Thesis Research

The Power of an Alphabet to Define a Culture

My thesis research started as an investigation into literacy and power, studying the development of the Korean alphabet as a case study. My research extended into disappearing languages and how the development of an accessible writing system, a phonetic alphabet, helps preserve the language and the culture embodied in it. An alphabet acts as a visual representation of the language and the culture, and has the power to assert the legitimacy of a culture.

The Korean alphabet is an amazing invention and considered the most scientific alphabets ever developed. The alphabet’s development, structure, and graphic forms are based on principles of Neo-Confucianism. As the philosophy informed the structure and design of the Korean alphabet, I investigated how it can inform the design of my thesis book.

For more information on the concept of the book’s design, please click here.

Professor Cheryl Towler-Weese

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