Journal of Marine and Island Cultures (JMIC)
Editor-in-Chief: Seok-Joon HONG (Mokpo National University, Korea), Gloria PUNGETTI (University of Cambridge, UK)
Associate Editors-in-Chief: Sun-Kee HONG (MIC, Mokpo National University, Korea), Takakazu YUMOTO (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan), Singgih Tri SULISTIYONO (Indonesia), Jala MAKHZOUMI (American University of Beirut, Lebanon), Oliver RACKHAM (University of Cambridge, UK), Angela SCHOTTENHAMMER (University of Salzburg, Austria)
Historically, islands, seas and oceans have possessed a certain dualistic nature that can be characterized by the notions of communication and isolation. Oceans in particular were initially regarded as a subject of adventure and challenge. They were perceived at once as a path toward the unknown world, and as a feared space from which unwanted changes emanated. For their part, islands were perceived as communication spaces connected together by oceans, but also as spaces isolated from one another by these same oceans. This dualistic nature of islands and oceans contributed to the creation of unique and varied marine and island cultures, and also ensured that they played a role in not only cultural change, but cultural preservation as well.
The importance of islands, seas and oceans has continuously expanded amidst the growing awareness that these serve as alternative spaces within which solutions to some of the most serious problems faced by mankind such as climate change and resources depletion may potentially be garnered. The solutions to some of the keys to the very survival of mankind, including the achievement of harmony and coexistence in terms of biodiversity and cultural diversity, as well as sustainability, can also be found in islands, seas and oceans. These can be regarded as the reasons why international cooperation is desperately required where oceans, seas and islands are concerned.
While open waters are absolute spaces that account for two-thirds of the earth’s surface, the planet’s landmasses can be likened to a couple of huge islands that are effectively surrounded by these waters. In this regard, islands and open waters are integral not only to our planet earth, but also to us humans that inhabit it. While islands, seas and oceans have served as the causes of conflicts and lose-lose relationships, they are also inherently endowed with the potential to foster coexistence and joint prosperity. To this end, it is necessary to combine islands, seas and oceans into one overarching category so as to facilitate the conduct of multidisciplinary and multifunctional comparative studies whose scope go well beyond that of local studies. It is also necessary to conduct the basic research needed to forge the foundation required to establish policy in the future.
The Institution for Marine and Island Cultures (MIC) at Mokpo National University has for the most part focused on research related to the oceans and islands of Korea. However, as part of its efforts to expand the scope of study to the global level, the Institution has increased the scale of its research to include multi-disciplines, and sought to establish networks with related research institutes. The time has come to construct a new field that can be referred to as island oceanography. Focused on island and ocean-related issues that affect mankind, this new field could be created by establishing a multidisciplinary research system and global network system.
A partner of this network is CCLP, the Cambridge Centre for Landscape and People at the University of Cambridge, UK, whose academics have carried out in the last two decades outstanding research on European and Mediterranean islands and seas. Their cooperation with academia, governments, NGOs and organizations for natural and cultural heritage conservation in all continents has created another large network of experts in islands and seas.
It is as part of the effort to widen the scope globally, that prestigious island, sea and ocean related research institutes and researchers in the world have come together to launch the SEOM & BADA: Journal of Marine and Island Cultures.
Originality of the aims and scope
The SEOM & BADA: Journal of Marine and Island Cultures, an international journal, is the official journal of the Institution for Marine and Island Cultures, Republic of Korea. The SEOM & BADA: Journal of Marine and Island Cultures publishes peer-reviewed, original research papers, reviews, reports, and comments covering all aspects of the humanities and cultural issues pertaining to the marine and island environment. In addition, the journal publishes articles that present integrative research conducted across inter-disciplinary boundaries, including studies examining the sustainability of the living environment, nature-ecological resources, and the socio-economic systems of islands and islanders. The journal particularly encourages the submission of papers relating to marine and island cultures in the Asia-Pacific Region as well as in the American, European and Mediterranean Regions.
Societal /institutional links and possible synergy
Funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), the Institution for Marine and Island Cultures (MIC) is the only research institute of its kind in Korea. It has conducted interdisciplinary studies that have brought together such diverse fields of research as the humanities, socioeconomics, natural science, history, folklore, and policy development. The Institution for Marine and Island Cultures (MIC) has over the past 30 years published a Korean language academic journal entitled Island Culture. Based on this experience, the Institution now seeks to promote the further development of pertinent studies by establishing a marine and island culture related international academic journal.
The Institution has also conducted various academic exchanges with academic organizations and university research institutes in Korea involved in such research fields on marine and island cultures. It has also, based on the reaching of academic exchange agreements with foreign organizations such as the University of California, Ocean University of China, National Taiwan Ocean University, and the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RHIN), Research Center for Pacific Islands (RCPI) at Kagoshima University, and Ryukyu University in Japan, sought to establish international networks of like-minded individuals. Among these is the new cooperation with the Cambridge Centre for Landscape and People (CCLP) in UK, which covers European and Mediterranean islands and seas. In addition, the Institution’s editorial board consists of researchers who are world-renowned in their respective fields.
The Institution has also pursued close cooperation with many organizations. Examples of bodies with which the Institution has worked include international organizations such as UNESCO and IUCN, renowned international ecological organizations such as INTECOL, EAFES and IALE, as well as national and international island related societies in Asia-Pacific Region, and in the European and Mediterranean Regions.