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York Centre for Asian Research Update                        Issue 31, Friday, November 11, 2005

Next Week: Talks on East Asia

Nov 14, 12-1:30 pm, York Lanes 270B - Michael Stainton (PhD Candidate in Anthropology) will talk on George Leslie Mackay and the Chinese Head Tax. Mackay is remembered for his many firsts – in Taiwan where he was Canada’s first missionary and is today a national hero. He is most honoured for his 1876 marriage to a Taiwanese woman, and empowerment of his Taiwanese co-workers, both over the protest of his Presbyterian mission board.  In Canada, he is the earliest and most outspoken opponent of Canadian anti-Chinese racism and the 1885 Head Tax. His passionate pleas for just immigration policies are still relevant today.

Nov 15, 11-12:15pm, York Lanes 280 - His Excellency Sadaaki Numata, Japanese Ambassador to Canada, will talk on Japan: A Stabilizer in East Asia. Ambassador Numata has taken a variety of postings in different countries including the Japanese Embassy in London, the Ministry in Tokyo, the Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, the Embassy in Washington, D.C., Japanese Embassy in Canberra, Australia, Ambassador to Pakistan and Ambassador in charge of Okinawan Affairs, among a host of others. The talk is sponsored by the York Centre for International and Security Studies (YCISS) and the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). The talk is open to the public. Everyone welcome!


People’s Globalization:  Immigrant Women Organizing in Toronto
The University Consortium on the Global South (UCGS) presents Judy Rebick, CAW-SAM Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University, Toronto, on Wednesday, November 16, 2:30-4:30, Rm. 305, York Lanes.

Immigrant women, using many of the techniques of the women’ s movement, organized around health and employment issues in Toronto during the 1980’s. Rebick, speaking from stories documented in her book Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution, will show how the coalition forged among immigrant women helped make the Canadian women’ s movement the most diverse in the world. Judy Rebick is the publisher of Canada's irreverent web magazine rabble.ca, author of Imagine Democracy, and the CAW Sam Gindin Chair in social justice and democracy at Ryerson University. She appears frequently on radio and television across Canada and writes for CBC Online and other magazines and newspapers.

OTHER UPCOMING COLLOQUIUM EVENTS (http://www.ucgs.yorku.ca/)

November 23 - A panel on gender perspectives from the global south
November 30 - Biju Mathew on Taxi!: Cabs and Capitalism in New York City

York opens up competition for International Internship Program

Enhance your academic knowledge, gain international work experience, develop intercultural communication skills!

York International Internships, an innovative initiative from the Office of the Associate Vice-President International, Adrian Shubert, allows students to gain international and cross-cultural work experience through work placements in Canada and abroad in regions as diverse as South America, Europe and Southeast Asia. Students will apply through an open application process. Several placements will require foreign language proficiency. The program received this year's Outstanding Program in International Education Award from the Canadian Bureau of International Education.

· Up to 50 placements available

· Duration: 3 months beginning in May 2006

· Open to all York Students who meet eligible criteria

· Includes a $3000 York University International Internship award

For more information, visit the York International website at: http://international.yorku.ca/internshipsApplication deadline: January 6, 2006.

YorkU professor offers course on Existential Phenomenology: East Asian Influences

Goulding in  ShanghaiDr. Jay Goulding from the School of Social Sciences, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, will offer a course in Winter 2006 on East Asian influences in existential phenomenology. The course (SPT 6294.03) will focus on the early years of French existentialism and German phenomenology that found their way together through exchanges with East Asian philosophers. It will compare ‘being’ and ‘time’ through existential phenomenologists Bergson, Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger alongside Asian interlocutors Kuki, Watsuji and Chang. For more info, contact jay@yorku.ca, x 22883.

Call for Papers: 13th Annual Central Eurasian Studies Conference

The Association of Central Eurasian Students (ACES) at Indiana University invites panel and individual paper proposals for the Thirteenth Annual Central Eurasian Studies Conference to be held on Saturday, April 8, 2006 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Graduate students, professors and independent scholars are invited to submit abstracts of papers on Central Eurasian issues in all fields. Central Eurasia is defined, for the purpose of this conference, as the vast area and peoples of:

- The Mongolian plateau (Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, southern Siberia, Kalmyks)
- The Tibetan plateau and the Himalayas (Tibet, Ladakh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim)
- The oases of Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uighur)
- The Steppe Turks (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tatars, Bashkirs)
- Afghanistan and Iran
- Turkey and Azerbaijan
- The Finno-Ugric peoples (Hungary, Finland, Estonia)

Submissions of pre-organized panels are strongly encouraged. Individual papers are also welcome and will be assigned by the conference committee to a suitable panel. An honorable distinction of best paper will be awarded. The following information is required for submissions:

1)names of all authors (also note name of the person presenting the paper)
2)institutional affiliation and title/position
3)contact information: e-mail address, postal address, telephone/fax numbers
4)one page Curriculum Vitae
5)title of paper
6)an abstract of the paper, no more than 300 words in a publishable condition for the booklet of conference abstracts
7)specify geographic location and thematic panel preference. Thematic panel preferences include but are not limited to: socio-economic issues, nationalism and identity, natural resources management, music and culture, politics,
history, education, archaeology
8)requests for any audio-visual equipment requests (overhead, slide projector, PowerPoint, etc.)

Deadlines: International submissions: December 5, 2005. Domestic submissions: February 1, 2006. International presenters will be informed by December 20, 2005. Domestic presenters will be notified of acceptance by February 20, 2006. Submit this information: via e-mail as an attachment (.doc or .rtf formats preferred) to: ACES@indiana.edu or a hard copy sent to: The Thirteenth Annual Central Eurasian Studies Conference, Goodbody Hall 157, Indiana University, 1011 East Third Street Bloomington, IN 47405-7005. Fax: (812) 855-7500.

Closure of Shengzhi Law Office a major blow to  human rights, says Amnesty International

Amnesty International has learned from reliable sources that operations of the Beijing-based Shengzhi Law Office have been suspended by the Chinese authorities for one year. The closure comes shortly after the firm's director sent an open letter to the Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao urging them to end the "barbaric" persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. It is believed that the closure of the firm is closely linked with this letter.

Shengzhi Law Office is one of a small number of law firms in China which has taken on cases involving human rights issues, and Amnesty International is concerned that this suspension will severely undercut the work of human rights activists in the country. On 4 November 2005, Gao Zhisheng, director of the firm, received an official notice from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice informing him of the temporary closure of the firm. Reportedly, the official reasons for the closure were the firm's failure to notify the authorities of its change of address and the "illegal" submission of legal documents to a lawyer who does not work for the firm.

The Shengzhi Law Office has recently been involved in a number of high-profile cases, including a land dispute case filed against locally elected officials in Taishi village, Guangdong province, which is seen as a test case for local democracy in China. The firm has also supported Chen Guangcheng, a self-educated lawyer currently under house arrest in Linyi city, Shandong province, because of his involvement in a class action law suit against local authorities over coercion in implementation of China's family planning policies, and is involved in the case of Zheng Yichun, a journalist and former professor who was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in September for his on-line writings and who is reportedly appealing his sentence. (Source: Amnesty International UK).

APFC  invites applications for a researcher to its BC office

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APFC) has a career opportunity for a Researcher in its office based in Vancouver, BC. Reporting to the Executive Editor, the Researcher is an integral member of the research team who provides information gathering, data management, and data processing services to support the work of the Foundation. Specific duties include the establishment and maintenance of databases; compilation, manipulation and analysis of quantitative data; fact checking; preparation of charts, graphs and tables, review of literature, and other research assistance. This position requires a high level of comfort working with numbers and large datasets, combined with careful attention to detail.


To Apply:

Please submit your resume and two references to jobs@asiapacific.ca. Applications will be accepted until Nov 18th, 2005. For more career opportunities, visits its website at www.asiapacific.ca.

Taiwan: The democratic model everyone tries to ignore - APFC Canada Asia Commentary

Taiwan is one of only two predominantly Chinese states to have a democratic from of government, and the only one to have seen a change in government through the ballot box. Through a series of reforms over the past 17 years, the island has moved from a one-party system to become a vibrant, if somewhat immature democracy. Yet the evolution remains a work in progress. History has left Taiwan with a cumbersome constitutional and government structure that has still not been fully modernized. Proposed reforms of Taiwan’s constitution and institutions which would streamline government have been met with loud domestic opposition, in part because they are seen as a provocation to China, which claims sovereignty over the island. Beijing condemns proposed constitutional reform as a step toward the island eventually declaring formal independence.

Underlying the island’s inability to fashion its own fundamental law without causing international repercussions was the failure to resolve Taiwan’s status after the defeat of Japan, the island’s colonial master, at the end of the Second World War. Soon the Cold War intervened to freeze the situation. In more recent years, the desire of western nations especially the US to improve trade and diplomatic relations with Beijing has made them wary of confronting China over its claim to Taiwan. It now seems that only the emergence in the future of a more open and responsible government in China will allow for a negotiated settlement of the sovereignty of Taiwan. However, Taiwan provides the best model for a future more liberal Chinese government. More >>

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.