Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching about the Comfort Women during World War II and the Use of Personal Stories of the Victims

“Comfort women” refers to the system of sexual slavery created and controlled by the Imperial Japanese government between 1932 and 1945. It is the largest case of government-sponsored human trafficking and sexual slavery in modern history. Many scholars have argued that the term comfort women, a euphemism coined by the Japanese military, obscures the gravity of the crime. While the authors agree that “military sexual slaves” is a much more accurate and appropriate phrase, we use the term...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Key Issues in Asian Studies: “Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture”

With her contribution to the Key Issues in Asian Studies series—INDONESIA: History, Heritage, Culture— Kathleen M. Adams has maintained and even enhanced its well-established reputation for quality. Writing a brief yet comprehensive book is challenging because specialists must restrain themselves from delving too far into their area of expertise. Instead of presenting an in-depth look at the specific, they must focus on engaging intelligent but uninformed readers so they can grasp the basics...

EAA Interview

Key Issues in Asian Studies: Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture: A Short Interview with Kathleen M. Adams

Key Issues in Asian Studies (KIAS) books complement Education About Asia and are succinct, well-written, practical resources for university, college, and high school instructors and students. Indonesia, long important in Southeast Asia, now has a global impact and for a variety of reasons deserves more attention in higher education, as well as secondary schools. The archipelago’s significance notwithstanding, Professor Kathleen Adams has authored a highly readable good story about the peoples ...

Book Review Essay

A Brief History of Indonesia: Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis The Incredible Story of Southeast Asia’s Largest Nation. Reviewed by Paul A. Rodell

By Tim Hannigan Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2015 288 pages, ISBN: 978-0804844765, Paperback Reviewed by Paul A. Rodell When planning my fall 2017 Modern Southeast Asia course, an introductory survey intended for undergraduates with no prior background, I decided to explore new textbook options. On a whim, I looked through Tim Hannigan’s A Brief History of Indonesia and was immediately taken with this highly accessible volume with its decent font size for easy reading and even a centerpie...

Feature Article

Jakarta’s 2017 Gubernatorial Election and the Future of Indonesian Politics

Since the formation of the country, Indonesia’s diversity has posed a challenge to national integration. A shared sense of belonging to Indonesia had to be instilled among a large number of people with different preexisting ethnic, cultural, and religious loyalties, and, moreover, who had different visions of the postcolonial state. The first two presidents, Sukarno and Suharto, who between them ruled the nation for fifty-three years, employed authoritarian means to hold the sprawling archipel...

Feature Article

Asia’s Role in the Four Industrial Revolutions

The United States and Europe have been at the forefront of the Industrial Revolutions over the last two and a half centuries. Almost all Asian countries, except Japan, were latecomers to these revolutions. Nevertheless, many of them, including China, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia, made significant progress by the end of the Third Industrial Revolution. What follows is a brief depiction of the involvement of Japan; the “Asian Giants,” China and Indi...

Feature Article

Singapore Immigration and Changing Public Policies

The demographic composition of the contemporary population of Singapore reflects a complex and vibrant history of a melting pot nation that has grown out of successive waves of immigration stretching back nearly 200 years. As an immigrant society, Singapore is a product of the forces of globalization that have been a constitutive feature of the historical development of many nations. When Britain’s Sir Stamford Raffles signed a treaty in 1819 with local rulers, a swampy little island was trans...

Book Review Essay, Resources

The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region

Highly acclaimed, well-conceived, and clearly written, Michael R. Auslin’s new book is a valuable addition to the discussion and debate about the future of Asia, the world’s most dynamic and consequential region in the twenty-first century. The book contains seven chapters. Chapter 1 maps out five discrete yet interrelated risk areas in Asia that may spell the end of the so-called “Asian century”: unfinished political revolutions, failed economic reforms, demographic pressure, lack of re...

Feature Article

Indonesia Doesn’t Want to Be Number Three

When it comes to Asian populations, China and India get all the attention. According to the US Census Bureau, China’s population, the largest in the world, is about 1.38 billion people, with India close behind at 1.28 billion. Together, the two nations’ people comprise more than 35 percent of the global population. Unbeknownst to many, though, is that Indonesia, an archipelagic nation in Southeast Asia that stretches across an expanse of ocean larger than the continental United States, is th...

Feature Article

The “Mundane Violence” of International Water Conflicts

Statistics about water resources abound. Some, like the combined length of rivers in the United States (3.5 million miles), make for interesting but forgettable trivia. Others, like the number of people who experience severe water scarcity each year (four billion), declare an issue of urgent and global concern. The staggering magnitude and profound implications of this water crisis alone are difficult to comprehend, and yet the calamity is even further compounded by climate change and internatio...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Surveying Southeast Asia with the Newest Edition of Southeast Asia in the New International Era by Robert Dayley

Southeast Asia can seem overwhelming to integrate into a course, given its eleven countries and considerable cultural diversity. Robert Dayley’s Southeast Asia in the New International Era steps in to save the day. Organized into thirteen chapters, the book provides a thorough overview and introduction to the political developments of each of the eleven countries. The introductory chapter provides a historical survey and a discussion of cultural features of the region, and the concluding chapt...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Asia Pacific in World Politics, Second Edition

As students walk into Comparative Asian Politics on the first day of class, they see a quote projected on the screen: “East Asia is now widely regarded as the focus of the world’s attention.” It is shortly joined by a second quote, “Learning about contemporary Southeast Asia can be a challenge because the region is no longer a primary focus of international attention.” Students consider: Do these quotes contradict each other? Are they talking about the same region? What are the bases f...

Feature Article

Postcolonial Religious Conflict in Southeast Asia

“All religions teach people to be good people,” or so the Thai saying goes. This fits in with the general belief throughout Southeast Asia that religion is a good thing—though of course each person believes his/her religion to be the highest good. It is not surprising, then, that religious belief and practice remain key elements in Southeast Asian private and public life, with secularism little more than a theory. Religion continues to define the majority of people’s sense of self in Sou...

Online Supplement

How Free Are Postcolonial Polities? Select Nation Profiles

Freedom House is an independent organization that advocates for increased freedom and democracy around the world. Partnering with frontline human rights activists to advance democratic change, Freedom House recognizes that freedom is only possible within the context of a democratic government that is accountable to its own people. Established in New York City in 1941, Freedom House has expanded to include offices in a dozen countries. Furthermore, among its goals include collaboration with li...

Columns, Web Gleanings

Web Gleanings: The Best of Web Gleanings

A Tribute to Judith Ames It is with some regret, but enormous gratitude, that I share the news that Judith Ames, who almost certainly holds the record for the most number of words published in EAA, recently informed me that she decided to retire as the columnist for “Web Gleanings.” Back in 1995 when I posted announcements for EAA editors, Judith, who previously was associated with the Japan Society in New York and has worked, among other endeavors, as an editorial and computer consultant, ...

Feature Article

Guru Dutt Sondhi: Indian IOC Member and Visionary of Asian Integration through Sport

To this day, the Olympic Games have never taken place in South Asia. One of the reasons, in addition to exploding costs, is the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) lack of trust in Indian organizing capabilities. For example, the chairman of the organizing committee of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi was arrested for corruption.1 Doubts concerning Indian reliability have quite a long tradition, going back to the first regional events hosted there: the Western Asiatic Games (Ne...

Feature Article

Democracy in Asia

In June 2015, Utah State University hosted a graduate-level workshop for teachers on “Democracy in Asia: A Universal or American System?” Eight Asia specialists from three universities convened to share their expertise with local educators. Recognizing that a brief article cannot do justice to a weeklong workshop, we are still committed to extending the fruits of that local outreach to a broader community. What follows are a few highlights from each workshop session, including suggested sour...

Feature Article

Indonesia, Asia, and the World: An Interview with Leonard C. Sebastian

Leonard C. Sebastian is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Indonesia Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). He received his PhD from the Australian National University in 1997. Dr. Sebastian is author of Realpolitik Ideology: Indonesia’s Use of Military Force (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2006) and has been published in a number of journals, including The Journal of Strategic Studies, Indonesia, Defense & Security Analysis, the Cambridge Revie...

Online Supplement

Beyond Cultural Tourism: Experiencing the Arts in Bali

Music, dance, theater, and arts and crafts are important parts of Balinese culture. Their ceremonial nature reflects the multiple layers of Balinese Hindu religious practices and philosophies within the complex social-cultural structure of Balinese society. The inseparable relationships among these arts provide a vivid soundscape and landscape for students to experience the functions of arts in a living environment. Since the early twentieth century, Bali has been staged for the consumption of c...

Online Supplement

“Beyond Cultural Tourism: Experiencing the Arts in Bali” Syllabus

The cooperating overseas agency is the Traditional Dance and Music Studio, Sanggar Manik Galih, in Tabanan, Bali. The program is in response to Americans’ growing awareness of Southeast Asian cultures in general and of the unique Balinese arts and their functions in traditional and modern-day Balinese society in particular. Music, dance, and theater along with art and crafts are important parts of Balinese culture. The ceremonial nature of the arts reflects the multiple layers of religious pra...
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