Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

The British Impact on India, 1700–1900

The period 1700 to 1900 saw the beginnings, and the development, of the British Empire in India. Empire was not planned, at least not in the early stages. In a sense, it just happened. The first British in India came for trade, not territory; they were businessmen, not conquerors. It can be argued that they came from a culture that was inferior, and a political entity that was weaker, than that into which they ventured, and they came hat-in-hand. They would not have been viewed as a threat by th...

Book Review, Columns

Buttertea at Sunrise: A Year in the Bhutan Himalaya

In 1997, at age 26, a Canadian physiotherapist (physical therapist), volunteered through Voluntary Services Overseas for a year’s stint in a small hospital in the town of Mongar in eastern Bhutan. She compassionately, but certainly not uncritically, absorbed the culture and rapidly made friends with patients, doctors, and villagers. She showed inordinate patience with the sparse medical resources and often unsavory and unsanitary conditions, as well with the difficult living situation. Neverth...

Book Review, Columns

Daughter of the Ganges, A Memoir

In this sensitive memoir, a young woman, who had been adopted at age seven from a Bombay (Mumbai) orphanage and raised in Barcelona, made two return trips to discover and bond with her past, including with relatives she did not even know she had. Her experiences revealed strong ties with both families, Spanish and Indian, and provide for the reader insights into the similarities and differences between the cultures. She learns that although her physical characteristics are Indian, her “demeano...

EAA Interview

EAA Interview with Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar, one of the most eminent historians of India in the world, is Professor Emeritus in History at Jawaharal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has served as General President of the Indian History Congress and was named a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. She is author of numerous books including Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300. This work is a rewrite of her classic work, A History of India, Vol.1, which first appeared 39 years ago. EAA editorial board member Fritz B...

Feature Article

Twentieth-Century India: An Overview

By Fritz Blackwell Twentieth-century India is chronologically almost symmetrical, with 1947-the year of independence as the dividing line. With independence came partition, as British India was divided into India and Pakistan, the farmer becoming constitutionally secular and the latter an Islamic state. In 1971 the east wing of Pakistan, with somewhat delayed military intervention from India, became the independent nation of Bangladesh. It might also be noted that while India has remained a d...

Teaching Resources Essay

Options for Teaching Gandhi and King

By Fritz Blackwell Asia/History 470—Gandhi, India and the United States— is a transformation of a 300- level course called Twentieth-Century India. Each course sustained its existence by meeting general requirements for students at Washington State University who were not majoring in history. In the earlier course students showed little interest in India since independence, especially in the politics. This was due in part to the drama of the independence movement, and with events thereaft...

Feature Article

Options in Teaching the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is a Sanskrit epic based on an internecine struggle between two sets of cousins for the most powerful throne in North India in the late second millennium B.C.E. Around this core are strung other stories and bits of mythology, as well as philosophical and religious compendia. One such is the Bhagavadgita, in which Krishna, as God, addresses one of the central heroes, Arjuna, as Everyman, in regard to doing his duty without concern for the fruits of his labors—an emphasis on mea...

Feature Article

Incorporating Asia in the General Education Curriculum

Washington State University is probably not very different from many mid-sized universities, rooted in mid-America and laboring in the midst of a curriculum reform. This article, the distillation of the experience and study of three of our general education faculty members, is submitted in the hope that it may prove useful to the hundreds of faculty in scores of similar institutions struggling with the problem of how to integrate Asia in the general education curriculum. Specifically, we have be...