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Best of the EAA Archives: A New #AsiaNow Feature

This is the first of a series of posts that will highlight 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. • Nimish Adhia’s “The History of Economic Development in India since Independence” (winter 2015) is a superb, clearly written introductory overview for students on Indian economic history since 1947.  • Marvin Marcus, also the author of the Key Issues in Asia Studies volume Japanese Literature: From Murasaki to Murakami, in "Natsume Sōseki and Modern Japanese Literature” (fall 2015) published an engaging biographical sketch of the iconic Japanese novelist.  • Readers of Wang Ping's autobiographical “I am a Chinese English Teacher” (fall 2015) will learn not only about the life of a Chinese high school teacher, but also get a sense of the changes that occurred in China ov ...

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Figuring Korean Futures: Children’s Literature in Modern Korea

By Dafna Zur Dafna Zur is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures at Stanford University and author of Figuring Korean Futures: Children’s Literature in Modern Korea, just published by Stanford University Press. In the fall of 2011 I was a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia and had taken a position at Keimyung University in the Department of Korean Literature. Besides my teaching job, which gave me an opportunity to experience life in Korean academia, I found myself in the rather unenviable position of hakpumo, the parent of a school-age child. My older son was then seven and enrolled in the second semester of first grade. He was thrown into the proverbial “deep end” of elementary school, in which no accommodations were made for speakers of Korean as a second language. I watched him struggle to keep up with sentence dictations and word problems in math, when one of his homework materials caught my eye. It consisted of a short poem, followed by multiple ...

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October 2017 AAS Member News & Notes

Many thanks to the members of the AAS 2018 conference program committee, who met in Ann Arbor on September 23, 2017. Committee members reviewed nearly 1,000 organized panel and individual paper submissions in preparation for the meeting, and the AAS appreciates their willingness to devote time and effort to this work. *** The selection committee for the Hamako Ito Chaplin Memorial Award for Excellence in Japanese Language Teaching is now accepting nominations and self-nominations for the 2018 award. The Chaplin Award recognizes outstanding work in the fields of Japanese language pedagogy, linguistics, anthropology, or literature. If you are interested in nominating yourself or a colleague, please complete an application form and submit it to the selection committee chair no later than February 2, 2018. *** The Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies (MARAAS) conference will be held October 6-8 at Drexel University in Philadelphia and will feature a keynote address by AAS Past President Laurel ...

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The Politics of Compassion: An Interview with Bin Xu

After a devastating earthquake hit China’s southwestern Sichuan Province on May 12, 2008, thousands of volunteers left their homes in other parts of the country and traveled to Sichuan to help victims of the quake. This outpouring of assistance surprised many Chinese, who for years had lamented about a perceived moral vacuum and lack of compassion in their society. As Emory University sociologist Bin Xu explains in his new book, The Politics of Compassion: The Sichuan Earthquake and Civic Engagement in China (Stanford University Press), the 2008 earthquake threw a spotlight on civic engagement in the country, bringing non-governmental organizations and social networks that had previously been little-known onto the national stage. Xu has spent years investigating the dimensions of this civic engagement, first joining the volunteers as a participant-observer and subsequently conducting interviews with those who stepped forward to assist in Sichuan’s recovery from the earthquake. In The Politi ...

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Okinoshima, Japan’s Newly Minted UNESCO World Heritage Site

By Lindsey E. DeWitt On July 9, 2017, Japan received its twenty-first UNESCO World Heritage inscription, making a total of seventeen cultural sites and four natural sites (the full list can be accessed here). The newly designated UNESCO World Heritage site, “Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region,” features a solitary islet just four kilometers in circumference in the middle of the Genkai Sea, some sixty kilometers from the northern part of Kyushu Island. The decision marks the culmination of a nearly decade-long effort and puts a spotlight on the rich religious and cultural landscapes of Kyushu and the broader maritime sphere of the Korean peninsula and the continent. The island’s tiny size and remote location belies its great cultural and historical significance. Japan’s eighth-century chronicles Nihon shoki and Kojiki note Okinoshima as the abode of one of three female deities who descend from the sun goddess Amaterasu (the central deity of Jap ...

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