When Harvard Asia Center Acting Director Andrew Gordon proposed an exhibit on maps of Asia in the Asian Centers' Lounge in CGIS South, he knew it might stir up some healthy debate. He also knew it would showcase different perspectives of Asia throughout history and through various designs using maps as the common medium. Read more about 'Mapping Asia' Invites Different Viewpoints of Asia
The mission of the Harvard Asia Center is to study Asia past and present, across disciplines and schools at Harvard, and across borders and cultures in Asia. The free exchange of ideas and the free movement of people is fundamental to pursue this mission, as it is to pursue the mission of Harvard University. Such freedoms are indeed the bedrock of American higher education generally. The Trump Administration’s Executive Order of January 27 restricting travel to the United States is a threat not just to those seeking to enter the United States from the seven countries it names. Read more about Asia Center Response to Executive Order
The Asia Center welcomed two new staff members over the winter break. Lani O'Donnell joins as the Assistant to the Faculty Director, and Maryam Mirza Alivandi joins as a Financial Associate. Read more about New Asia Center Staff Members
A first major loan exhibition of Indian art in Beijing, China was held in the majestic Meridian gate tower of the Palace Museum of the Forbidden City, and it addressed the commonality of Buddhism in the two regions. Harvard's Jinah Kim, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture, described the exhibition, “Across the Silk Road: Gupta Sculptures and their Chinese Counterparts during 400 to 700CE.”
The fastest growing urban population isn’t in China or India but in the island nation of Indonesia. This rapid urbanization has resulted in higher incomes, better education, and overall improved standards of living, but at the expense of more traffic, pollution, infrastructure problems, and disaster risk. This juxtaposition makes for a fascinating study in urbanization, which was recently chronicled in “Indonesia’s Urban Story,” a traveling exhibit developed by the City Form Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Department of Urban Planning and Design and the World Bank. Read more about Revisiting "Indonesia's Urban Story"
From the end of World War II in 1945 to 1979, Asia was embroiled in one military conflict or another, from civil wars in China and much of Southeast Asia in the late 1940s, to the Korean War in the early 1950s, to the Vietnam War from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s. About 80 percent of global battle deaths during this period were in East Asia. But since 1979, there has been a remarkable period of peace and stability in Asia, and this percentage has fallen from six percent in the 1980s to less than two percent during the period 1990-2015. Read more about Critical Issues Confronting China Summary–The East Asian Peace: Can It Last?
Are the poor really too poor to innovate? How do the extreme poor, living in the slums, “entrepreneurate”? Have they been successful to any extent climbing up the social ladder, and if so, how did they manage to do it? Dr. Soumodip Sarkar, a world-renowned expert on the management and economics of innovation and an associate professor at the Department of Management at University of Evora, Portugal and an Asia Center Associate, is investigating these questions in his ongoing research. Dr. Read more about Seminar Recap – Slumdog Entrepreneurs: Creating Something from Nothing