Education About Asia

(culture, history, art, marriage, etc...)

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Feature Article

Asia’s Environment, 1900-2000

By Conrad Totman What does the above title mean? Anything? Despite its admirable conciseness, it is in fact laced with semantic problems. Perhaps if we rephrase it, "On Thinking About Asia's Environment, 1900- 2000," we'd give ourselves occasion to explore those problems briefly. And if we do so, we may find a silk purse lurking in this sow's ear of a title....

Feature Article

Teaching Twentieth-Century Chinese History

By Lesley Solomon In an ideal world of American education. both high school students and college undergraduates would begin the study of twentieth-century China with a deep understanding of the development of Chinese civilization and its place in world history. Certainly, the much-publicized economic challenge posed by contemporary China, . as well as its expanding leadership role in East Asia and beyond, would make such an in-depth study crucial for all American students. Unfortunately, stat...

EAA Interview

EAA Interview with Marcus Noland: Asia’s Post-War Economic Growth

Lucien: Marc, thanks for doing this interview. Could you inform your readers a bit about yourself and how you became interested in East Asia? Marcus Noland: I am a PhD economist. My primary professional affiliation is with the Institute for  International Economics, a private, not-for-profit, non-partisan public policy think tank in Washington, DC....

Feature Article

Asia in the Twentieth Century

By William H. McNeill Recent events offer an apt metaphor for Asia's twentieth century. Between 1900 and 2000, a North Atlantic human tsunami crested and then withdrew, leaving behind radically changed social landscapes after ten decades of widespread disruption. Asia was not alone. The whole world went through the same experience- not least Europe and America, located at the epicenter of the entire upheaval. After-effects still persist, and intensified communication means that rapid readjust...

Feature Article

Japanese Society in the Twentieth Century

By James L. Huffman Most American textbooks do a capable job of summarizing the political and economic facts of Japan's modern history. The country, in their telling, modernized quickly in the late 1800s, turned militant in the 1930s, went to war in the 1940s, reemerged under American guidance in the 1950s, and became an ''economic animal" in the 1960s. In the 1990s, the bubble burst. Unfortunately, most of these textbooks ignore the rich and varied lives of the Japanese people themselves: th...

Curriculum Materials Review

From Silk To Oil: Cross-Cultural Connections Along the Silk Roads

CHINA INSTITUTE IN AMERICA, 2005 PROJECT DIRECTORS: NANCY JERVIS, MORRIS ROSSABI, AND MARLEEN KASSEL EDITOR: MARTIN AMSTER EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: LIER CHEN MANAGING EDITOR: RONALD G. KNAPP The Silk Road, a series of interconnected trade routes linking the Far East with the Mediterranean, enabled cultural exchanges significant to the advancement of the greatest civilizations throughout Asia and Europe, and helped lead to the development of our modern world. Consequently, the cultural exchanges...

EAA Interview, Resources

EAA Interview with the 2006 Franklin R. Buchanan Prize Winners

Martin Amster and Morris Rossabi This is our tenth interview with Franklin R. Buchanan Prize winners. The Association for Asian Studies awards the prize annually for the development of outstanding curriculum materials on Asia. The 2006 prize was awarded for the teaching guide From Silk to Oil: Cross-Cultural Connections Along the Silk Road (funded by the US Department of Education and produced by the China Institute in America, 2005). Project directors included Morris Rossabi, Nancy Jervis, and...

Feature Article

Asia in the ReMaking of the Modern World

How did our world—the modern world—get to be the way it is? By that I mean a world structured by an increasingly globalized industrial capitalism coupled with the nation state, and consequences arising from those two driving forces (e.g. rising living standards for some, but also international war, global poverty, and environmental degradation), and by 1900, military and economic domination of the world by Europe. Until recently, the answers to those questions have revolved around what happe...

Book Review, Resources

A History of Modern Indonesia

BY ADRIAN VICKERS NEW YORK: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2005 292 PAGES, ISBN 0521834937, HARDBACK Adrian Vickers uses a unique style to provide his readers with a view of twentieth-century Indonesia. Throughout this book, Vickers, a Professor of Asian Studies at Australia’s University of Wollongong, references Indonesia’s history to the writings of and incidents in the life of Indonesian author Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Pram, as his countrymen and women commonly refer to him, was a giant a...

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative

Editor's Note: A revised second edition of this book, which the author discusses in this review, was published in August 2006. BY ROBERT B. MARKS LANHAM, MD, ROWMAN AND LITTLEFIELD PUBLISHERS, INC., 2002 192 PAGES, ISBN 0742517543, PAPERBACK The question of the relationship between Asia and world history, or how best to incorporate Asia into the broader global history teaching curriculum, has been a vexed question for teachers and practitioners for some time. In 1999, Education About Asia ra...

EAA Interview, Feature Article

An EAA Interview with Houghton Freeman

In 1978, Mansfield Freeman, an American who spent much of his life in China and who helped found the company that later became American International Group, Inc. (AIG), established a trust whose primary mission would be to establish a foundation that would facilitate the development of mutual understanding among Americans and East Asians. In 1993, one year after Mansfield Freeman’s death, the family established the Freeman Foundation to promote his vision. Since then, the Freeman Foundation ha...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Dead Souls

Dead Souls Produced and Directed by Wang Bing Grasshopper Film and Icarus Films, 2018 DVD, 3 discs, 8 hours, 15 minutes, Color Mandarin / English subtitles Jiabiangou lies on the edge of the Gobi Desert near the city of Jiuquan, in the northwest pocket of China’s Gansu Province. Today, the region is home to China’s premier satellite launch center, but from 1957 to 1961, it was the nucleus of a labor camp complex in which more than 80 percent of the prisoners died, mostly of starvation. ...

Columns, Facts About Asia, Resources

Facts About Asia: South Korea and Singapore: Economic and Political Freedom

Editor’s Introduction: By the 1990s, the dynamic economic growth of four polities—Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—earned them the nickname “Four Little Dragons.” Each of the “Little Dragons” also obtained moderate to significant levels of political freedom (Freedom House ranks South Korea and Taiwan as free and Hong Kong and Singapore as partly free). Please see our column from fall 2019 on the other two “Little Dragons”: Hong Kong and Taiwan. Economic Freedom D...

Feature Article

The Japanese Government and the Economy: Twenty-First Century Challenges

Japan continues to provide a fascinating case study for economists and political scientists who study the way market economies function. From the 1950s through the 1980s, that fascination had been fueled by high rates of economic growth, generated by an economy that operated under very different rules than those generally taught in American economics courses. In the 1990s, Japan presented an equally fascinating set of problems—slow growth, deflation (for the first time in an advanced economy...

Feature Article

Chinese Tea in World History

By Marc Jason Gilbert Second today only to water as the world’s most consumed beverage, tea comes in many forms and has many sources. The four Chinese teas processed from the Camilla sinensis plant—green, white, black, and oolong —have played so long and so great a role in world history that it is possible to say that no other commodity is more revealing of the global human experience.1 Indeed, long before oil assumed the title, tea was the world’s “black gold.” Unlike oil, tea is...

EAA Interview

An EAA Interview with Professor Steven Ericson on Japan in World History: 1750–1914

Steven Ericson is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Chair of the interdisciplinary Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Program at Dartmouth College. He received his BA from Michigan State University and his masters and doctoral degrees from Harvard. At Dartmouth, he teaches a survey of modern Japanese history, upper level courses on Japan’s history since World War II and on imperialism and colonialism in modern East Asia, and seminars on “Shogun and Samurai: Japan in the A...

Book Review, Columns

Taiwan: Nation State or Province

John F. Copper’s Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? remains as insightful, instructive, and relevant in its fifth edition as it was in its first printing in 1990. While the question posed in the title continues to be prone to political “spin,” Copper presents an objective narrative that paints an accurate, rich, and multi-faceted view of Taiwan’s development that has largely been separate from that of mainland China for more than a century. This new edition includes events up to about 20...

Feature Article

The Twentieth Century: Asia Returns to the Sea

While the history of human experiences at sea has always elicited a certain amount of interest, it has grown into a discipline in its own right. The first step for newcomers is to conceive of maritime history as a distinct field of inquiry and endeavor, and to do so without oversimplifying. This is harder than it might seem. It is commonplace, even among those well versed in oceanic affairs, to reduce maritime history to a chronicle of naval derring-do, and understandably so. Sea warriors have ...

Columns, EAA Interview

Understanding East Asia’s Economic “Miracles”: A Brief Interview with KIAS Author Zhiqun Zhu

Key Issues in Asian Studies (KIAS) booklets complement Education About Asia and are practical teaching resources for college, university, and senior high school teachers and students. Zhiqun Zhu is John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair in East Asian Politics and an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. His recent publications include US-China Relations in the 21st Century: Power Transition and Peace (London and New York: ...

Book Review Essay, Columns

Sources of East Asian Tradition:, Volume 1: Premodern Asia; Sources of East Asian Tradition, Volume 2: The Modern Period

Professors, high school teachers, and students who study East Asian history, philosophy, politics, education, and religion will welcome this new two volume collection representing one more stage in Ted de Bary’s project, begun in 1958, to make primary materials on East Asia available in English. In Sources of East Asian Tradition, de Bary offers two volumes of primary material representing selections of readings culled from earlier published volumes, Sources of Chinese Tradition, Sources of Ko...
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