Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Online Supplement

Student Comments and Blogs from “Encompass Southeast Asia: A Unique Experiential Learning Opportunity through the University of Richmond”

Thai and/or Cambodian culture, or politics, or social issues. This trip helped me to understand how Cambodia’s history affects modern-day society. The societal upheaval caused by both colonization, the Pol Pot regime, and the genocide led to poverty and the loss of millions of lives. I think these events are connected to the problem of modern-day slavery, as we learned that people in difficult financial situations are at a higher risk of accepting dangerous work to survive. In other words, th...

Asia: Experiential Learning, Columns, Resources

Asia: Experiential Learning — Guest Editor, Tommy Lamont: Encompass Southeast Asia: A Unique Experiential Learning Opportunity through the University of Richmond

The Office of International Education (OIE) at the University of Richmond (UR) developed Encompass Southeast Asia (Encompass SEA) as part of a pilot program to engage students who have not historically participated in study abroad opportunities at UR and its partner institutions. Participants included students from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds, nontraditional students, students of color, athletes, males, and students with limited travel experience. Historically, such cohorts have not pa...

Book Review Essay, Feature Article

Planting the seeds of Wild Mustard: Reading Vietnamese Short Stories in the Study of Asian History and Religion

Wild Mustard: New Voices from Vietnam is a collection of contemporary short stories, translated into English and edited by Charles Waugh, Nguyen Lien, and Van Gia (Curbstone Books/Northwestern, 2017). I have used the book in two college courses on the history of Asian religions. This essay primarily focuses on using “Sleeping in the Lotus Flowers,” a story included in the book, in the classroom. There is also contextual content on Vietnamese culture and religion that should be helpful for in...

Book Review Essay, Feature Article

The Sorrow of the Things They Carried: The American War in Việt Nam and Stories Told by Combat Soldiers from Both Sides

Bao Ninh’s (b. 1952) The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam (1990) and Tim O’Brien’s (b. 1946) The Things They Carried (1990) are Việt Nam classics that depict traumatic memories of war veterans. These two novels bring the reader into communion with the enormous weight of sorrow that resulted from fighting in a devastating war. The Things They Carried, a semi-autobiographical novel that reads like a collection of short stories, is one of the finest and most widely read books about t...

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...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Using the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index to Teach Social Science: A Plan for a Facilitated Discussion

The Lowy Institute, one of Australia’s most well-regarded think tanks, released its second annual Asia Power Index in May 2019 (available at https://power.lowyinstitute.org). High school and college educators can use this resource to get students doing hands-on explorations of Asian political, military, economic, and diplomatic power using data. Students can learn about Asia while enhancing their data literacy and critical-thinking skills. This essay provides a plan for an interactive discussi...

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Weight of Our Sky

The Weight of Our Sky By Hanna Alkaf New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019 288 pages, ISBN 978-1534426085, Hardcover Reviewed by Zoë McLaughlin The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf centers on Melati, a Malaysian schoolgirl who is a fan of the Beatles and loves going to the cinema with her best friend. But one thing sets Melati apart: she believes she has a djinn inside of her, a creature out of Islamic mythology who regularly shows her scenes of death and pain, compelling her to count and t...

Feature Article

Café Creatives: Coffee Entrepreneurs in Việt Nam

Việt Nam is the second-largest producer of coffee in the world.1 If this comes as a surprise to regular coffee consumers living outside Việt Nam, it would certainly not be a surprise after spending even a brief amount of time in the country. Cafés line major through streets and fleck back alleyways while blurring the line between public and private space. In fact, one industry-known café down an alleyway in an outer district of Ho Chi Minh City does not appear to be a café at all—a loca...

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...

Feature Article

Science Education in Singapore and the US: An Interview with Michael Lowry

In the following interview, conducted as part of an East Asia STEM teaching module developed by Maranda Wilkinson for the UTC Asia Program (https://tinyurl.com/y3oepewy), Maranda questioned Michael Lowry on his studies of the Singaporean science education system as a 2016 Fulbright Fellow focusing on comparisons of science education in Singapore and the US.

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 ...

Feature Article

Thai Buddhist Monastic Schools and Universities

A collection of three essays by authors with extensive knowledge of Thai Buddhist Monastic Schools: "Buddhist Education and Temple Schools in Thailand" by Brooke Schedneck; "An Overview of MCU Chiang Mai Campus" by Samran Khansamrong; and "Teaching in the English Program at MCU, Chiang Mai Campus" by Steve Epstein.

Feature Article

Viet Nam in the Twenty-First Century: The Unbreakable Bamboo

The Vietnamese entered the twenty-first century after fifty-five years that included fighting the Japanese Imperial Army, a civil war, France, the United States, the Khmer Rouge, and China’s invasion. The Vietnamese suffered starvation during Japan’s occupation and during the 1975 to 1985 era of misguided domestic leadership. But they did not merely endure the last half of the twentieth century when they were attacked and alienated from global and political agencies; instead, they emerged a...

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

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

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...

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

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...

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

A Tribute To Wm. Theodore de Bary: Asia in the Core Curriculum

As noted briefly in the fall issue of EAA, Professor Wm. Theodore de Bary died on July 14th, 2017. Professor de Bary, whose career at Columbia University spanned almost seven decades, was both an internationally known scholar of East Asian Confucianism and a pioneer in the movement to integrate Asian studies into undergraduate and secondary school general education courses. Those readers who are interested in learning more about arguably one of the greatest scholars and teachers of the twentieth...

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