Teaching Resources: Stories about Women in Asia
This month’s EAA Digest exclusive features, in all but one entry, several women’s memoirs, autobiographies, and personal stories. The focus is upon Japan, China, and Taiwan.
- Histories of the Self: Women’s Diaries from Japan’s Heian Period (794–1185) by Sonja Arntzen and the book review essay The Sarashina Diary: A Woman’s Life in Eleventh Century Japan by Fay Beauchamp (Vol. 20, No. 2, Fall 2015). Sonja Arntzen richly describes the perspectives and personalities of three Heian Era women and integrates practical classroom exercises in her essay (see also Fay Beauchamp’s review of Arntzen’s book that was the basis for this article in the same issue).
- In I am a Chinese English Teacher by Wang Ping (Vol. 20, No. 2, Fall 2015), master English teacher Wang Ping’s autobiographical sketch is a particularly illuminating account of the profound cultural, educational, and economic changes that occurred in the PRC from 1980 through the first decade and a half of the twenty-first century.
- Prodigy of Taiwan, Diva of Asia: Teresa Teng by David B. Gordon (Vol. 17, No. 1, Spring 2012) introduces readers to a singer who was, in the 1970s and 1980s, a pop culture superstar in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the PRC, Japan, and ethnic Chinese communities worldwide. She also became increasingly unpopular in the PRC, in part because of her fame, but also because of her connections with the Taiwanese government, who attempted to exploit her popularity to achieve political objectives.
- In Popo’s World: Youth and College Life by Chow-soon Chuang Ju and Jane C. Ju (Vol. 19, No. 3, Winter 2014), the author, with her daughter’s assistance, allowed EAA to publish two excerpts from the chapters “Youth” and “College Life” of her memoirs that describe her successful efforts to complete secondary school and university in 1930s and 1940s war-torn China.
- Sarah Schneewind in Who Did What in a Chinese Lady’s Autobiography?: A Text and Lesson Plan on Li Qingzhao’s Ambiguous Narrative (Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 2017) uses excerpts from the autobiography of this Song dynasty poet and cultural critic, and shares a teaching exercise that she’s used in an early East Asian history survey course that is also applicable to early world history courses.
Other Teaching Resources: Touching Home in China
“Touching Home in China” is a transmedia project created by Melissa Ludtke, Julie Mallozzi, and Jocelyn Ford that focuses upon the experiences of Chinese girls abandoned as infants during China’s “one-child policy” era who were adopted by Americans and raised in the US and those who grew up in China as only-childs, and their interactions with each other. The stories, videos, and lesson plans of “Touching Home in China” include a wide range of topics and themes relevant for middle school, high school, and even college-level classes. For more information, see Kristin Hayward Strobel and Peter Gilmartin’s teaching resources essay “Teaching China Through the Lens of Girls’ and Women’s Lives” from the Fall 2019 issue (Volume 24, Number 2).