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York Centre for Asian Research Updates                    Issue 55, Friday, August 4, 2006

In this issue

Asia Events in Toronto

 Toronto lights up this summer with Asian cultural events
  Call for Papers  Graduate Student Conference on Vietnamese Studies

Academic Job Postings

 York seeks associate professor in Women and Chinese culture

Research Funding Opportunities

 SSHRC pilots research program on artistic discipline

Asia  News

 Persecution of Chinese lawyer Zheng Enchong continues despite release

Toronto lights up this summer with Asian cultural events

The Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival has started to light up Toronto this summer with one of the most exciting displays of Chinese culture and craftsmanship ever to be seen in the Western hemisphere. The feature attraction is a dazzling display of 30 massive illuminated lanterns, created by over 80 Chinese master craftsmen! Join the festivities of the dragon dance. Enjoy nightly entertainment. Savour Chinese delicacies and bargain for handicrafts at the Chinese Marketplace. View China featured movies at the Cinesphere, and more! Venue: Ontario Place, 955 Lakeshore Boulevard West, Toronto. For more info, visit their website at:

Me and My Shadows announces a unique project this summer in collaboration with Toronto Parks and Recreation and Heart Health Partnership. It will be performing an interactive shadow puppet show on Healthy Heart Practices at 3 Community Centres in Toronto. The show is 30 minutes in length at the following centres:

1 pm., Fri. Aug. 4, Masaryk Cowan CC (Queen/Landsdowne area)
1 pm., Fri., Aug. 11, Lawrence Heights CC (Lawrence/Allen RD)
1 pm., Mon. Aug. 14, Ellesmere CC (Ellesmere Ave)

Contact (416)654-1697 or if you are interested in attending. All performances are at 1pm. Web:

The Canadians Concerned about Ethnic Violence in Indonesia (CCEVI) has also endeavored a fundraising event at the Toronto International Night Market in Markham (Kennedy and Denison) on Aug 11, 12 and 13 from 6:00pm -12:00am for the Yogya earthquake victims. The night market will run every Fri, Sat and Sun from 6 PM - 12 AM for 5 weeks and will have a “carnival” atmosphere with food vendors and cultural activities from various Asian communities. In collaboration with a number of organizations in the Greater Toronto Area, and with the generous support of the Chinese Business Association, CCEVI is organizing a number of cultural performances, the sale of Indonesian food and goods, display of information and the collection of donations at the Toronto International Night Market on August 11 -13, 2006. Four booths have been reserved for Project Demi Yogya. For more info, see attached flyer.

The Toronto Chinatown Festival will also be held on August 12-13 at Dundas and Spadina. This is a celebration of not only Chinese culture and heritage, but also including other Asian communities that are thriving as part of the Dundas - Spadina Chinatown. Festival attractions include Asian street foods, arts and crafts showcases, international market place with about 100 merchants, performances of Lion Dance, Dragon Dance, Martial Arts, Ethnic Dances, Cantonese Opera, Youth Bands, Chinese Traditional Music Ensembles, Children Chorus and much more! For more info, go to

Call for Papers: Graduate Student Conference on Vietnamese Studies

The Center for Southeast Asia Studies at the University of California-Berkeley announces a Call for Papers for a graduate student conference focused on Vietnamese Studies to be held February 9-11, 2007. The conference is intended to provide an opportunity for young scholars to share their research with the broader Vietnamese Studies graduate student community. Abstracts (up to 500 words max) should be sent to the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley by Monday, October 8, 2006, via e-mail, fax or regular mail. Abstracts should include the student's name, institutional affiliation and full contact information. Students whose papers have been selected will be notified by Wednesday, November 1, 2006. Final papers are due on January 16, 2007. For detailed info, contact Vietnam Studies Graduate Student Conference, Center for Southeast Asia Studies, UC Berkeley, 2223 Fulton St., No 617, Berkeley, CA 94720-2318, Tel (510)642-3609. Fax (510)643-7062. Email: Web:

Academic Job Postings in Asian Studies

The Division of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, York University and the School of Women's Studies, York University, invite applications for a tenure-stream appointment at the Associate Professor level in the field of Women and Chinese Culture. This appointment will commence January 1, 2007 (or as soon thereafter as practicable). All positions at York University are subject to budgetary approval. Preference will be given to candidates who approach the field from a broad interdisciplinary perspective. The successful candidate will show evidence of a vigorous research program and excellence in teaching. Candidates should be able to teach in York’s first- and second-year interdisciplinary Foundations program, and to develop upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses. The successful candidate will be jointly appointed to the Division of Humanities and the School of Women’s Studies, and will be affiliated with the Program in East Asian Studies. York University is an Affirmative Action Employer. The Affirmative Action Program can be found on York's website at or a copy can be obtained by calling the affirmative action office at 416-736-5713. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents will be given priority. A letter of application, curriculum vitae, three confidential letters of recommendation, and a sample of the applicant’s written work (no longer than 20 pages) should be sent to: Professor M. Lockshin, Acting Chair, Division of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada, E-mail: e-mail:; phone: 416-736-5158; fax: 416-736-5460. Deadline for receipt of applications: August 30, 2006. Contact Person: Dr. M. Lockshin.


The Yale University Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and the Program in Theater Studies announce a search to fill a joint appointment as assistant professor in the field of traditional Japanese theater and performance. The appointee will teach undergraduate and graduate courses on the Japanese dramatic tradition (such as Noh, Bunkaru and Kabuki) and courses in Theater Studies program. Candidates should have completed a PhD by the time of appointment. This is a regular ladder appointment, effective July 1, 2007, for an initial four-year term, renewable upon review. Send letter of application , curriculum vitae, a sample chapter of scholarly paper (30 pp max) and three letters of recommendation to Japanese Theater Search, Theater Studies, Yale University, Box 208296, New Haven CT 06520-8296, fax (203)432-1308. Deadline for applications: October 13, 2006.


The Department of East Asian Studies at Princeton University invites applications for a position in Pre-Modern Chinese Literature. We expect to hire a tenure-track Assistant Professor, but under exceptional circumstances may consider appointing a tenured Associate Professor. Applications are due by November 1, 2006, and should include a detailed letter of application, curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation. Send applications to Chair, Chinese Literature Search Committee, Department of East Asian Studies, 211 Jones Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1008. For information, please link to


The University of Hawaii, Department of Religion seeks an Assistant Professor of Religion (Position number 082065) tenure track to begin January 2007 or as soon thereafter as possible, pending position clearance and availability of funds. Duties: Teach undergraduate and graduate courses in religion, including Japanese religions, East Asian Buddhism, and World Religions. Conduct research and develop educational projects. Minimum Qualifications: Ph.D. with specialization in Japanese Buddhism or related field; competency in written and spoken Japanese; demonstrated ability for effective teaching and active research in the field. Desirable Qualifications: Background in theory and method in the study of religion and in Chinese Buddhism. Minimum Annual Salary: commensurate with qualifications and experience. To Apply: Send letter of application addressing minimum and desirable qualifications; official transcripts; curriculum vitae; and a minimum of three letters of recommendation to: Helen J. Baroni, Chair, Department of Religion, Sakamaki A-311, University of Hawaii, 2530 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822. Continuous recruitment until filled. First screening date: August 31, 2006.


The Department of History at Northwestern University invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professorship in post-1500 South Asian history, beginning in September 2007, pending final administrative approval. Send a letter of application, C.V., personal statement, a writing sample (chapter or article), and letters of reference by October 1, 2006 to South Asia Search Committee, Department of History, Northwestern University, 1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208-2220. Women and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply. Questions only to email address:

For more academic job postings, visit the Association for Asian Studies website at

SSHRC pilots research program on artistic disciplines

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is piloting a Research/Creation Grants in Fine Arts Program. The purpose of this program is to support and develop excellence in research in artistic disciplines. An artistic discipline is defined as one or more of the following categories: architecture, design (including interior design), creative writing, visual arts (e.g., painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, textiles), performing arts (dance, music, theatre), film, video, performance art, interdisciplinary arts, media and electronic arts, and new artistic practices.

Objectives: To support high-quality research/creation in projects that advance knowledge in the fine arts and enhance the overall quality of artistic production in Canadian postsecondary institutions; to develop the research skills of graduate and undergraduate students who are working in artistic and related disciplines through their participation in programs of research that involve artistic practice; to facilitate the dissemination and presentation of high quality work to a broad public through a diversity of scholarly and artistic means; and to foster opportunities for collaboration among university- and college-based artist-researchers, other university and college researchers, and professional artists.
Duration: Up to 3 years
Value:  Maximum of $100,000 per year, but totaling not more than $250,000 in a three-year period.

Deadline: September 22, 2006.

York University researchers are reminded that all applications for external research funding 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 the Dean’s signatures. For guidelines and application forms, you may contact ORS at ext. 55055 ( or visit the SSHRC web site at:
To ensure that the approved application is ready by the agency deadline, a complete application folder must be submitted to ORS ten (10) working days prior to the final submission date. Office of Research Services, 214 York Lanes, York University, Tel: 416-736-2100. Fax: 416-736-5512.

Persecution of lawyer Zheng Enchong continues despite his release, 3 August 2006,
Amnesty International Index ASA 17/041/2006

Lawyer and human rights defender Zheng Enchong was released on 5 June 2006, after serving a three-year prison sentence. He expressed thanks to Amnesty International for the organisation’s support and efforts in calling for his release. However, since he was freed, he and his family have been harassed and intimidated by the authorities, and Zheng Enchong has been detained four times since his release. Amnesty International fears they are at risk of further abuse.

On 12 July, Zheng Enchong and his wife Jiang Meili were detained by police at their home in the Zabei district of Shanghai and taken away to the district police station. They were questioned separately for several hours about Zheng Enchong's activities on behalf of families forcibly evicted by the Chinese authorities in urban development projects. At the same evening, around a dozen police officers from Zabei district police station searched Zheng Enchong’s home. They confiscated his computer, documents, and names of contacts, as well as draft documents about alleged forced evictions. The police warned Jiang Meili, and later her brothers and sisters, that they will be detained if they continue to speak to the media about Zheng Enchong’s situation.

The police detained Zheng Enchong again on 21 July to question him about information they found on his computer. He was released from Zabei police station after four hours of questioning. Zheng Enchong had also been briefly detained on 11 June and on 18 June. Zheng Enchong has reportedly been warned by police and municipal officials that his physical safety may be at risk if he continues to work on cases of alleged forced evictions. Amnesty International is aware of numerous cases of human rights defenders and activists becoming victims of violence after their release from prison.


Zheng Enchong was released from Tilanqiao Prison in Shanghai on 5 June 2006 on completion of his three-year sentence. However, his political rights are still suspended by a further year. This means that he is forbidden from meeting any foreign people, talking to the media, attending any protests or participating in any political activities, or from taking a leading position in any state enterprise.

The police have also banned him from leaving his residential district since his release. This violation of his right to freedom of movement will prevent Zheng Enchong from taking his daughter to school, and worshipping at his local church (Zheng is a devout Christian), and there is concern that the ban will also prevent him from finding work. Zheng was arrested on 6 June 2003 and accused of stealing ‘state secrets’ and passing them to ‘entities outside China’. Amnesty

International considered Zheng Enchong to be a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for his legitimate work as a lawyer. Previously, Zheng Enchong had his licence to practice law revoked in 2001 after he advised more than 500 families displaced by Shanghai’s urban redevelopment projects on their rights to fair compensation from the authorities. He continued to give advice although his applications for reinstatement of his licence failed.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send fresh appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Chinese, English or your own language:

- welcoming Zheng Enchong’s release, but expressing concern at the continued restrictions imposed upon him which violate his rights to freedom of expression, of association and of movement, and calling for these restrictions to be lifted immediately;

- calling on the authorities to stop the campaign of intimidation and harassment against Zheng Enchong and his family, and to ensure that they are not subjected to further human rights violations;

- urging the authorities to guarantee that Zheng Enchong and all other lawyers and human rights defenders are able to carry out their legitimate human rights work without fear of arbitrary detention or harassment;

- calling on the authorities to amend or repeal legislation which can be used to violate the rights to freedom of expression, association or assembly, including laws concerning ‘state secrets’, which facilitate the detention of human rights defenders.


Director of the Shanghai Bureau of Justice, MIAO Xiaobao Juzhang, Shanghaishi Sifaju, 225 Wuxinglu, Shanghaishi 200030 People's Republic of China. Email: or  Fax: 011 86 21 64743029.

Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China, WEN Jiabao Guojia Zongli, The State Council, 9 Xihuangcheng Genbeijie, Beijingshi 100032, People's Republic of China. Email: Fax: 011 86 10 65292345 (c/o Ministry of Communication).

COPIES TO: His Excellency LU Shumin, Ambassador for the People's Republic of China, 515 St. Patrick Street Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5H3 Fax: (613) 789-1911.

Mayor of the Shanghai Municipal People's Government, HAN Zheng Shizhang, Shanghaishi Renmin Zhengfu, 30 Fuzhoulu, Shanghaishi 200002, People's Republic of China. Email:

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