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York Centre for Asian Research Update                        Issue 22, Friday, September 2, 2005


YCAR commences brownbag seminar series

The YCAR brownbag seminars are aimed at providing opportunities for people to present their research on Asia. They are held usually every Monday from 12-1:30 pm in Fall and Winter semesters at York University, unless otherwise indicated. Below is the preliminary roster of speakers for Fall 2005.

September 8 - Yomota Inuhiko, Japanese film scholar and cultural critic, on Aesthetics of Kawaii, ACW 004 (Accolade Bldg. between Vari Hall and Burton Auditorium). Please note that this is on Thursday, 2:30-5:00 pm)

September 12 - Lan Hung Nora Chiang, Geography Professor at National Taiwan University, on Taiwanese women in 'astronaut' families and '1.5' generation of Taiwanese immigrants in Toronto, York Lanes 270B.

September 26 - Joshua Fogel - CRC Chair on History on Modern China at York University, on The 1862 Voyage of the /Senzaimaru/ to Shanghai and Its Recreation in Wartime Japanese Cinema: Two Seminal Moments in Sino-Japanese Relations Folded into One, ACW 106, Accolade West Building.

October 3 - Jay Goulding - School of Social Science Professor, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, on Chinese Philosophy, York Lanes 270B.

October 14-16 - Regional Conference at York University hosted by YCAR on Revisioning Southeast Asia: Conflicts, Connections and Vulnerabilities. Please note deadline of early bird registration is Thursday, September 15.

November 14 - Michael Stainton, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, on George Leslie MacKay, York Lanes 270B.

YCAR is also co-sponsoring talks and seminars with other departments and research centres. Details will be provided in subsequent updates. For those who would like to participate in YCAR's brownbag seminar series in Fall/Winter 2006, kindly submit your proposed date, title and abstract to Rhoda Reyes, centre coordinator, at rreyes@yorku.ca.

YCAR is also holding its Annual Reception on Wednesday, September 21, from 3:00-6:00 pm at the Senior Common Room 305, Founders College, York University. For those who are interested in becoming a member of YCAR and in meeting the faculty, research and graduate associates of the centre, please RSVP by Wednesday, September 14, 2005; voicemail (416) 736-2100 ext. 44068. Thank you very much!


NUS professor delivers lecture on modernity and history 

The University of Toronto Centre for South Asian Studies presents a lecture on modernity and history by Prof. Rabindranath Tagore on Wednesday, September 7 at 4:00 pm, Rm 109N, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, 6 Hoskin Avenue.

Dr. Saranindranath Tagore is associate professor in the Philosophy Department, National University of Singapore. He is in Toronto as a visiting scholar at the Munk Centre for International Studies. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of European and Indian philosophies. His publications include Rabindranath Tagore: Final Poems, selected and translated by Wendy Barker, Saranindranath Tagore (2001),   "India, Europe, and Modernity" in Arvind Sharma et.al, eds., Dharma: The Categorical Imperative, and "Multiculturalism and the Ethics of Translation" in Rukmini Bhaya Nair ed., Translation, Text, and Theory: The Paradigm of India. All are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.

For questions please contact the Centre for South Asian Studies at 416-978-4294 or by e-mail at south.asian@utoronto.ca.  The Centre for South Asian Studies is affiliated with the Asian Institute (Munk Centre for International Studies) and New College.


 

UVic invites applications for tenure-track posts at Pacific and Asian Studies

The University of Victoria Department of Pacific and Asian Studies invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track appointment in Japan Area Studies. The appointment will be at the entry level of Assistant Professor and will commence on July 1, 2006. The successful candidate should hold a Ph D or near completion, and demonstrate outstanding promise in the social sciences, history, or regional studies. The candidate is expected to have a proven capacity for teaching and research in history or contemporary Japan Studies and a working knowledge of the Japanese language. Potential areas of specialization include (but are not limited to): industrialization and modernization, nationalism and identity, Japan in global context, culture, commodities and consumption, gender and sexuality. Pacific and Asian Studies is a dynamic interdisciplinary department with a new and innovative graduate program and the new appointment will complement the Department's existing program coverage. The successful candidate will be expected to teach a general introductory course on the Pacific Region, regional courses on Japan, and thematic courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Please send a letter of application and curriculum vitae to Dr. Yuen-fong WOON, Chair of Search Committee, Department of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Victoria, PO Box 3045, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8W 3P4, (telephone: 250-721-7479; fax: 250-721-7219; email: huaqiao@uvic.ca ) by November 15, 2005. In addition, please arrange for three academic referees to send letters of reference to the Chair of the Search Committee by the same date. The Department website: http://web.uvic.ca/pacificasia contains information on the program.

____________________

The institution also invites applications for a full-time, tenure track appointment in Southeast Asian Area Studies. The appointment will be at the entry level of Assistant Professor and will commence on July 1, 2006. The successful candidate should hold a Ph D or near completion, and demonstrate outstanding promise in the social sciences, history, or regional studies. The candidate is expected to have a proven capacity for teaching and research in history or contemporary Southeast Asian Studies and a working knowledge of a Southeast Asian language. Potential areas of specialization include (but are not limited to): colonial and post-colonial histories, cultures in transition, local-global dynamics, environmental issues, diasporic communities, gender and sexuality. Pacific and Asian Studies is a dynamic interdisciplinary department with a new and innovative graduate program and the new appointment will complement the Department's existing program coverage. The successful candidate will be expected to teach a general introductory course on the Pacific Region, regional courses on Southeast Asia, and thematic courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Please send a letter of application and curriculum vitae to Dr. R. Christopher Morgan, Chair of the Search Committee, Department of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Victoria, PO Box 3045, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8W 3P4, (telephone: 250-721-7474; fax: 250-721-7219; email: rcmorgan@uvic.ca ) by November 15, 2005. In addition, please arrange for three academic referees to send letters of reference to the Chair of Search Committee by the same date. The Department website: http://web.uvic.ca/pacificasia contains information on the program.

The University of Victoria is an equity employer and encourages applications from women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of the University.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


Winter 2006 Jefferson Fellowships for Asia Pacific and US Journalists

Theme: "South Asia Shining"
Travel Destinations: Honolulu, Hawaii; Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai, India; Islamabad, Pakistan
Dates: Feb. 5-26, 2006
Applications Due: Oct. 21, 2005
Information and Application: http://www.eastwestcenter.org/jefferson

HONOLULU (Aug. 29) -- The East-West Center is accepting applications for the Winter 2006 Jefferson Fellowships, which will bring Asia Pacific and U.S. journalists to Honolulu for discussions on South Asia, then send them to India and Pakistan. The program dates are Feb. 5-26, 2006. Applications are due Oct. 21, 2005.

The program, titled "South Asia Shining," will focus on the future of this dynamic region. In India's 2004 election campaign, the then-ruling BJP party ran on a slogan of "India Shining," a reflection of India's recent economic growth and emergence as a major global player in industries such as financial services and software development. India, along with China, is poised to become a leading economy in the Asia Pacific region. However, as India's Congress party successfully demonstrated in its defeat of the BJP, many in India are not yet feeling the benefits of India's economic growth and the country has many challenges to overcome in its push toward greater economic prosperity.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, having created a solid infrastructure of roads and communication, is equally one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. It is currently engaged in trying to balance competing visions of Islam and edging toward democratization at the national and provincial levels. The recent agreement with India over energy and missile testing has brought hopes of détente to the region. Both nuclear powers, Pakistan and India have key roles to play in regional stability and security.

In presentations to one another and in sessions at the East-West Center in Honolulu, journalists will explore how their countries are responding to India's rising economic influence and how they see their countries' relations with India and Pakistan developing and changing in the coming decades. In Honolulu and in visits to Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Islamabad, journalists will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in India's and Pakistan's economic development as well as the political, security, cultural and social dynamics of these two South Asian countries.

For more information and for applications, see http://www.eastwestcenter.org/jefferson

The Jefferson Fellowships are supported by a grant from The Freeman Foundation.

For more information, contact: Ann Hartman
Phone: (808) 944-7384
Fax: (808) 944-7600
Email: mailto:seminars@EastWestCenter.org 

For a directory of East-West Wire reports, http://www.eastwestcenter.org/events-en.asp
For daily news on the Pacific Islands,
http://www.pireport.org
For links to all East-West Center media programs, fellowships and services,
http://www.eastwestcenter.org/journalists


 

IDRC invites applications for Centre Internship Awards

The IDRC Internship awards provide exposure to research for international development through a program of training in research management and grant administration under the guidance of IDRC program staff. The internship is designed to provide hands-on learning experiences in research program management - in the creation, dissemination and utilization of knowledge from an international perspective. The intern will undertake a program of research on the topic submitted when competing for the internship award, and will be trained in the techniques of research management through hands-on experience with the Centre's policies and practices for grant administration under the mentorship of a Program Officer(s).

Program:

Internships will be considered for a program of training and research responding to IDRC’s research priorities. IDRC’s research activities focus on three Program Areas:

The intern will undertake a program of research on the topic submitted when competing for the Internship during a part (often around 50% ) of their time and will be trained in the techniques of research management through hands-on work experience with their chosen program’s programming and practices. They will work under the mentorship of a Program Officer(s).

Duration of Tenure: Internships are tenable for a minimum of 4 months and a maximum of 12 months at IDRC headquarters in Ottawa or in a Regional Office. Developing country nationals residing in their home country (or another country) must hold their internships in the appropriate Regional Office.

Employment Status: Interns doing their internship in Canada will receive a salary in a range from $33,201 to $38,434 per year, depending on qualifications and experience. They will be considered as full-time term employees of the Centre. Benefits include contributions to Employment Insurance, Employer Health Tax and the Canada Pension Plan and 4 per cent in lieu of vacation leave. Some travel and research expenses will also be supported, up to a maximum of $10,000. The salary range and benefits for interns located in the Regional Offices will vary according to regional conditions. No allowance for relocation is provided.

Eligibility: The program is aimed at candidates who, through demonstrated achievements in academic studies, work or research, have shown interest in the creation and utilization of knowledge from an international perspective. Candidates can be Canadians, permanent residents, or citizens of developing countries, who are either currently registered in a Master's Program or have completed a Master's Degree already. Candidates need not be affiliated with an institution. They may participate in internships as part of an academic requirement.

Application: The application must show how the intern will accomplish a set of learning objectives. IDRC requires applicants to specify only one Program Initiative only to match their interest. At its discretion, IDRC may forward the application to a second Program Initiative. The specifications for Centre Internships are linked to current program priorities and structure. The Centre reserves the right to change program priorities and structure and this may determine the final choice and allocation of Centre Internships. The following documents should be submitted by the applicant:

Complete applications must be received at the Centre by the deadline. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered for the competition. For more info on IDRC's awards, visit its website at http://www.idrc.ca/awards/.

Deadline for receipt of applications: September 12, 2005

Announcement of awards: End of November 2005

Commencement of awards: January 2006.


Heritage row in KL revives childhood memories, by Magdalene Lum, The Straits Times,
2005-08-31

Balik kampung is Malay for 'going home' and it has taken on a new meaning for me since I found out that my childhood home in Kuala Lumpur has become a hip and happening upmarket enclave of bistros, pubs and restaurants called the Asian Heritage Row. The row of conserved colonial buildings at Jalan Doraisamy, in Kampung Bahru, now plays home to places where the beautiful and famous come to see and be seen.

Right: Good old days: Writer Magdalene Lum as a tot in the arms of her mother, Madam Margaret Woon, in front of their pre-World War II house - No 32, Jalan Doraisamy - which is now being transformed into a Chinese restaurant.

At The Loft, for example, a fine-dining Italian eatery and Japanese bistro are on the ground level and an open-concept lounge club is upstairs. And to think that The Loft stands right next to what used to be my family home, No 32 Jalan Doraisamy. Three generations of my family lived there, including my maternal grandparents, an aunt and two uncles, one of whom we nicknamed Ten Spider because in Cantonese, it rhymed with 10th Kow Foo, or 10th Uncle. A tomboy in my childhood, I remember a time when I was 10 or 11 and playing my favourite bat-and-ball game of rounders with some neighbourhood kids. My ball landed in the wrong place - right in the soya sauce and chilli bowl of a passing hawker. Today, it might have landed in a dish of wasabi.

Part of The Loft itself used to be home to my childhood friend, Ming Ching, a schoolmaster's daughter. So avid was she as a girl guide at her St Mary's Girls' School, a Protestant missionary school, that she recruited me into her group even though I was from a different school - the Catholic convent at Bukit Nanas. The guides at St Mary's welcomed me, and the teachers at my own school were none the wiser. My family lived at our pre-World War II Jalan Doraisamy house till the 1960s, when we moved to the new satellite town of Petaling Jaya outside Kuala Lumpur. Only my elderly aunt, her husband and my bachelor uncle, Ten Spider, remained behind. The men died, and my aunt moved to a nursing home after the landlord repossessed the house. She died early this year at age 94.

Now the house is being transformed into a Chinese eatery called Yechine, which will open on Sept 17, the newest in a collection boasting names such as Bar Blonde, CoChine Lounge and Vanilla Box Bakery Cafe. They are a far cry from the area's most famous food haunt of the 1950s and 1960s, the makan stalls that made up the Campbell Road row. The crowds thronged the Majid Satay stall, as famous then as Kajang Satay is today. VIPs and ordinary folks went there. I remember the ice kacang was also wonderful, as was the Hokkien mee (tai look mee) fried the way it is done only in KL, black with thick soya sauce and rich with lard. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Sadly, the Campbell Road food haunt is gone, burned down during the May 13, 1969 riots. It was rebuilt later, but eventually made way for an office-cum-shopping complex, and the road is now known as Jalan Dang Wangi. Luckily for me, my family was already living in Petaling Jaya when the riots occurred. Otherwise we might have had to seek shelter at the police station, as my aunt and two uncles did. Back in the old days, I used to visit the Malay Sunday market at Jalan Raja Abdullah (the old Hale Road) in the Malay section of Kampung Bahru. You could buy Malay cakes, rattan products and other ethnic handicraft. Sadly, this old spot has given way to redevelopment.

Indeed, preserving areas like the Asian Heritage Row is one way of helping former residents like me to cling to sentimental and nostalgic memories of the past. So Malaysia should be applauded for its move to conserve some of the old colonial-style homes. Hopefully, the Asian Heritage Row will now be a magnet for tourists, including Singaporeans, in search of new attractions in the Malaysian capital. The favourable exchange rate of RM$2.24 to S$1 (US$1=S$1.6830; RM3.7720) is already attracting thousands of Singaporean holidaymakers to KL. Hotel rates are affordable, ranging from S$90 for a three- to four-star hotel, to S$150 to $180 for a five-star establishment.

Statistics from Tourism Malaysia show that Singaporeans comprise the largest number of visitors from any one country to Malaysia. For the first five months of this year, there were 4.07 million visits to the country, an increase of 2 per cent compared with 3.99 million for the same period last year. Yearly, Singaporeans comprise almost 60 per cent of all visitors to the country. Last year, Singaporeans accounted for 9.5 million out of the total of 15.7 million tourist arrivals. On a recent trip to KL, I noticed more Arab visitors. Following the Sept 11 terror attacks in the United States in 2001, they now prefer Malaysia as a holiday destination over Europe and the US. However, though their spending power is higher, their numbers are still considerably smaller compared with Singaporeans.

For instance, for the first five months of this year, there were 32,495 Arab visitors compared with 28,865 for the same period last year - an increase of 12.6 per cent. Last year saw more than 126,000 visitors from the Middle East. Organising mega sales like the current Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, which is on till this Sunday, is one way of luring the crowds to Malaysia, including shopaholics from Singapore like myself. Besides checking out the Suria-KLCC, Sungai Wang, Lot 10 and the Mid Valley Mega Malls, I also like shopping at the new 1 Utama II shopping mall, the new extension to 1 Utama in Bandar Utama, in Petaling Jaya, near KL.

Now, holidaymakers here can also visit the Curve Mutiara Damansara, a new mall near Petaling Jaya. Anchored by Ikea home furnishing store as well as a Tesco hypermarket, it has 250 shops and 70 food and beverage outlets. For those who cannot resist a bargain, Malaysia will always be a draw. That includes me, especially when my visits also bring back happy childhood memories. Happy Merdeka Day! Malaysia Boleh!

The writer is a former correspondent with The Straits Times. A Malaysian who holds Singapore permanent residency, she now works part-time with The Straits Times' Life! section.


York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). For further information, contact ycar@yorku.ca
Ste. 270 York Lanes, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto ON  M3J 1P3. URL: www.yorku.ca/ycar.