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Isn’t That Just Ancient History?

By Daniel Knorr Recently, the College Board made news for announcing changes to the scope of Advanced Placement (AP) World History. From now on, the AP exam will cover only the period after 1450 CE. High schools could still choose to offer an additional course covering world history before 1450—making it a two-year sequence—but only material from the later time period will appear on the exam. The main goal, according to the College Board, is to bring the scope of the exam more in line with what can be covered in a single college course. A large number of educators have criticized the decision, leading the College Board to say that they will reconsider and issue a final decision in July. The main focus of this criticism has been how shifting the timeline of the course will affect teaching about the Americas, Africa, and Asia. With the course starting in 1450, students would learn about many areas only in the context of European colonialism, if at all. To be fair to the College Board, s ...

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Excerpt: The Philippines — From Earliest Times to the Present

Key Issues in Asian Studies (KIAS) is an AAS book series of short, classroom-ready texts intended for high-school and undergraduate readers. Today, we are pleased to bring you an excerpt from the latest KIAS title, The Philippines: From Earliest Times to the Present, written by historian Damon L. Woods. In this brief volume, Woods provides readers with an overview of Philippine history, culture, and politics. Starting in the year 900CE, Woods traces the archipelago’s past, exploring the regional ties that connected its inhabitants with others in the Pacific Ocean long before the arrival of European ships in the 16th century. Woods then devotes chapters to the years of Spanish, American, and Japanese rule, followed by an in-depth discussion of political and social developments in the decades following Philippine independence in 1946. As Woods notes in the excerpt below, “This book is a story of the Philippines that depicts Filipinos as active participants in their own history rather than passive ac ...

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Best of the EAA Archives: Using Literature in the Classroom Edition

The “Best of EAA Articles” are a series of posts that include outstanding articles, essays, interviews, and reviews that are among the over 1,500 archived open access materials available on the Education About Asia website. Titles, short annotations, and links are below. Throughout the years, a number of superb literature articles, essays, and interviews have been published in EAA. This is the first installment of several we plan to post in the coming weeks. • “History As Literature, Literature As History, Lost Names: Scenes From a Korean Boyhood — An EAA Interview with Richard Kim” (fall 1999): Richard Kim describes his novel about a young boy in Japanese-occupied Korea: “…all the characters and events in the book are real but everything else is fiction.” Middle school, high school, and undergraduate instructors have all assigned this superb work. • “Her: An Indonesian Short Story” by Titis Basino, translated by Florence Lamoureux (sp ...

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The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up – A Q&A with Author Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer’s 2008 debut book, The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed, recounted his time spent living in the crowded hutong alleyways of China’s capital during the run-up to that year’s Olympics. In 2015, he published In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China, which picked up Meyer’s story as he moved to his wife’s hometown in the countryside and immersed himself in the history of the country’s northeast region. In a new book, The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up, Meyer circles back to his first days in China, when he arrived in 1995 as a 23-year-old Peace Corps volunteer who couldn’t use chopsticks, spoke no Chinese, and “knew little about the country beyond the Great Wall, pandas, one billion people, fortune cookies, and the indelible image of a man standing in front of a tank.” The Road to Sleeping Dragon follows Meyer as he finds his footi ...

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Best of the EAA Archives: Maritime History Edition

Maritime History is a field of study that often is not integrated into high school or beginning undergraduate survey courses. The articles and essay below, from our fall 2014 special section “Maritime Asia,” provide readers with a variety of choices that are applicable to world history, geography, and anthropology courses. The “Best of EAA Articles” are a series of posts that include outstanding articles, essays, interviews, and reviews that are among the over 1,500 archived open-access materials available on the Education About Asia website. Titles, short annotations, and links are below. • “When the World Came to Southeast Asia: Malacca and the Global Economy” Historian and Southeast Asia specialist Michael Vann uses a once-great port city in assisting readers to understand that Southeast Asia has played an important role for a long time in the global economy. • “Maritime Southeast Asia: Not Just a Crossroads” Historian and anthropologist Jennife ...

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