Teaching About Asia in a Time of Pandemic

Thanks to generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation, we are pleased to make this important and timely Asia Shorts collaborative volume available as open access.

Teaching About Asia in a Time of Pandemic, edited by David Kenley, is a collaborative work between Asia Shorts and the AAS pedagogical journal Education about Asia. It is a companion volume to The Pandemic: Perspectives on Asia, edited by Vinayak Chaturvedi (a collaborative work between Asia Shorts and the Journal of Asian Studies).

We are pleased to be able to present this landmark publication in open access format in order to increase its visibility and accessibility. Teaching About Asia in a Time of Pandemic is also available in print and e-book formats. Please help to support the work of AAS publications by ordering print or e-book copies here.

Read an interview with the editor, David Kenley (from Education About Asia 25:3, Winter 2020)

View the AAS Digital Dialogue webinar

In the spring of 2020, educators suddenly found themselves teaching remotely as they and their students began a multiweek period of pandemic-induced isolation. As weeks turned to months, administrators announced that students would not return to campus until the following school year and perhaps even longer. Teachers quickly scrambled to design new pedagogical approaches suitable to a socially-distanced education.

Teaching About Asia in a Time of Pandemic presents many lessons learned by educators during the COVID-19 outbreak. The volume consists of two sections. Section One includes chapters discussing how to teach Asian history, politics, culture, and society using examples and case studies emerging from the pandemic. Section Two focuses on the pedagogical tools and methods that teachers can employ to teach Asian topics beyond the traditional face-to-face classroom. Both sections are designed for undergraduate instructors as well as high school teachers using prose that is easily accessible for non-specialists.

POTENTIAL AUTHORS: If you are interested in writing for Asia Shorts, please see the Call for Proposals.


Introduction: Getting Past the Plexiglass — David Kenley

Section One: Pandemic Case Studies

1: We’ve Never Been Global: How Local Meanings Mattered in 1900 and Still Matter Now — Jeffrey Wasserstrom

2: Sikhi, Seva, and Sarbat da Bhala in a Pandemic — Tejpaul Singh Bainiwal

3: Understanding South Korea’s Religious Landscape, Patient 31, and COVID-19 Exceptionalism — Minjung Noh

4: Death, Disease, and Buddhist Patronage in Japan: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 735 — Melody Rod-ari

5: Taiwan and COVID-19: Global Pressure, Domestic Success — Lucien Ellington, Jeffrey Melnik, and Thomas J. Shattuck

6: Mythmaking and COVID-19: Asian Alternatives to “Warfare” against Disease — Kin Cheung

7: Explaining the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on China-Africa Relations — Richard Aidoo

8: India’s Pandemic Response as a Mirror on Understanding India’s Complexities — Tinaz Pavri

9: A Literature of Loss: Studying Narratives of Exile in Medieval Japan in the Context of COVID-19 — Susan Spencer

10: Teaching the Edges of Empires: Hong Kong and Taiwan Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic — Justin Wu

Section Two: Pedagogical Tools and Methods for a Pandemic

11: Zooming to Indonesia: Cultural Exchange without Study Abroad — Gareth Barkin

12: Somatic Approaches to Teaching Asia Online: A Case Study of Taijiquan Training for Actors — Adam D. Frank

13: Podcasting during the Pandemic and Beyond — Tristan R. Grunow

14: Designing and Implementing a Tandem Language Learning (TLL) Program for Learners of Chinese and English Using the Social Media App QQ — Jeffrey Gil, Han Lin, and Gwendolyn Campbell

15: Digital Investigations: Using Virtual Fieldwork in the Classroom — Byron Haast and Phillip O’Brien

16: Blogging as Digital Citizens in an Online Course — Nabaparna Ghosh

17: Teaching Asia: Online Harkness Discussions — Jared Hall

18: What’s in a Wet Market? Anthropology of Food and Asia during the COVID-19 Pandemic — Sarah G. Grant

19: Teaching College-Level Asian Politics through Simulations in Online Environments — Petra Hendrickson

20: Investigating the COVID-19 Pandemic: An East Asian Perspective — Matthew Roberts

21: China in the Age of COVID-19: Strategies for Teaching Survey Students — Tanya L. Roth

You may also download the entire volume.