Education About Asia: Online Archives

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EAA Digest Exclusive

Xi Jinping, China, and the World (Part 1)

During the last 4-5 years, President Xi Jinping’s government has engaged in aggressive domestic and global policies that raise profound concerns for human rights and freedom. This exclusive focuses upon China’s actions in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Xinjiang.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Intercultural Contacts 2: Visual Learning, Belief Systems, and the Silk Roads

The term Asia is both, at one level, geographically accurate, and conceptually useful in understanding specific cultures but at another level, the concept of “Asia” is limiting because of regional and global connections that have existed since antiquity. The focus of the January 2021 EAA Digest Exclusive was intercultural contacts, as is the case with this month’s column. Given the subjects most EAA readers teach, understanding the humanities and social sciences means realizing the power o...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Asia: Dictators, Authoritarian Governments, and Human Rights

When confronted by dictators and authoritarian governments, fighting for human rights such as democracy and freedom of thought anywhere is risky at best. Hopefully, these selections from the EAA archives will serve to educate students about individual action in response to authoritarian governments, as well as the human tragedies faced by common people who experience oppressive governments.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Asia and the World: East Asia-related Literature

Proponents of the “bookless curriculum” pedagogy, ideologues from across the political spectrum, and desperate American teachers confronting alarming percentages of students with low reading levels, are perhaps some of the reasons for the diminishment of literature in education. Hopefully, the following selections will inspire those readers who love literature to assign even more literary works on East Asia and the World in their courses. A number of Digest readers have read some of the...

EAA Digest Exclusive, Resources

Asia and the World: “Travelers’ Tales”

International travel is still a dicey prospect for most of us because of the pandemic, but almost all Digest readers probably love travel at some level. The following entries could be vicarious travel for imaginative readers, but each recommended EAA article or essay, in my opinion, helps students and instructors better understand the often profound effects of literal and figurative travelers and ideas impacting different parts of Asia and the world in a variety of ways.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Historical Thinking: China

A perennial problem is how to make survey history courses, often most likely the only history many high school and college students will ever take, meaningfully encourage students to think deeply about what they learn to better understand not only history, but contemporary cultures as well. How useful is Periodization? How can timelines be vehicles for historical thinking? How can students more deeply understand historical change? In the three articles that follow, students both learn history an...

Book Review

China and the Founding of the United States: The Influence of Traditional Chinese Civilization

China and the Founding of the United States The Influence of Traditional Chinese Civilization By Dave Xueliang Wang Lanham, Lexington Books, 2021 365 Pages, ISBN 978: 1793644350, Hardcover Reviewed by Peter K. Frost “The mere thought of Chinese cultural influence on the founding of the United States,” Dave Wang’s states in his very first sentence in this quite extraordinary book, “is unimaginable to some.” The rest of the book is dedicated to combat what he considers “misconcep...

Essay

Sisters and Enemies: A True Story of Two Sisters

They are two sisters born and raised in China’s southeastern coastal city of Fuzhou in Fujian Province. In a family that claims the last emperor’s tutor, Chen Baochen, as one of its ancestors, the girls had the privilege of traditional tutoring at home, in addition to their missionary school education—modern and bilingual—and had dreams as big as the world. The older sister, Jun, wanted to be a teacher, and the younger one, Hong, wanted to be a “big doctor”—in her own words—to ge...

Variolation to Vaccine: Smallpox Inoculation Travels East to West and Back Again

The history of the inoculation process itself might help shed light on the roots of controversies we are facing today. In the spring of 1721, England struggled in the grip of a deadly smallpox epidemic. Mandated shutdowns affected businesses, schools, and social venues, health care services were overwhelmed, and the newspapers reported alarming death tolls. Doctors in London seized the opportunity to introduce the public to the concept of inoculation, which had long been practiced in Asia and th...

Knocking on China’s Door: The First Protestant Mission

China’s “closed-door” policy, upended by the Opium Wars of 1839–1842 and 1856–1860, safeguarded the Middle Kingdom from unwanted advances by the West. A deep-seated suspicion of foreign infiltration—cultural, political, and economic—was augmented by the arrogance of China’s ruling class, who insisted on China’s superiority in the world arena. Western aggression of the 1800s forced China to open up trade with other nations and led to the eventual demise of the Qing dynasty. When...

How the Chinese Communist Party Manages the Bureaucracy: The Case for Rethinking the Role of Information Technology and Good Governance

In November 2021, during a routine inspection of drunk driving in Nanchang, the capital city of Jiangxi province, a woman driving a Maserati was stopped on suspicion of drunk driving. She refused to cooperate with an alcohol test and after sixty-six invalid tests she repeatedly told a traffic police officer to “ask Yu Wei to come over” and tried to make a phone call. The officer stopped her from calling and said to her: “It’s useless to call anyone. Do not call for anyone. This is being ...

Feature Article

The Essentials: Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land

Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) is one of the most celebrated playwrights working in the Chinese-speaking world. His work over three decades has charted the course of modern Chinese-language theatre in Taiwan, China, and other Chinese-speaking regions.

Columns, Film Review Essay

Have You Seen This Man?

The acknowledged first recorded film made in China is The Battle of Dingjunshan by Ren Qingtai from 1905. As such, the China National Film Museum in Beijing has on exhibit signage that notes this acknowledgment, along with the recreation of the filming. However, there are a number of Chinese film scholars who have their doubts about whether it was ever actually made. Mention is made in a July 1904 article in the professional magician’s journal Mahatma on the Chinese magician C...

Teaching Resources Essay

The Xinjiang Documentation Project

[caption id="attachment_16426" align="aligncenter" width="897"] “Eliminating Extremism.” This is a sample from the “peasant painting” collection, a campaign that was organized by the Xinjiang government to promote official counterterrorism rhetoric. The painting depicts an axe bearing the crest of the Chinese Communist Party cleaving into corpses of men and women wearing traditional Islamic clothing as well as a large serpent. Weapons such as knives, axes, and homemade bombs, a...

Feature Article

New Online Teaching Resources for Early Chinese Cinema

The Chinese Film Classics Project is a research, teaching, and translation initiative aimed at making early Chinese cinema more accessible to the general public. The centerpieces of the project are two interlinked web resources: (1) the website chinesefilmclassics.org and (2) the YouTube channel Modern Chinese Cultural Studies (https://tinyurl.com/4zk6wevb). These sites currently feature twenty-four Chinese films released between 1922 and 1949 with complete English subtitles; over 150 film clips...

Columns

In Memoriam: Ezra F. Vogel (1930–2020)

Those of us who are committed to studying East Asia lost an extraordinary scholar, teacher, and friend when the retired Harvard University Sociology Professor Ezra F. Vogel died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this last December.

Feature Article

Making China And India Great Again? Why China’s and India’s Paths to Power May Hit a Wall, Part II: Foreign Policy Challenges

For the past decade, experts in international relations have suggested that the world’s center of power is shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and the main reason is the extraordinary rise of China. They add that the equally remarkable, though slightly slower, rise of India will move the center of global power even further from the West. A number of observers strongly believe the efforts of the United States under former President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy to ...

Teaching Resources Essay

Under the Dome

Under the Dome was first shown in China on February 28, 2015 The documentary is now included in the Global Environmental Justice Documentaries Project, which is based in the USA and Canada and supported by the International Documentary Association. The title of the documentary was taken from the book Under the Dome, written by Stephen King and published in 2009. (The documentary is about China; the book is about the USA.) The documentary is also available online.

Feature Article

Mongolia’s Environmental Crises: An Introduction

In the US, China, Russia, and other countries with a sizable population, it is often difficult to discern the effects of climate change and other environmental afflictions.1 A country with a small population offers a greater opportunity to observe the implications of environmental crises. A study of Mongolia, with a population of approximately three million, provides a clearer view, although it is important to remember that Mongolia is quite distinct from these other lands due to its d...