Courses & Mentorship

The courses and seminars we conduct emphasize historical thinking, critical analysis. Our goal is not just to deepen participants’ knowledge or understanding of historical events related to World War II in Asia, but also to foster reflexivity.  The different lessons on World War II history in Asia that we have developed are offered through the conferences and seminars we conduct, as well as through our summer internship programming.  In addition, we offer four-week long LIFE Courses at Ryerson University during the winter term.

LIFE Course at Ryerson

A Case of Unjust Enrichment? Reflections on Forced Labour during World War II in Asia Coming in winter (Dates TBA)

This four-part lecture provides a general overview of the mobilization and deployment of Asian labour alongside of Allied POWs in the service of the Japanese Empire’s wartime economy during World War II, and links the quest for post war justice with regard to the atrocities committed against workers and POWs, to the broader development of human rights norms. Topics include stories from survivors, gender and labour in the wartime economy, and the changing international norms on labour, particularly, shifts in the interwar and post Second World War period.

Research Mentorship

Along with a selection of topics about World War II history in Asia, the summer seminar for interns at ALPHA Education incorporates the following lessons

**We also offer our interns a workshop on writing and designing one’s curriculum vitae.


Vetting Sources & Primary Source Analysis Workshops

These lessons and exercises help hone participants’ skills and abilities in vetting sources, as well as in locating and analyzing primary sources 


Review of Literature & Academic Essay Writing Assignments

Through coaching, and editing with feedback sessions, mentors at ALPHA Education provide participants with practical advice on improving their academic writing skills.


Historical Thinking Exercises

These lessons and exercises encourage students to be critical of dominant and conventional historical narratives, particularly those that exclude the experiences of marginalized groups. 

Forgotten Voices, Living History: World War II in Asia (Winter, February 7-28, 2019)

This four-part lecture provides an overview of the Second World War in Asia, focusing on the historical events leading up to the war, some of the military atrocities perpetrated against combatants and non-combatants in Asia by the Japanese Imperial Army, as well as the Quest for Post War Justice under the auspices of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE).

Digital Archives Project

ALPHA Education’s Digital Archive Project (DAP) aims to build a large volume of educational and instructional materials as well as research aids featuring primary sources about World War II in Asia. We work closely with volunteer researchers, translators, transcribers and annotators. The DAP offers our student interns and volunteers a valuable learning experience. DAP volunteers and interns participate in a series of modules on historical thinking and other critical approaches to history. In turn, the work that our volunteers and interns produce for the DAP become resources that help educators and researchers engage the broader public about the history of World War II in Asia.

You can explore DAP materials from our resources collection. Apart from curating a collection of images and archival documents that may be used for teaching, the DAP also publishes “Primary Source Collections,” that focus on a particular theme or historical event. This resource features a thematic essay, 5-6 primary sources, and other instructional guides such as timelines and case summaries.