Our mission is to promote understanding of Asian cultures and peoples and to assist educators at all levels, from elementary schools to colleges and universities, in finding resources for learning and teaching about Asia.
The Asian Educational Media Service (AEMS) is a program of the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
AEMS offers help in locating audio-visual media resources about Asia and advice in choosing among the many resources available. We maintain an extensive database with more than 6,000 records for DVDs, video cassettes, CD-ROMs, audio cassettes, and curriculum units with audio-visual components that are useful for learning and teaching about Asia. Each record includes information on how to obtain the item directly from its distributor and whether the item is in the AEMS collection. We invite you to contact AEMS for direct assistance in finding resources, free of charge. Call us or write (see contact information below), or use our request info form.
News & Reviews
Quarterly, AEMS publishes a free online newsletter with review articles on recent Asia-related films and other multi-media resources, as well as essays on teaching about Asia. Drawn from around the world, our reviewers are experts in their fields and active educators; they evaluate films and other resources for content, accuracy, appeal, and educational usefulness. Back issues are available here. Please drop us a line if you would like to be added to the News and Reviews mailing list.
Media Production Group (MPG)
MPG is a bi-national team of Japan Studies and media professionals who design and produce materials on Asia for public television and classroom use. Over the past 15 years, they have produced 31 documentary films, available for purchase through AEMS and Createspace.
An online educator resource presenting excerpts of documentaries about Asia by scholar filmmakers together with original curriculum materials. Developed for the college and high school teacher for easy to use in the classroom, this website contains 3-5 minute excerpts of the films available via live-streaming, accompanied by free downloadable PDFs of curriculum materials, accessible film transcripts, background materials about each film, and a clear method to order the full length films. This website conforms to the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) accessibility standards for people with disabilities.
AEMS offers several lesson plans for use with particular films. These were created for AEMS by respected educators and are available on our website.
Local Media Library
AEMS is a member of the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS), a consortium of over 500 academic, public, and special libraries serving central and southern Illinois. Patrons can access AEMS’s collection of high-quality videos and curriculum materials about Asia directly at our offices on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus or through other members of IHLS.
Since 2008 AEMS has been curating the ongoing documentary and independent film series AsiaLENS at the Spurlock Museum in Urbana. Each film is accompanied by a local or visiting expert who leads the audience in a post-screening discussion.
Workshops and Exhibits
AEMS has a history of hosting educator workshops in central Illinois. We have also conducted workshops and organized exhibits at a variety of regional, national and international conferences related to Asian Studies and social studies education. AEMS supplies information packets and newsletters to educator workshops upon request.
Asian Film Festival
Since 2003, AEMS has collaborated with CEAPS to host a free film festival in downtown Champaign and on campus, open to the general public. The focus of past film festivals have included Visualizing Tibetan (2010), Young in Japan (2008), Southeast Asian Popular Cinema (2007), South Korean cinema (2006), Pan-Asian cinema (2005), Transnational Chinese cinema (2004), and Japanese cinema (2003).
AEMS has been supported by funding from The Freeman Foundation, The Luce Foundation, National Endowment of Humanities, US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center Grant, and The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
AEMS is guided by a National Advisory Board and an on-campus University Committee. We also receive input from the EAPS Teachers Advisory Council.
The University of Illinois has hosted the Asian Educational Media Service for nearly fifteen years, when it arrived from Earlham College. The late Jackson H. Bailey, Professor of History at Earlham, founded the Center for Educational Media (CEM) in 1992. A man widely esteemed for his pioneering efforts to help Americans better understand Japan and East Asia, Dr. Bailey conceived of CEM as a clearinghouse for information about educational media on Japan. In July of 1997, a year after his death, the operation was moved to the Center of East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois under the leadership of Professor David Plath, where its mission was expanded to include all of Asia and it was renamed the Asian Educational Media Service.