Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Lessons for America from China?

Having written a book in 1979 suggesting that Japan had institutional practices that provided lessons for America, I am often asked if there are lessons the United States could learn from China. Learning institutional practices from another country is, at best, difficult. In the 1980s, as I argued that there were lessons America could learn from Japan, I was often asked how we could learn from a country with such a different culture. My answer was simple. Yes, there are large cultural difference...

Online Supplement

Three Southeast Asian Nations: Brunei, Cambodia, Laos

Brunei Geography and Population Area: 2,226 square miles, slightly smaller than Delaware Population: 422,675 Government Freedom House rating from “Freedom in the World 2015” (ranking of political rights and civil liberties in 195 countries): Not Free Type: Constitutional sultanate Chief of State and Head of Government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir Hassanal Bolkiah (since October 5, 1967) Elections: none Legislative branch: Legislative Council (33 members, appointed by the...

Book Review, Columns, Resources

Understanding Chinese Religions

Understanding Chinese Religions by Joachim Gentz, Reader of Chinese at the University of Edinburgh, is a concise and well-structured introduction to the topic of the conceptual frameworks of Chinese religions and is part of the larger Understanding Faith series. Gentz indicates quite clearly in the preface to this volume that his primary focus in writing it is upon a systematical approach rather than a historical one, a methodology that of course shapes the final product in significant ways.

Book Review Essay, Columns, Resources

The Indian Ocean in World History

For some time now, a paradigm shift has been occurring in the field of world history. An emerging trend often referred to as “new world history” is helping change the landscape of traditional thinking by incorporating a global perspective rather than focusing on the West. The Indian Ocean in World History is part of the New Oxford World History series aimed at expanding the definition of what was traditionally included by taking a comprehensive look at all peoples and all aspects of society....

Book Review Essay, Columns, Resources

Inside Pol Pot’s Secret Prison

Produced in 2002 by The History Channel, Inside Pol Pot’s Secret Prison offers a narrative overview of Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum (also commonly known by its coded name, “S-21”). S-21 served as the main interrogation center and prison during the Khmer Rouge regime, when Cambodia was officially known as Democratic Kampuchea. The fifty-minute documentary briefly discusses the rise and fall of Democratic Kampuchea (1975–1979) and life conditions during this regime. As apparent from the ti...

Columns, Resources

Japanese Literature: From Murasaki to Murakami

In recent years, interest in Japan has focused on the nation’s post-Fukushima social and economic circumstances, dire demographic forecasts, and the often-strained relations with its East Asian neighbors. In strong contrast is the powerful allure of Japanese entertainment— media such as manga, anime, J-pop, and video games—that has been a dominant presence on the global pop culture marketplace. “Traditional Japan,” too, is alive and well, thanks to the staying power of its familiar ico...

Columns, Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Ideas from a Vibrant Liberal Arts High School in Myanmar

For twelve years, the Pre-Collegiate Program of Lumbini Academy has been integrating Myanmar high school graduates into a liberal arts life style. Since its inception, the mission of the Pre-Collegiate Program has been to nurture a small cohort of change-makers each and every year. We are looking to foster students to become perceptive, empathetic, critical, capable, and proactive in engaging the society around them. The first step is sixteen months of education to empower the students to abando...

Columns, Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Visualizing Southeast Asian Cities: Multimodal Writing Pedagogies in a Global Asian University

The Visualizing Southeast Asian Cities class starts with a map of the region, whose parts not every student is able to identify. We look at other maps, of transit systems and tourist trails, through which the infrastructure of knowledge that determines the movements and practices of individuals is revealed. First taught in early 2014, Visualizing Southeast Asian Cities is the second tier of a two-module writing program called Ideas and Exposition, which forms part of the core curriculum for s...

Asia: Experiential Learning, Columns

The Power of Stories Globalization in India and the TIPS Curriculum

The globe may seem to be getting smaller, but I remain utterly fascinated by its vastness. There are so many people in our world, and I often wonder what makes us similar or different from each other. For me, stories provide a pathway to better understand our world and ourselves. Stories connect us to one another and can help us better plot our own place in the grand and sometimes-chaotic scheme of things. At the University of Washington in Seattle, I teach transnational and postcolonial lite...

Columns, Web Gleanings

Web Gleanings: Southeast Asia in the Humanities and Social Science Curricula

SOUTHEAST ASIA Map of Southeast Asia URL: http://tinyurl.com/moko9d6 This map gives the reader an idea of the complicated geography of Southeast Asian countries. Each country is shown with a different color, making it easy to identify them. Ancient Lights: The Geography and Cultures of Southeast Asia (video) Volume 1, URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_WkIb01bs8 Volume 2, URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJtGyOFKVa4 These videos, from Ancient Lights: The Geography and Cultu...

Online Supplement

Online Resources for “USG Asia Council: Teaching Southeast Asia Workshop” and “Teaching Southeast Asia Interactively: The ASEAN ‘Plus Three’ Simulation”

Online Resources: “USG Asia Council Teaching Southeast Asia Workshop” “Teaching Southeast Asia Interactively The ASEAN ‘Plus Three’ Simulation" “USG Asia Council Teaching Southeast Asia Workshop” From Paul Rodell’s Southeast Asian History Presentation “Southeast Asia in World History,” World History Bulletin, Spring 2009. Available at http://tinyurl.com/mmut7v9 PDF and PowerPoint Presentations “Southeast Asia History: Themes & Resources,” http://tinyurl.com/...

Feature Article

Teaching Southeast Asia Interactively: The ASEAN “Plus Three” Simulation

Interactive simulations, games, and role-playing exercises have become popular methods to engage students in the classroom by assigning them specific roles within a political process and asking them to act like real political actors. These exercises offer numerous advantages, including improved information retention, development of critical thinking, speaking and presentation skills, and increased student interest in the subject.1 In the essay below, we present the advantages of selecting ASEAN ...

Feature Article

USG Asia Council: Teaching Southeast Asia Workshop

On April 11th and 12th, 2014, the Asia Council of the USG hosted a workshop titled “Teaching Southeast Asia” for university and college faculty. In total, six sessions of one hour and fifteen minutes each were conducted by five presenters and covered a wide range of topics: basic history, religion, cartography, global trade networks, economics, religion, literature, and indigenous cultures. This workshop was the third in a series sponsored by the Asia Council that began in response to state ...

Feature Article

Sources for Understanding Myanmar

Considering Myanmar’s mineral and cultural wealth, it has not been easy to study nor common to discuss the many societies there. Access to information, stories, and lives in Myanmar has markedly improved since 2010, when the US rekindled official and informal relations in Burma, as they refer to the country. Entrepreneurs, tourists, and scholars also have engaged with people and organizations there more and more. One result has been the need for useful sources of current conditions, as well as...

Feature Article

Focus Upon Three Southeast Asia Nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand

Indonesia Few nations claim the breadth and depth of ethnic groups, cultural practices, languages, and lifestyles as Indonesia. With over 250 million people scattered across over 7,000 islands, and 700 languages and dialects in use, Indonesia seems to defy the idea of nation or state. Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims of any nation in the world, but not all Indonesians are Muslim. Most people living on Bali practice a special form of Hinduism. In the eastern part of the archipe...

Feature Article

Teaching and Learning About Southeast Asia

Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, East Timor, Việt Nam, and the Philippines— why is it important for middle, high school, and college students to learn about Southeast Asia? What might interest them about this area sprawling between the Indian and Pacific oceans, between India, China, and Australia? Young people struggle to learn a wide range of subjects in school and as undergraduates. They often complain that what they learn has little relevance to th...

Feature Article

Integrating Viet Nam into World History Surveys

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Việt Nam War of the 1960–70s remains the major, and sometimes only, point of entry of Việt Nam into the American imagination. This is true for popular culture in general and the classroom in particular. Although the Việt Nam War ended almost forty years ago, American high school and college students continue to learn about Việt Nam mostly as a war and not as a country. Whatever coverage of Việt Nam found in history textbooks is primarily devo...

Feature Article

Comparative History of Genocide in Southeast Asia: Using Cambodia and East Timor in Asian Civilizations and World History Survey Courses

The structure of most world history and Asian civilizations survey courses focuses on the major civilizational cores of the world—China, the Indian Ocean Basin, Western Europe, Meso-America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Dar al-Islam, and so forth—and on the process of integration and globalization (for example, cross-cultural trade, religious conversion, and empire building). Unfortunately, many smaller locales and polities between these larger core areas can be ignored. There are many cases wher...

Feature Article

The Philippines: An Overview of the Colonial Era

In the Beginning Although the details vary in the retelling, one Philippine creation myth focuses on this core element: a piece of bamboo, emerging from the primordial earth, split apart by the beak of a powerful bird. From the bamboo a woman and man come forth, the progenitors of the Filipino people. The genesis of the Philippine nation, however, is a more complicated historical narrative. During their sixteenth-century expansion into the East, Ferdinand Magellan and other explorers bearing th...

Feature Article

An EAA Interview with Satu Limaye: Why Southeast Asia Matters for America and the World

Satu Limaye was named Director of the East-West Center in Washington in February 2007. He is also a Senior Adviser at the CNA Corporation, a nonprofit research and analysis organization located in Alexandria, Virginia. From October 2005 to February 2007, he was a Research Staff Member of the Strategy and Resources Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and from July 1998 to October 2005 Director of Research and Publications at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), a...

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