The Korea Research Foundation has been operating HK+ since 2017 as the follow-up project of Humanities Korea and supports the research foundation and capacities of humanities institutes affiliated with local colleges as they develop to attain global standards. The institute has achieved quantitative and qualitative improvement of studies in the humanities and has generated remarkable accomplishments for HK+ to grow into a key facility for related fields of studies. In particular, we pursue practical humanities penetrating various areas related to humanities, such as social science, scientific technology, culture, and arts, to pioneer the new flow of humanities and share the outcomes of the Agenda Project in the field of research.

The “Age of Disgust, Response of Humanities” agenda project, which is to be conducted for seven years, started in 2020 and addresses the various issues related to disgust faced by not just Korean society but by the entire world. This project also explores the valid human values beyond the disgust.

Disgust is not a recent issue. There have been countless events of disgust committed by humankind, from individuals to communities. Through the dark tunnel of the pandemic, we have witnessed the more complicated events of disgust emerging from clear conflicts on various levels. The Agenda Project suggests five areas of disgust—“racial disgust,” “gender disgust,” “senior disgust,” “disease-disability disgust,” and “nonhuman disgust”—to study systemized approaches to combat the complicated issues related to disgust. We are also interested in the disgust issue that has emerged in relation to class, region, religion, etc. To secure the efficiency of the research, the Agenda Project has systemized the organization into three divisions of “racial/gender disgust division,” “senior/disease-disability disgust division,” and “nonhuman disgust division” to address all five areas of disgust.

“Age of Disgust, Response of Humanities” agenda project pursues cooperation with experts and institutes in various areas for intensification and expansion of research outcomes. Moreover, it has established the “Empathetic Humanities Center” as a local humanities center to promote various projects to share the outcomes of the agenda with the local community.

The 'Race/Gender Disgust Division’, ‘Senior-Disease/Disability Disgust Division’, and ‘Nonhuman Disgust Division’ work with the Agenda Research Cluster.

Race/Gender Disgust Division

Discrimination against race, nationality, and class has been deeply rooted throughout the history of mankind. The latest trans-or post-discourse defines discrimination from a different perspective. As you can see in various arguments and practical efforts, gender diversity and its ceaseless differentiation and subsequent conflicts are becoming even more complicated.

The race/gender disgust division focuses on the disgust and discrimination related to racism and gender issues and expands the studies cover to different nationalities, classes, and disabilities to seek realistic solutions.


Senior and Disease/Disability Disgust Division

The senior and disease/disability disgust division studies disgust relate to aging, diseases, and disabilities. Aging, diseases, and disabilities commonly involve physical damage and deficiency. All of them indicate deviation from a healthy and sound body, or the so-called normal body. However, nobody can evade aging and diseases, and disabilities may occur in anyone, not just certain minorities. This is why disgust and discrimination from aging, diseases, and disabilities are everyone's problems.

The senior and disease/disability disgust division inclusively discusses the senior issues related to aging or getting old and the diseases and disabilities of the body and mind from the perspective of disgust. Generation conflicts, mental diseases and crimes, identity of revenge with pain and agony, and other contemporary issues on the boundary of revenge are also considered, as they are not unrelated to disgust.


Nonhuman Disgust Division

Disgust is generally discussed at the social level. This is because disgust is emotionally most clearly experienced in various social relationships. If you turn slightly to the edge of social experience, however, you can discover the essential aspects of disgust. For example, the disgust of animal carcasses is the physical experience of evolutionary meme to resist the fear of death and is socially varied along with the expansion of community life. Disgust is the essential experience of matter and is related to the substantial/abstract machines as deformations of matter and physical movements.

The nonhuman disgust division studies various cracks and discriminations related to inhumane nonhuman and the subsequent human–nonhuman relationships. The topics include toxic matters, waste, radioactive contamination, carbon-excess earth, naturally/artificially deformed bodies, artificial intelligence, and robotics. This division discusses inhumane issues and stretches to the critical perspectives of post-humanism.