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...

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...

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...

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...

EAA Interview, Resources

Eurasia and Teaching World History: A Short Conversation with Professor Xinru Liu

XINRU LIU (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is Professor Emeritus of early Indian History and World History at the College of New Jersey. She is the author of Ancient India and Ancient China, Trade, and Religious Exchanges, AD 1–600; Silk and Religion, an Exploration of Material Life and the Thought of People, AD 600–1200; Connections across Eurasia, Transportation, Communication, and Cultural Exchange on the Silk Roads, coauthored with Lynda Norene Shaffer; A Social History of Ancient India...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching about the Colonial India State and Society with Six Acres and a Third

Six Acres and a Third is an English translation of Fakir Mohan Senapati’s 1902 Odia novel Chha Mana Atha Guntha, a humorous satire set in early nineteenth-century British India. It tells the story of an exploitative moneylender called Ramachandra Mangaraj, who uses the colonial legal system to usurp the properties of people in his rural community, before being ruined by it himself.

Feature Article

Religion in History: Manjhan’s Madhumalati and the Construction of Indo-Islam

In today’s geopolitical environment, teaching South Asia can be somewhat of a sticky wicket, particularly when it comes to religion and communalism. Each time I discuss Hindu–Muslim relations in an introductory course on South Asia or in a 100-level world history class, I run up against a whole host of preconceived notions on religion in the non-Western world. Worse yet, most students are unaware that our modern understanding of religion can’t be projected backward. However, a properly con...

Feature Article

On the Difference Between Hinduism and Hindutva

H induism is the name given to the most ancient and persistent religion on the Indian subcontinent, and Hindutva is the name by which the ideology of the Hindu right, represented by the political party Bharatiya Janata Party, or Indian People’s Party (BJP), is known. It is also the ideology of the cultural body known as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or National Volunteer Core (RSS), which was founded in 1925 and with which the BJP has strong links. Ever since the rise of the BJP on the Indian p...

Feature Article

Poetry, Prose, and Political Science

I’ve never read poetry in a political science class before. I have frequently cited this statement as my favorite student evaluation comment ever. I don’t even remember clearly if the statement was meant positively (I think it was!)—but I certainly took it that way. I have long used selected prose and poetry in introductory (first- and second-year) college-level political science classes focused on India or South Asia to convey certain themes and arguments to students. Using literatur...

Feature Article

The Story of Indian Business: The Great Transition into the New Millennium

Indian entrepreneurship, innovation, and business firms have gone through a plethora of changes, particularly in the last three decades. The most significant change is the result of national government policies that had the effect of moving away from postcolonial Nehruvian socialism and creating a climate for more economic freedom for entrepreneurs and private businesses. The 1990s was the watershed decade for these revolutionary changes. Indian business suddenly took off with a new outburst of ...

EAA Interview, Feature Article

Boom Country? An Interview with Alan Rosling

Alan Rosling is an entrepreneur and strategic adviser who has had a deep engagement with India over the past thirty-five years. He is co-founder of ECube, an investment manager dedicated to raising standards of environmental social and governance compliance. He cofounded Kiran Energy after leaving the Tata Group, where he was the first non-Indian Executive Director of Tata Sons (the holding company of the Tata Group), charged with internationalization of the company. His earlier career included ...