin-seok said that the question of "we" requires knowledge of "them" and constitutes knowledge of "we again" and that the Western-Slavist debate is important not in how much Russia accepted Western Europe, but in that Russia formed its identity through the other of Western Europe. 

More than 20 researchers, including researchers from the institute, participated in the online Coloquium, and discussions were conducted through Q&A after the presentation.


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