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York Centre for Asian Research Update             Issue 26, Friday, September 30, 2005


“Girl in the picture” Kim Phuc to speak at York on 30th anniversary of Vietnam War

TORONTO, September 28, 2005 -- Legendary “girl in the picture” and York honorary doctorate Kim Phuc will speak at a forthcoming conference at York U commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Kim Phuc gained international fame in 1972 when she was photographed fleeing from a U.S. napalm attack on her hometown in South Vietnam. Her address is part of the forthcoming conference of the Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies, to be held at York University from October 14-16, 2005.

A roundtable discussion on “The Indochina War: Memories and Meanings after Thirty Years” will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the end of the war marked by the U.S. pullout from Vietnam in April 1975, and the subsequent victory of anti-U.S. forces in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The roundtable discussion will be open to the public. With more than 100 participants expected to attend, it will be the largest Canadian gathering of scholars and activists on Southeast Asia.

It is a great honour for York to be hosting this important gathering of Canadian and international experts on Southeast Asia,” says Dr. Peter Vandergeest, Director of the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), which is organizing the conference on behalf of the association. Full Media Release


UQ professor visits YCAR

Dr. Rob Cramb (left), Associate Professor at the School of Natural and Rural Systems Management, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, is visiting YCAR for a month till mid-October. Dr. Cramb will participate in the upcoming Southeast Asian Conference on Revisioning Southeast Asia: Conflicts, Connections and Vulnerabilities to be hosted by YCAR at York from October 14-16. He will present papers on Custom, Capitalism and Conflict: Plantation Development on Indigenous Land in Sarawak, Malaysia from 1981-2001 and Integrating Environment and Development: The Landcare Movement in Mindanao, Philippines.

Dr. Cramb's research interests are on rural development, agrarian change, and natural resource management in Southeast Asia, focusing on the evolution of farming systems, land tenure arrangements, and community-based resource management in the marginal uplands, particularly Sarawak and Mindanao. He is currently working on two monographs: Land, Longhouse and Livelihood: Rural Transformation in the Uplands of Sarawak, 1850-2000  that explores the evolving tensions between community, market and state in the pursuit of sustainable livelihoods in Sarawak's shifting cultivation zone; and Landcare and Livelihoods: Collective Action for Conservation Farming in the Philippine Uplands, that looks at the role of landcare associations, local government, and external agencies in the adoption of conservation practices in the sloping uplands of Mindanao. 

For those who wish to get in touch with Dr. Cramb while at York, he can be contacted at (416) 736-2100 x 44066 or you can email him at r.cramb@uq.edu.au.


Y-File: York professor receives prestigious Indian literary prize photo of Himani Bannerji

Himani Bannerji (right), a sociology professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, has been awarded the 2005 Rabindra Memorial Prize for her book Inventing Subjects: Studies in Hegemony, Patriarchy and Colonialism (Anthem Press, 2002). Inventing Subjects is a collection of essays written from a Marxist-feminist perspective. The essays speak of the different ways in which social subjects and their agencies have been constructed and represented in the context of the development of colonial hegemony and socio-cultural formations in India.

Four of the essays focus on the constructive proposals for social change. The remaining two essays consider the invention or construction of India as an ideological category for ruling, which seeks to impose on it a colonially-ascribed identity. The Rabindra Memorial Prize was created to celebrate the memory of Rabindranath Tagore, the first Indian Nobel laureate. It is awarded each year in India. Bannerji’s work was selected in the category recognizing books in a language other than Bengali that focus on Bengali society and culture.

The highest literary award, the Rabindra Memorial Prize is conferred by the government of West Bengal state. It was created in 1950, nine years after the death of Tagore. Bannerji's research interests lie in the areas of Marxist, feminist and anti-racist theories. Her special interests include reading colonial discourse through Marx's concept of ideology, and putting together a reflexive analysis of gender, race and class. Other books co-authored and edited by Bannerji include: Unsettling Relations: The University as a Site for Feminist Struggle (1992); Returning the Gaze (1993); Thinking Through: Essays in Marxism, Feminism and Anti-Racism (1995); and a book of essays on culture and politics, The Writing on the Wall (2001).


YCAR opens up competition for Albert Chan Fellowship Award 

This fellowship was established by the Albert C.W. Chan Foundation to encourage and assist York University graduate students to conduct field research in East and/or Southeast Asia. The fellowship is administered and awarded by YCAR each year. For 2006, the value of the award is CDN $2,000. Applicants must be Canadian citizens/permanent residents, Ontario residents, registered York University graduate students and current or would be YCAR graduate associates.

Application deadline is January 10, 2006.  Selection is made by the YCAR Scholarship Committee and will be announced on January 31, 2006.  The successful student will be required to provide YCAR with documentation that confirms travel arrangements, and will receive the fellowship thirty (30) days later. The application should include a completed application form available at http://www.yorku.ca/ycar/grant_forms/Chan%20Fellowship%20Application.pdf ). All documentation must be received by the application deadline.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Completed application package can be sent to the attention of the YCAR Scholarship Committee at the following address: York Centre for Asian Research, Suite 270 York Lanes, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON  M3J 1P3, Email: ycar@yorku.ca. Web: www.yorku.ca/ycar.

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CPAC scholarships up for grabs

The Education Foundation of Chinese Professionals Association of Canada (CPAC) provides scholarships, awards and bursaries to secondary and post-secondary students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievements as well as exceptional community leadership.      It is a federally registered charitable organization that promotes and supports education in communities across Canada.

Thanks to the generous support from individuals and corporations, the Education Foundation of CPAC annually presents a number of scholarships, awards and bursaries to students attending high school and post secondary institutions. The selection process is monitored by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and executed by the Executive Committee. Winners of scholarships and awards are chosen on the basis of both academic excellence and community involvement.

Starting this year, all scholarships, awards and bursaries are open to all Canadian citizens and landed immigrants regardless of applicants’ race, religion or age except the criteria pertaining to the specific categories. The Foundation also encourages students in the areas of journalism, Asian studies, literature and other non-traditional areas to apply.  Special consideration will be given to students with disabilities. The scholarships and awards of distinction for 2005 are:

Prestigious Scholarship:

    * CPAC Meloche Monnex Scholarship (2): $2000

Scholarships:

    * CPAC Journalism Scholarship 新闻奖学金 (1): $1000

* CPAC Pang Xiaoyan Scholarship庞晓燕奖学金 (1): $1000

* CPAC TELUS Mobility Scholarship 研科传动奖学金 (1): $1000

    * CPAC Yuan Huisong Scholarship袁惠松奖学金 (1): $1000

* CPAC Zhong Shi Scholarship中时奖学金 (1): $1000

Awards:

    * CPAC Meloche Monnex Award (6): $800

Bursaries:

    * CPAC Meloche Monnex Bursary (6): $1000

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES: The scholarships are designed to award outstanding university students pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies. Application for scholarships must include the applicant's or his/her parents' CPAC membership ID number (if applicable, for statistical purpose only), transcripts of the past two semesters, the completed application form, and a minimum of two reference letters (one academic, one personal).

APPLICATION DEADLINE: The application deadline is October 31, 2005. The successful candidates will be notified before the CPAC Award Gala which will be held on December 9, 2005. The recipients are required to attend the CPAC Award Gala to accept the cheque and certificate during the award presentation. To obtain the application forms or for general enquiry, please contact CPAC office: 4168 Finch Avenue East, Unit G18, Scarborough, ON M1S 5H6. E-mail: office@chineseprofessionals.ca. Phone: 416-298-7885, ext 0. Web: http://www.cpac-ef.ca/.

To obtain the correct forms, please indicate to the office in which category you are applying for. You ONLY need to identify whether you are applying for a scholarship, award, or bursary. If you are applying for a scholarship, the committee will determine which one you are eligible for. You may also download the forms at: http://www.chineseprofessionals.ca/download/scholarship_application.xls.


Scenes from Matir Moina (L) and Karnaphulir Kanna

Film South Asia 2005 begins, by Farihan Zaman, The Daily Star, 09-29-2005

The time has come again for Film South Asia (FSA), the biennial South Asian documentary film festival held in Kathmandu, Nepal. From Sept 29 to Oct 4, filmmakers, critics, and audience from around the region will come together to celebrate the success of our cinematic tradition and the eye-opening artful depiction of real life. In addition to promoting interregional communication and the non-fiction genre, this year's festival also seeks to comment on the great transformation that has been taking place in the world of cinema.

With the theme Revolution in Digital-Go Documentary! FSA is acknowledging the changes that have occurred since the advent of digital technology. With the affordability and relative ease of such technology, a much wider variety of people have the opportunity to tell their story through cinematic language. The digital revolution is a particularly appropriate theme for this year, since the FSA is undergoing some dramatic changes of its own, many of which benefit those outside Nepal who would like to join the festival. The venue has been changed to a modern downtown duplex called Kumari Cinema, which will accommodate all who are interested in attending the screenings.

This year's jurors are Hasan Zaidi, Pakistani filmmaker and co-creator and current director of the Kara Film Festival in Karachi, Sabeena Gadihoke, a senior grade lecturer of video and television production at Mass Communications Research Center Jama Millia Islamia in New Delhi, and renowned Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud, the director of Matir Moina (The Clay Bird). The keynote speaker on the opening night is Sai Paranjpye, Lucknow-born writer, producer, playwright, and director of such films as Sparsh and Katha. Past jurors have included Calcutta filmmaker Goutam Ghose, former BBC South Asia Correspondent Sir Mark Tully, and Dhaka-based classical dancer Lubna Marium, while past keynote speakers have included Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, director of Naam, Junoon, Chaahat, and many more.

Some of the Bangladeshi entries in the festival include A Certain Liberation by Yasmine Kabir, which chronicles the grief and eccentricities of Gurudasi Mondol, whose entire family was killed before her eyes during the Liberation War in 1971, and Tanvir Mokammel's Karnaphulir Kanna (Teardrops of Karnaphuli), a film on the struggles of the marginalised people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Both the filmmakers will be attending the festival and will be present at their respective screenings.

Kabir is no stranger to the festival; she was the winner of the festival's top prize, the Ram Bahadur Trophy, at FSA '01. There is also German-based filmmaker Shaheen Dill-Riaz's The Happiest People in the World, which explores on a more personal level the veracity of a London School of Economics' study finding that the happiest people in the world could be found in Bangladesh. The author is a freelance writer.


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.