Bio: Byung-Chul Han studied metallurgy in Korea before he moved to Germany in the 1980s to study Philosophy, German Literature and Catholic theology in Freiburg im Breisgau and Munich. He received his doctoral degree at Freiburg with a dissertation on Martin Heidegger in 1994.
In 2000, he joined the Department of Philosophy at the University of Basel, where he completed his Habilitation. In 2010 he became a faculty member at the HfG Karlsruhe, where his areas of interest were philosophy of the 18th, 19th and 20th century, ethics, social philosophy, phenomenology, cultural theory, aesthetics, religion, media theory, and intercultural philosophy. Since 2012 he teaches philosophy and cultural studies at the Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK), where he directs the newly established Studium Generale general-studies program.
Han's current work focuses on transparency as a cultural norm created by neoliberal market forces, which he understands as the insatiable drive toward voluntary disclosure bordering on the pornographic. According to Han, the dictates of transparency enforce a totalitarian system of openness at the expense of other social values such as shame, secrecy, and trust.