A Look at Human Rights, Women’s, Gender, and Asian Studies
A Look at Human Rights, Women’s, Gender, and Asian Studies
By: Camila Costadoni
Directed Individual Study, Spring 2015
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
To better understand a specific department or the direction a certain field is taking it is essential to research the resources that have been provided by the field itself. Following the example set forth by the research presented on Indonesia Inquiry, locating various centers structured around Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, and Human Rights was made simple. In order to have a general directory on these fields, searching with those keywords (i.e., “directory of __”) provided the best results. Dividing the research based on geographic location also allowed for a more logical flow to the recording of the information gathered.
The first website dedicated to Women’s Studies with the emphasis on Asian groups was the “Asian Association of Women’s Studies.” This website provides a place for a basis in which “feminist education and research on Asia,” can be made available through the coming together of people in the field. A second website that seems to serve as a network for women’s and gender studies in Asia was the UNESCO Bangkok website. This website provided organizations to connect with, databases to further research, and the recent publications made by the researchers of these areas. Visiting websites such as these broaden the scope of the field and highlight the diversity and possibilities of study that can be conducted.
The next geographic area that especially interested me was in the United States. It is interesting to see what the study looks like for areas outside of the United States, but also understanding the way the country you reside in views the field or the contributions made are equally important. The search for universities or colleges dedicated to these studies was also more widely available or easier to find than other countries. The website that helped this search was one created by University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The list compiled all of the colleges that had either a women’s studies program or a gender one (or a combination of both) and listed them alphabetically inside of the United States and then “outside of the United States.” Sifting through this list took a substantial amount of time and at times produced frustration as the programs were no longer in place at some of these institutions. However, what could be gleaned from this research is that the field itself is always changing and adapting to the times. This changing atmosphere leaves it open for more and more people to come in and try and contribute which showed me that original contributions can still be made and can actually make a difference and as that is one of the goals I would like to accomplish in my lifetime, that is especially important for me.
The incorporation of women’s studies and human rights activism is also critically important for the education I am seeking so it was important to also look up the programs that had an emphasis on this. One thing that I immediately made note of is that the universities that offered this type of education were a lot less abundant and if they did offer it it was in graduate courses. This is especially beneficial to me as I am already a college graduate and intend to go to graduate school, but it brought up questions as to why there was not much of an emphasis on it for an undergraduate degree. Further, the abundance of human rights organizations cover an immense range of issues effecting people all around the world and provide an opportunity for anyone to get involved in any sort of capacity that they are interested in.
This research has opened my eyes to the many differing viewpoints that can be had in regards to this type of study and it helped me realize that this field is big enough to get an education that actually means something and will not be seen as a waste. Following this research, the next area of study to look into is that of Asian studies. Five websites were closely examined: ASIANetwork. Education About Asia (EAA), the School for Advanced Research (SAR), “Digitial Asia,” and the Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS).
ASIANetwork is a collective of about 160 colleges situated within the United States whose primary goal is to strengthen the education of Asian Studies for undergraduates. The initial group began in 1992 when representatives from varying liberal arts colleges sought to find ways to expand the area of Asian Studies for their institutions. In 1993, this organization became permanent and is an affiliate of Association for Asian Studies. It has thus expanded and the pillars for the organization include striving to send more of the students and faculty to Asia, highlight the scholarship of the field, and strengthen and provide resources to the member institutions. One of the initial requirements of membership is that there is a commitment to the study of Asia amongst the undergraduate education in liberal arts. Following that there are a number of categories under which someone may join the network: Institutional (broken down based on mission of liberal arts education), Affiliate (open to institutions not situated within the US), and Individual (allowed all the same benefits, but are not eligible to apply for the grants or fellowships provided). All of the categories must pay an annual due of different quantities.
Education About Asia (EAA) is a journal geared towards those with an interested in Asia with many disciplines included (anthropology, business and economics, education, etc.). This journal has been affiliated with the Association of Asian Studies since 1996 and is published three times throughout the year. The availability of the journal has now been opened up to an online access which allows you to look into the archive articles. To navigate this you simply need to browse based on the Table of Contents of a certain issue, an article keyword, based on country or region, or simply the author. In order to gain the full subscription, it is broken down into different categories: Individual Non-Member, Organizational, and Individual Active AAS Member.
The School for Advanced Research (SAR) is a non-profit organization established in 1907 as an institution for the study of the American Southwest in Santa Fe, NM. The institution has since expanded to encourage the scholarship of anthropology while advancing the work of Native Americans. The mission set forth by SAR is advanced by five different programs: Advanced Seminars (conducted by academic experts), Scholar and artist residencies (completion of approved projects), SAR Press (an academic publisher), Indian Arts Research Center (collection of art pieces), and Membership (includes access to lecture series, field trips, SAR Press). The levels of membership are further broken down into six levels with differing benefits for each level with no pre-existing requirement simply the payment of the fee.
“Digital Asia” is a project created by the Asian Educational Media Service (AEMS) with an affiliation with the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This project offers access to films created by scholars on contemporary East Asia. The website provides a short clip of each film, a synopsis, the topics discussed, supplemental material to provide to the students (characters, maps, bibliographies, etc), and a link to purchase the film (those links were not working). There are also currently only five films to choose from on the website.
The Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) is a record of thousands of citations compiled from the works of scholars of Asian studies. Once a printed publication, the BAS has been converted into an electronic database (in 1991) which now holds over 842, 000 references. This information can be accessed by members from colleges who have subscribed to the services or by individual subscriptions. .
Women’s and Gender Studies –
- Asian Association of Women’s Studies (www.aaws07.org/aaws_bb/index2.php)
- UNESCO Bangkok- Women’s/Gender Studies Network in Asia-Pacific (http://www.unescobkk.org/rushsap/gender-studies/womensgender-studies-network-in-asia-pacific/)
- Southeastern Women’s Studies Association (SEWSA) (http://sewsaonline.org/)
- National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) (http://www.nwsa.org/index.asp)
- Women’s Studies Database (provided by University of Maryland) (http://mith.umd.edu/WomensStudies/)
- Women & Gender Studies Database (provided by MIT) (http://libguides.mit.edu/c.php?g=175868&p=1160243#14834926)
- Women’s Studies Programs, Departments, and Research Centers (provided by UMBC) (http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/programs.html)
Human Rights –
- Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center (HURIGHTS OSAKA) (http://www.hurights.or.jp/english/)
- Asia Rights (Directory of Asian Human Rights Organizations) (http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/blogs/asiarights/new-directory-of-asian-human-rights-organizations/)
- Human Rights Organisations and Resources (https://www.humanrights.gov.au/links-human-rights-organisations-and-resources)
- Human Rights House (http://humanrightshouse.org/HRHN/Resources/index.html)
- Human Rights (NGOs) (http://www.worldlii.org/catalog/307.html)
- Human Rights Research Guide (provided by Columbia University) (http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Human_Rights#Directories)
- International Human Rights Advocacy Groups (http://www.guidetoaction.org/intlgrps.html)
Education About Asia
School for Advanced Research (SAR)
- Shielding the Mountains (http://www.digitalasia.illinois.edu/video/?contentID=njDvslvcZkGf8jtobWhEUg)
- Bored in Heaven (http://www.digitalasia.illinois.edu/video/?contentID=AyMwiE93pEO1uoXH-2rEAw)
- Broken Pots, Broken Dreams (http://www.digitalasia.illinois.edu/video/?contentID=TKNQvFsTQ0WaSYhPPjjgQQ)
- Shugendô Now (http://www.digitalasia.illinois.edu/video/?contentID=FIqA7gob2kCfBgmea-IfXw)
- The Lessons of the Loess Plateau (http://www.digitalasia.illinois.edu/video/?contentID=68n1b7jiNEeY-ALl0vqNJg)
Bibliography of Asian Studies (Online)