Redefine the possible.
space Future students Current students Faculty & staff Alumni Visitors York crest

York Centre for Asian Research Update            Issue 4, February 28, 2005

In this Issue
Today @ YCAR: Brown Bag Lunch Seminar on Urban Politics in Contemporary India
Upcoming Events: Asian Institute Speaker Series Featuring The Philippines and Japan
Funding Opportunities: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Joint Initiative/Small Grants Programs
Asia Briefs: Asian Giants Managing Globalisation Differently 
YCAR Report: Tsunami Educational Support Fund Builds Up

Today @ YCAR: Urban Politics In Contemporary India - by Bipasha Baruah and Sujata Ramachandran

Monday, February 28, 2005, 12:00-2:00 pm, 270B York Lanes, YorkU Keele Campus


Bipasha Baruah: Women and Property, Women as Property: Challenges and Opportunities in Land Ownership for Women in the Informal Sector

in Urban Contemporary India

This research study explores the nature of urban land rights and land tenure from a gender perspective, through a case study of informal sector women living in the slums of Ahmedabad, India. It presents a range of existing formal and informal tenure arrangements in slums and their implications for women. It also raises key issues that need consideration in developing a gendered vision of land rights, tenure and reform.

Sujata Ramachandran: 'INFILTRATORS, QUIT INDIA': Undocumented Bangladeshis in New Delhi and 'Thin' Hegemony of Hindu  Nationalism
It is well known that during the decade of the 90s, nationalist organizations of the Hindu right sometimes known as the Sangh Parivar that had been subdued at the margins for much of the 20th century would re-surface as a significant political force in India. Their xenophobic discourses also drew attention to the presence of numerous undocumented migrants from neighboring Bangladesh - many of them Muslims - by characterizing them as 'infiltrators' representing a visible threat to the long-term existence of an enfeebled Hindu-Indian nation. While the Indian bureaucracy, media and even other political parties did not remain unmoved by its pervasive influence, 'Infiltrators, Quit India' proved to be a troublesome undertaking with limited efficacy albeit far-reaching results. The presentation will provide a critical account of this controversial mission and its consequences for migrant Bangladeshis residing in New Delhi's slums.


Upcoming Events: Asian Institute - Southeast Asia Speaker Series present
Lynne Milgram, Faculty of Liberal Studies, Ontario College of Art & Design & Research Affiliate, Asian Institute
Refashioning Commodities, Gendering Globalization: Women and the Secondhand Clothing Trade in the Philippines 

Friday, March 4, 2005
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Munk Centre for International Studies
North House - Room 208N
1 Devonshire Place

Since the mid-1990s, the increasing export of the West's used clothing to southern regions may initially appear to be another marker of northern exploitation. But to consider the southern flow of this commodity in such terms sees people as passive recipients of global commodity chains and overlooks the alternatives they create in dress and work practice. This presentation uses the secondhand clothing industry in the Philippines to argue that traders and consumers, and women, in particular reconfigure the logic of the market and the meaning of this transnational commodity by incorporating cultural practices into a global economic arena marginal to state influence. By dialectically engaging this commodity across diverse cultural and economic spheres, women dissolve assumptions of fixed dichotomies and dominance to reconceptualize global processes from a gendered perspective and as multiple and ongoing.

Professor Lynne Milgram graduated from the Department of Anthropology, York University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto before joining the Faculty of Liberal Studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She is also a Research Affiliate with the Asian Institute as well as with YCAR. This talk is part of her ongoing research on gender and development (fair trade, crafts, and microfinance) in the Philippines.



Institute for Women's Studies and Gender Studies: Theorizing Transnationality, Gender and Citizenship Workshop Series present


Katharine Rankin, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Program in Planning, University of Toronto
Gender Politics of Development Institutions

Friday March 4, 2005, 4-6:00 pm
New College, Wilson Hall Boardroom - Rm 2053 (20 Willcocks Street)

Discussant: Professor Tania Li, Canada Research Chair in the political economy and culture of Asia-Pacific, Anthropology

Note: The Working Paper will be available from Monday February 28th. For a copy please contact



Asian Institute - Speaker Series present

Tak Fujitani, University of California, San Diego
Welcome to the Nation, Go Get Slaughtered, and We Promise You a Long and Pleasant Life: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Americans in WWII

Lisa Yoneyama, University of California, San Diego
Liberation under Siege: U.S. Military Occupation and Japanese Women's Enfranchisement

Monday, March 7, 2005
12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Munk Centre for International Studies
North House - Room 208N
1 Devonshire Place
Takashi Fujitani teaches modern Japanese history at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Splendid Monarchy (UC, Press, 1996; Japanese version by NHK, 1994; Korean translation by Yeesan Press, 2003), co-editor of Perilous Memories: The Asia-Pacific War(s), and numerous articles in Japanese and English. His writings have primarily focused on the Japanese monarchy, nationalism, racism, colonialism, military culture, and historiography. Recently, he has also been researching and writing on Japanese American history. His current transnational project has been funded by the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Institute for Research in the Humanities at Kyoto University.

Lisa Yoneyama teaches Cultural Studies, U.S.-Japan Studies, Asian American Studies, and Critical Gender Studies at Department of Literature, University of California, San Diego. She received her B.A. in German Language Studies, M.A. in International Relations, and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. Yoneyama is the author of two books, Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space and the Dialectics of Memory (University of California, 1999) and Violence, War, Redress: The Politics of Multiculturalism (published in Japanese from Iwanami Shoten, 2003). She also co-edited Perilous Memories: The Asia-Pacific War(s) (Duke University Press, 2001). Her current book project, Cold War Ruins: Redress and Transnational Memories of War, Liberation and Occupation, explores the struggles over memory of Cold War violence and historical justice in the three-way nexus of the U.S., Asia, and Asia/America.


Please register by e-mail to or call (416) 946-8996.



The Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) presents a Forum on Identity and Values of Japan

March 19, 2005, 9:00am - 2pm, Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., Toronto


The Association for Canadian Studies (ACS), an organization which strives to raise public awareness of Canadian issues and provides the Canadian Studies community with a wide range of activities and programs, will be holding a forum in Toronto on March 19th entitled Identity and Values of Japan.  This forum aims to enhance understanding of Japanese society for some of Canada ’s leading thinkers who will be traveling to Japan this year to participate in a Canada-Japan symposium that will be held in June in conjunction with the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi , Japan .    

Leading scholars with expertise and knowledge on Japan will provide insight on Japanese history, politics, culture and values and will discuss issues relevant to Japan , such as the population challenges of Japan as well as the demographic reality of Japanese communities in North America .  The forum will be held at the Drake Hotel in Toronto ( 1150 Queen Street West , Toronto , Ontario ), from 9:00 am to approximately 2:00 pm on Saturday, March 19th, 2005.  

Seminar session topics and participants include:

To register and for additional information please visit the Association for Canadian Studies web site at: or call (514) 925-3097.  Registration fee: $35.  Students: $15. 

Preliminary Program

9:00 – 9:30


Opening Breakfast



·                   Discussion on the International Expo in Japan




9:30 – 10:45





·                   Japanese History, with John S. Brownlee, University of Toronto

·                   Japanese Culture, with Theodore W. Goossen, York University

·                   Japanese Politics, with Michael W. Donnelly, Director of the Asian Institute, Director of the Dr. David Chu Program in Asia Pacific Studies, University of Toronto




11:00 – 12:45





·                   Population Challenges and Demographic Issues of Japan , with Ito Peng, University of Toronto

·                   Japanese Demography in Japan and North America, with Jack Jedwab , Executive Director, Association for Canadian Studies, McGill University




12:45 – 1:45


Lunch and Keynote Speaker



·          The Honourable Hisao Yamaguchi, Consul-General of Japan





Funding Opportunities: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada  (SSHRC) Letters of Interest (LOIs)  for Social Economy Suite: Regional Node, National Hub and Joint Initiative Grants Programs

The Social Economy Program was designed to fund teams made up of university-based researchers and representatives of community-based organizations, operating as intellectual partners, to create regional nodes (networks) that will conduct research relevant to the social economy in Canada. SSHRC encourages applications that incorporate action or participatory action research. The Office of Research Services (ORS) has been contacted by other universities who may have an interest in collaborating on regional nodes. For those interested in collaborating with another institution, contact ORS at ext. 55055 ( Please consult the SSHRC web site to obtain further information on this program:


More specific objectives of the program are to support research, and help mobilize new knowledge, that will:
- contribute to defining policies, including an appropriate regulatory framework, applicable to the social economy;
- improve the performance of organizations and enterprises in areas that are important to the social economy in Canada;
- demonstrate through, for example inventories, statistics, comparative analyses the actual and potential contribution of the social economy to the various sectors and regions of the Canadian economy; and,
- develop Canada’s international contribution to, and visibility in, areas relevant to the social economy.


Regional Node Grants are worth up to $350,000 annually for up to five years. Up to six will be awarded.
The National Hub Grant is worth up to $200,000 in the first year, increasing to a maximum of $500,000 in the fourth and fifth (final) year
Joint Initiative Grants will be of 12 months’ duration and will be offered only during 2006-08. SSHRC will establish a value for these grants at the time of the competitions.

Letters of Interest: March 15, 2005
Regional Node Grants: April 15, 2005
National Hub Grant: July 3, 2005
Joint Initiative Grants: offered in 2006-08 only

York University researchers are reminded that all applications for external research funding, including Letters of Intent, must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Research Services before they are submitted to the granting agency.  For internal approval, the application must be accompanied by a completed ORS Application Checklist, which requires the Chair’s and Dean’s signatures.  To ensure that the approved application is ready by the agency deadline, a complete application folder must be submitted to the ORS ten (10) working days prior to final submission date.

The ORS would also like to remind York University faculty members of the upcoming competition for the SSHRC Small Grants  Program with a deadline of March 31, 2005 and October 31, 2005, respectively. 

Office of Research Services
214 York Lanes, York University
4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Tel: (416) 736-5055 Fax: (416) 736-5512


Asian Giants Managing Globalisation Differently 
By Bhagyashree Garekar
The Straits Times
Publication Date : 2005-02-28

Professor Roderick MacFarquhar happened last week to stumble upon an interesting nugget at a chatroom: The Indians are worried because the special steels they need to build an aircraft carrier have been snapped up by the Chinese for the infrastructure they are building ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games. To the Leroy B. Williams Professor of History and Political Science at Harvard University, a China expert born in pre-partitioned India and currently on a brief sabbatical with Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, it afforded another glimpse into the unfolding story of the two Asian giants that are dominating the global agenda. The two economies are forecast, by many analysts, to overtake the American economy in a matter of decades. Consequently, a breathless excitement is now being lavished on them by academics, politicians, policymakers and businessmen alike.

Says Mr. Kishore Mahbubani, the Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy: 'Many of the leading companies in the world have decided that their growth strategy in the 21st century has to include China and India. 'But they cannot assume that the strategies which work in one environment will also work in another.' Their dynamics can seem mysterious.

Last year's general election in India, for instance, befuddled many expecting the return of the rightist Bharatiya Janata Party government under which the country had posted strong economic growth. Instead, it ushered in a left-leaning coalition voted in by millions who felt they had not participated in the growth of India.

'China and India are very different polities,' said Prof MacFarquhar. 'In the case of China, what is to be watched out for is the extent to which a very fragile political system can manage to survive while running a rapidly changing economy and society. 'The Indian problem, because it is a democracy, is that interest groups need to be placated, vote banks need to be created, caste solidarities exist,' he said.

Nevertheless, according to Mr. Mahbubani, the two countries are successfully managing globalisation. 'I don't think the world has fully understood why China and India are running much faster than many other countries. 'The two most populous countries in the world have successfully managed globalisation in very different ways. It shows that there is no single path to managing globalisation and provides tremendous learning opportunities for the whole world,' he said. His institute has managed a casting coup of sorts - to gather under one roof specialists on India and China to discuss the impact of the new heavyweights on the world stage.

Managing Globalisation: Lessons From China and India will be held between April 4 and 6 at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. The conference is being organised in conjunction with the official opening of the newly founded school dedicated to study and research in the areas of public policy and public management. Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew will address the delegates at its opening.

What is unusual about the conference, said Mr. Mahbubani, a veteran diplomat who represented Singapore at the United Nations for many years, is that the mike will be primarily before Chinese and Indian academics. Among them are sought-after names on the lecture circuit such as Professor Fan Gang of the China Reform Foundation and New Delhi-based economist Omkar Goswami.

'Over 48 hours you can learn about China and India in all the dimensions - political, economic, social - from people who know these two societies, it's a unique opportunity,' said Mr. Mahbubani. Singapore is especially well-placed to study China and India, he said.

YCAR Tsunami Educational Support Fund Builds Up

The York Centre for Asian Research, in partnership with York University campus and student organizations, sponsored a “Tsunami Benefit Concert”  held on February 8th at the Founders College Assembly Hall, York University, Keele Campus. The concert featured members of the York University Gamelan Orchestra, York University/University of Toronto Chinese classical orchestra and the Yellow River Ensemble led by Dr. Kim Chow-Morris, Indonesian shadow puppet show, South Indian classical music led by Prof. Trichy Sankaran from York University Department of Music as well as jazz contributions and other musical offerings.  The benefit concert was aimed at creating an educational fund to support secondary and post-secondary education of disadvantaged students in tsunami- affected areas.  YCAR was able to raise some $3,000 during the event and continue to accept contributions to the Tsunami Educational Support Fund. YCAR plans to link with universities in Indonesia and Sri Lanka who have active outreach programs in these areas and with whom YCAR can closely work to manage and account for the funds for educational purposes. For those who are still interested in donating, you can download the Pledge Form and send to YCAR. Your contributions are eligible for a tax receipt. Thank you very much for your contribution to this worthy cause.    We wish to thank the performers, organizers and volunteers who made this event possible. We would also like to thank the York University Administration, campus and student organizations who donated their time and effort as well as food and prizes for this fundraising event. Thank you very much!


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