Education About Asia

Editor’s Message

Download PDF

I am grateful to authors, contributors, advisers, and referees for making the special section India: Past, Present, and Future as diverse in many ways as the subcontinent itself. Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan’s “Is There a New India?: A Conversation with Shashi Tharoor” allows readers to share the perspectives on a variety of domestic and international issues of a world-famous author, former UN high official, public intellectual, and member of India’s Parliament. Ana Bajželj then tells the story of Mahavira, one of the principal founders of Jainism, and in the process presents the first basic overview of this belief system ever published in EAA.

Mark Dennis’s “Integrative Pedagogy: A Case Study of the Lasting Legacy of India’s Partition” uses his Introduction to World Religions course as a platform for linking past to present through an interdisciplinary classroom approach that includes a simulation of the 1947 Partition as one of several tools for students to think critically about the context of the 2008 Mumbai bombings. Economist Nimish Adhia in “The History of Economic Development since Independence” gives educated laypeople a lucid and jargon free essay on the significant changes in the Indian economy since independence and the still critical economic challenges Indians must overcome. Political scientist Vera Heuer in “Activism and Women’s Rights in India” begins with the much publicized December 2012 New Delhi gang rape case and then proceeds to guide readers through the history of the emergence of a now viable women’s rights movement in India that, although obviously facing still huge problems, has steadily made progress. Heuer pays particular attention to the critical role of NGOs in fighting for basic human rights, and so does Ken Schoolland in “Property Rights and One Indian Village: Reform, Enterprise, and Dignity.” Schoolland, through “on the ground” interviews in one village, tells the story of how, primarily due to the efforts of one NGO, some of the poorest of India’s poor living in the subcontinent’s forested areas now have another basic freedom: the right to own property.

Secondary school teacher and EAA Editorial Board member Tom Lamont breaks new ground in his essay “Teaching India’s History and Contemporary Society Through Film” by providing readers who teach about India a valuable and practical gift by featuring thirty-two mostly Indian films with accompanying short descriptions of how each film might be utilized in class or as teacher backgrounders. The large majority of these films are available through online services such as YouTube and Netflix. Judith Ames’s column featuring subcontinent websites and history instructor Rachel Ball-Phillips’s “Digital Archives: Teaching Indian Colonial History Through Photographs” both offer readers practical India-related teaching sites and strategies. Please also visit the Online Supplements for this issue to access Ball-Phillips’s handout designed for classroom activities included in her essay and also to examine the course syllabus she references. The resources section includes nonthematic teaching resources essays, our experiential learning column, an interview with the 2015 Franklin Buchanan Prize Winners, and two reviews (one in our Online Supplements) of their excellent short documentaries available for no charge on the Internet: My Cambodia and My Cambodian America.

The spring 2016 special section is “Asia in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Undergraduate Honors Courses.” We are accepting submissions for the fall 2016 special section, “Sports, Culture, and Asia,” and the deadline for initial receipt of manuscripts is March 31, 2016. Please visit the new and improved EAA website at www.asian-studies. org/eaa for information about two other planned special sections. Individual readers, educational institutions, and libraries that prefer print issues are urged to renew their subscriptions, which can be done on our website at https://www.asian-studies.org/AAS-Online-Store/EAA. Every EAA issue is also available for no charge through open access via our website making it easy for instructors to assign student readings. If you haven’t done so yet, please like us on Facebook!