Peter Ferdinand Drucker, an authority of business administration, said, “In the twenty‐first century, victory and defeat will be decided according to culture industry of each country, and the last place where the contest will finish is also culture industry.”
In addition, in this time that ‘a crisis of humanism’ rises up, the main keyword of the twenty‐first century is culture, to be sure, if you see culture contents industry which includes media contents, game, music, animation, comic books, movie, performance and mobile contents, etc. float as an alternative which will be able to go through the crisis. Such that, in the situation that ‘culture’ is being up, I indulged myself in the agony, ‘how will we understand culture, especially, how will I explain Western culture, historically?’
As a result, I reached my conclusion that it is necessary to reorganize the contents of lectures as angles and materials different from existing lectures on Western culture, unlike the past.
Although, history has brought an image, which highbrow, academic and keeping aloof from changes of the world, until now, but actually, history also has undergone various changes, incessantly, according to the trend of the outside world or the inner demand of history.
An existing history has formed the mainstream in politics, a social history, an economic history and a history of laws, etc., but a discussion on ‘New Cultural History’, coming up, following the change of era, a decline of socialism and the end of ideology, is also one of the products the change. As previously stated, an existing history has dealt with the ruling class and the elite class who were heroes of history.
Contrary to this history, ‘New Cultural History’ researches culture of general people and popular culture which had stayed in the outskirts of history and it tries to account for historical affairs and phenomena, by using various exploration methods such as ‘reading thickly’, ‘reading differently’, ‘reading through small things’ and ‘reading reversely’, in reading and analyzing historical materials for the description of history.
In actual fact, looking at the teaching materials on Western culture in Korea, you can find that they are mainly well arranged in the connection between politics and social and economic development.
With each originality of one era or one country, the writers of those try to find out the meaning and the connection between the originality and next era for all of the European countries, and thereby, and they have considered describing European history from the Orient to modern society, systematically as a practice.
Therefore, the existing materials on Western culture consist of mainly five contents, an establishment of the Orient (human life of the prehistoric age, the Orient civilization and the Mediterranean world of the Orient), the feudal system of the Middle Ages, the birth of the culture of the modern times and the absolute royal regime, the completion of civil society (a popular revolution and Industrial Revolution, the development of liberalism and nationalism) and the developments of the contemporary history.
‘Western Culture and History,’ cultural studies which is open in this semester rejects the way of explaining Western Culture in the connection between existing politics and social and economic development, and simultaneously, focuses on understanding the history of Western through a prism, ‘culture,’ which is an entity of the intellectual and spiritual products of the human.
In other words, the subject demands a wide appreciative eye and vision as a main purpose, from the ancient times to the contemporary times of Western, and from the ruling class to popular culture, thorough various development processes, by making students pile up basic information and abundant culture on Western history.
Looking in concrete contents of lectures, first, it has divided Western history into two parts, and has dealt with it in a variety of cultural aspects or features in Europe and America such as following.
‐ the culture in the Mediterranean world of the ancient times
‐ the nobility culture, Christianity and a monastery life of feudalism of the Middle Ages
‐ the arts of the Renaissance and the culture of sponsors
‐ the culture of court culture, salon and forbidden books in the era of an absolute monarchy
‐ a popular revolution and bourgeois's culture (politic culture of the revolution times and the culture on sex of bourgeois)
‐ a popular culture of modern America (Disney, Hollywood and hippie culture)
‐ a global world and a multiculturalism
Like that, I hope this lecture to become a lighthouse lightening in pitch‐darkness and to help Sookmyungians in growing a wide range of historical recognition and vision, through various 'culture,' by understanding Western history.