Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Columns, Online Supplement

Facts About Asia: India’s Thriving Technology Industry

Introduction North American readers of this journal, even if they are not especially tech savvy, are likely familiar with Silicon Valley, located in the San Francisco Bay area, and many of the companies like Apple and Google that make the region their home. Fewer are likely aware of India’s own “Silicon Valley” and the various Indian private companies and startups that help to make the IT sector one of the more faster growing sectors of the economy and create the prospect of India becomi...

Feature Article

Making China and India Great Again? Why China’s and India’s Paths to Power May Hit a Wall Part I: Domestic Policy Challenges

There is general agreement among the pundits and mandarins who study India and China that these two countries will become two of the world’s most powerful nations in the near future, if they have not already. Some believe that they may become the most powerful nations in the world, relegating the United States and Europe to the status of mere ob­servers of the future course of humanity. Regardless when exactly this may occur, such an outcome could be compared, in a sense, to a return to what ...

Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know About India in the Twenty-First Century

Indian Elections Are a Sight to Behold Every Indian federal election breaks its previous record as the world’s larg­est electoral exercise. In the 2019 such election, about 900 million Indians were eligible to vote. Sixty-seven percent of them showed up at the voting booth, a percentage higher than in most democracies, including the US. Indians take their elections quite seriously. The Election Commission, enjoying a high level of public trust where such trust is generally hard to...

Columns, Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

A Confucian Classroom in Qing China

In September 2005, at the Panjiayuan Antiques Market in Beijing, I  bought a book of materials once used by an elementary school teacher.  It seems the teacher took some of his classroom materials to a shop in  the city of Panshi in Jilin Province in northeast China and had them copied  onto clean, handmade paper and bound together with string. The shop put  its stamp on the cover, so we know the city where it was located.1 The title  the shop wrote on the cover of this collection was Thre...

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Indian Rebellion, 1857–1859: A Short History with Documents

The rebellion in northern and cen­tral India, beginning in 1857, has been the object of countless pub­lished works, several of them published even before July 8, 1859, when the Gov­ernment of India officially declared India to be at peace. It has also taken a place of privilege in many histories of mod­ern India, as the moment when Parlia­ment replaced early colonial rule under the British East India Company with “Crown” rule, overseen directly by the British metropolitan government. So...

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Many Manifestations of Shintō: Key Issues in Asian Studies

As a child, I would gaze at the sky through pine needles in the deep woods of East Tennessee, often overcome with a vague but intense feeling about nature around and inside me. As I grew up, I was attracted to expressions of one’s connection to nature in Japanese poetry and cultural histories. I eventually came across Bashō’s Narrow Road to the Deep Interior in graduate school at the University of Oregon. Bashō traveled around the largest Japanese island, Honshū, molding his impres¬sions...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Plastic China

Plastic China, a 2016 film from director Jiu-Liang Wang, tells the story of a small recycling factory in Shangdong Province, China. The film’s title suggests a broad coverage of China’s massive plastic recycling sector, but rather we are given a glimpse into the operation of one small, apparently totally unregulated, recycling factory and the fami­lies that live and work there amid the endless seas of plastic and plumes of black smoke emanating from buildings, chimneys, and the ground itsel...

Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know About India in the Twenty-First Century

India is Like Europe, But Also Not Like Europe Most Americans have heard of India, but might struggle to describe it. A suitable analogy would be the European Union. The EU is composed of a mosaic of twenty-seven countries that have some things in common, for example, proximity and climate, as well as institutions such as parliament and a currency; but also some dissimilarities, such as language and food. European countries come in all sizes, from Lichtenstein to Germany. In­dia, simil...

Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know about India in the Twenty-First Century

The defeat of Indian forces by the Chinese in 1962 ushered in a phase after which India tended to be cowed by the growing economic and political might of China. Sino–Indian Relations The first thing to know about India in the twenty-first century relates to the future of Sino–Indian relations. The relationship between India and China has undergone three main phases since the middle of the twen­ty-first century. The first phase may be described in hindsight as a roman­tic phas...

Feature Article

Studying Indian Secularism to Understand the US

Many, if not most, of the readers of this journal believe that the study of Asia helps US students develop their critical thinking and analytical skills. Far too often, however, the study of Asia is relegated to courses that focus solely on Asian studies. This approach em­phasizes the need to understand the specific historical, cultural, social, and political contexts that shape different Asian developments. In this essay, I present a model for a comparative approach that introduces selective c...

EAA Interview, Resources

An EAA Interview with the 2020 Franklin R. Buchanan Prizewinners: Gary Marcuse, Jason A. Carbine, and Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez for The Global Environmental Justice Collection (Focus on Asia/ Spotlight on North America)

This is our twenty-fourth consecutive interview with the winner of the recipient of the Franklin R. Buchanan Prize. This year’s winners are Gary Marcuse, Jason A. Carbine, and Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez for The Global Environmental Justice Collection (Focus on Asia/Spotlight on North America) at http://globalenvironmentaljustice.com. The documentaries in the collection were selected by faculty from Whittier College, Yale, Bates College, Brandeis, and NYU, who also wrote teaching guides for th...

Feature Article

Multilingualism in India

With a growing population of just over 1.3 billion people, India is an incredibly diverse country in many ways. This article will focus specifically on contemporary linguistic di­versity in India, first with an overview of India as a multilingual country just before and after Independence in 1947 and then through a brief outline of impacts of multilingualism on busi­ness and schools, as well as digital, visual, and print media. India is home to many native languages, and it is also common t...

Feature Article

Understanding South Asia’s Religious Art

There are many ways to talk about the art of India (here, India is a short­hand for the South Asian subcontinent). From a serene stone sculpture of a meditating Buddha to the dynamic image of Dancing Shiva in bronze, to cosmic symbolism of soaring temples covered in sensuous celes­tial bodies built in stone to the perfect architecture of Taj Mahal, to colorful paintings of heroes and heroines of love stories and myths to intricate carvings on ivory, to stunning hand-woven or embroidered textil...

Columns, Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

How to Measure a “Giant”?: A Short Guide to Gross Domestic Product Figures

Instructors in political science, history, and area studies have long known that the rapid economic growth of Asian countries is one of the most important world trends to teach students. Political scientists and international relations experts regularly view a country’s economic size as a reflection of its international power. The size of the economy helps set military budgets and acquisitions, foreign aid, and public diplomacy. These capabilities help a country influence other countries, or t...

Online Supplement

Ties that Bind: India and Southeast Asia Connectivities

Imagining India in Southeast Asia is often guided and influenced by a number of factors. It may depend on how the contemporary global and the regional media views and portrays the Indian sub-continent through various news on religious dissensions, political rivalries, border disputes, terrorist attacks, and many other aspects that usually govern the ratings of the highly competitive and numerous television channels. The perceptions of India may also be formed by a substantial Indian diaspora ...

EAA Interview, Resources

Teaching About Asia in a Time of Pandemic: A Conversation with David Kenley

In the spring of 2020, educators suddenly found themselves teaching remotely as they and their students began a multiweek period of pandemic-induced isolation. As weeks turned to months, administrators announced that students would not return to campus until the following school year and perhaps even longer. Teachers quickly scrambled to design new pedagogical approaches suitable to a socially distanced education. Teaching About Asia in a Time of Pandemic presents many lessons learned by educato...

Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know About India in the Twenty-First Century

Population India’s population of 1.3 billion is the world’s second-largest. It has one of the youngest populations of the world. Half the population is aged be­low twenty-five, while around 65 percent is aged under thirty-five. This demographic portends well for the country, which will have a relatively young workforce in the coming decades. Another unusual aspect of In­dia’s demographics is that there are unusually more males than females: 943 females to 1,000 males. Some exper...

Feature Article

The National Humiliation Narrative: Dealing with the Present by Fixating on the Past

In his speech announcing the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on October 1, 1949, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Mao Zedong famously proclaimed, “Ours will no longer be a nation subject to insult and humiliation. We have stood up.” With those words, Mao explained that a new era had begun for China under CCP leadership. To those unfamiliar with Chinese history, such a proclamation may seem confusing. Didn’t China have 5,000 years of a glorious and storied history? ...

Essay, Online Supplement, Resources

ASIA SHORTS: The Great Smog of China: An Interview with Anna L. Ahlers, Mette Halskov Hansen, and Rune Svarverud

The Great Smog of China: A Short Event History of Air Pollution traces Chinese air pollution events dating back to more than 2,000 years ago. Based on the authors’ fieldwork, interviews and text studies, the book offers a short and concise history of selected air pollution incidents that for varying reasons prompted different kinds of responses and forms of engagement in Chinese society. The three authors, from the disciplines of anthropology, China studies and political science, identify trac...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching the History of Violence in China at a Southern Military College

Probably in my second year of teaching at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, I attended a cadet’s public lecture on Chinese politics. During the question-and-answer period, one of my English department colleagues, a former Green Beret, stated that the Chinese were an effeminate people who had no martial tradition. Some of the cadets in the audience happened to be active-duty soldiers from Taiwan. I was shocked and immediately told the English professor that China had a long a...