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York Centre for Asian Research Updates                    Issue 58, Friday, September 8, 2006

In this issue

YCAR Events this Fall

 YCAR kicks-off fall semester with a series of events
  Graduate Scholarship  BDK Canada offers graduate scholarship on Buddhist Studies in Japan

Asia Event in Toronto

 Japan Foundation presents Shojo Manga: Girl Power!

Job/Fellowship Postings

 NUS seeks scholar/postdoctoral fellows in SEA programme

Research Competitions

 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation offers fellowships in creative arts and research

Asia News

 Burmese villager wins 2006 John Humphrey Freedom Award

YCAR kicks-off fall semester with a series of events

Monday, September 18, 12-1:30pm, York Lanes 270B  -  Yuemei Yan, YCAR Visiting Scholar, will present a brownbag seminar on the "Second Chinese Edition of Marx and Engels' Collected Works". Abstract: In January 2004, the Communist Party of China Central Committee (CCPCC) issued a directive about further promoting the development and prosperity of philosophy and social science and decided to implement the Marxist Theoretical Research and Construction Project. One of the goals of this project was to retranslate the key works by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels as well as other important Marxist writers to make them more accurate and in-depth in studies. This goal has a close relationship with the ongoing project on the compilation and translation of Marx & Engels' collected works (second Chinese edition) done by the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau (CCTB), a government research institution on Marxism and Social Science, where Yuemei works as an associate professor. In her presentation, Yuemei will attempt to answer the following questions: Why has China been doing a second Chinese edition of Marx & Engels collected works? What differences are there between the first edition and the second edition? How is the progress of the work and what problems does it face? Everyone is invited. Free admission.

ChATSEA Workshop on Commodity systems approaches to agrarian transformations in Southeast Asia
Date: Friday, September 22, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm, York Lanes 390. Hosted by YCAR.

Session 1 (panel discussion). Concepts and Methods

This session will introduce the global commodity chain literature (the systems approach, the commodity circuits approach, the filière approach). Panel participants will open up debates surrounding concepts and terminology (chains, networks, flows etc.). Application of concepts to SEA will be discussed, as well as what these approaches imply in terms of general research questions and methods.

Session 2. Identifying key research themes in Southeast Asia
a. What are the processes that ChATSEA should address and what data might be collected?
b. What current projects are ongoing in ChATSEA right now? Review current research results and research proposals
c. Identify areas of collaboration, comparison, and gaps.

Session 3. Future publications
In this session we will discuss the books proposed by Steffanie Scott and Peter Vandergeest, and other publication ideas.

Participants: Challenges to Agrarian Transition in Southeast Asia (ChATSEA) faculty; graduate students working on this topic in SEA; for non-ChATSEA researchers who work on this topic and who might contribute to a possible book, please contact Peter Vandergeest at All participants who are doing research on this topic should prepare a one-page summary of their research, planned, in progress, or completed. Statements should include the key research questions, methods, data and significance to ChATSEA. These should be submitted by September 15 to Rhoda Reyes at, and will be circulated to all participants, and discussed in Session 2. Participants are also invited to make submissions on other topics (e.g., data collection needs) for circulation prior to the workshop.

YCAR invites you to its Annual Reception on September 28

YCAR would like to invite you to its Annual Reception on Thursday, September 28 from 3:00-5:00 pm at York Lanes 280, York University, Keele Campus.

Come and join us for an informal social gathering of YCAR faculty, research and graduate associates and get to know the people and programs of the center. Hope to see you all there!!

Reminder: David Wurfel Award Competition for scholars engaged in Philippine studies

The David Wurfel Award provides financial support to an honors undergraduate or masters graduate student who intends to conduct thesis research on the topic of Filipino history, culture, or society. Value (2006): $1,500 CAD. The award is open to students enrolled in York University in social sciences or humanities programs (including the Faculties of Law and Environmental Studies), who are Canadian citizens/permanent residents/protected persons, have a grade point average of at least 6.0, and demonstrate financial need. Application Deadline: October 15, 2006.

For more information, visit the YCAR website at:

BDK Canada offers graduate scholarship on Buddhist Studies in Japan

The scholarship is intended to enable advanced graduate students in Buddhist Studies who are Canadian Citizens or studying in a Canadian University to spend one year in a Japanese University, studying and/or carrying out doctoral research. Value: $40,000 (Canadian).

Eligibility and Terms: The applicant must be a registered full-time graduate student in a Canadian university or a Canadian citizen studying as a full-time graduate student in a university outside of Canada. Visa students in degree programmes in Canadian universities may apply. Preference will be given to advanced graduate students preparing to carry out doctoral dissertation research, but others at an early stage in their study will also be considered. Some familiarity with Japanese language is expected but fluency is not required. The results of the award will be announced by January 15, 2007. The term of the successful candidate’s stay in Japan will be one year, which may begin at any time between April l, 2007 and March 2008. The award will be paid in two installments. This amount should cover one round trip ticket to Japan and a large part of the expenses directly related to study in Japan.

1. A completed application form and three letters of reference are to be submitted to Dean of Graduate Studies, School of Graduate Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1.

2. Transcripts from all university level courses are to be sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies, McMaster University.

3. Three letters of reference. These confidential letters must accompany the application in separate sealed signed envelopes.

i) One letter must be from the applicant’s supervisor.

ii) Another letter must be from a Japanese scholar based at the Japanese institution where the applicant proposes to study.

iii) Applicants from the University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, McMaster University, University of Toronto and McGill University must have a letter from the member of the Selection Committee representing his or her institution.**

Applications may be obtained from The Department of Religious Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4K1 or from the website

**Names of the members of the current Selection Committee may be obtained from the Department of Religious Studies, McMaster University. Applicants requiring assistance in contacting scholars at Japanese institutions may write to a member of the Selection Committee for advice. Application Deadline: November 1, 2006.

Japan Foundation of Toronto presents Shojo Manga! Girl Power! 

GIRLS' COMICS FROM JAPAN September 6 - October 4, 2006

The Japan Foundation, Toronto presents the exhibition Shojo Manga! Girl Power! Girls' Comics From Japan curated by Dr. Masami Toku of California State University. The exhibition will be on display from September 6 - October 4, 2006 at the Japan Foundation, Toronto. In conjunction with the exhibition, curator Dr. Toku will present a lecture entitled "The Power of Shojo Manga: Its Value and Contribution to Visual Culture and Society" on September 6, 2006.

Featuring more than 200 works by 23 artists, this exhibit is the first of its kind to explore the unique styles of female manga artists and examines their contributions to the development of Shojo Manga. The exhibit is divided into three main periods: 1) The dawn of Shojo Manga, 2) The diversity of Shojo Manga, and 3) The new generation and new directions in Shojo Manga. In a sense, Shojo Manga serves as a commentary and a narrative of the lives of Japanese girls and women as they negotiate their changing social roles, aesthetics, and societal expectations. Interpersonal relationships, love, sex, and women's self-representation are amongst some of the many themes found in Shojo Manga. Overall, this touring exhibition is a comprehensive introduction to newcomers and an in depth exploration of the evolution of themes and expressions in Shojo Manga. It provides convincing explanations for manga's enviable role in Japanese popular culture and its increasing international appeal. Shojo Manga! Girl Power! is part of an international touring exhibit that has traveled to California State University, Chico, University of New Mexico, Columbia College Chicago and The Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.

Dr. Masami Toku is an Associate Professor of art education at California State University, Chico. Her research interest is the cross-cultural study of children's artistic and aesthetic developments in their pictorial world and how visual popular culture influences children's visual literacy. In her lecture, Dr. Toku will provide an overview of the works exhibited in the current exhibit and examine more closely the individual creators of Shojo Manga, providing a deeper look into the development and impact of this form of visual pop culture. For more on Dr. Toku see

The Japan Foundation, Toronto, 131 Bloor Street West (Bay subway station), 2nd Floor of the Colonnade
Opening Reception and Lecture by Curator Dr. Masami Toku: September 6, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
RSVP Required: 416-966-1600, ext. 600 or FREE ADMISSION.
Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday, 11:30 AM - 4:30 PM & Thursday until 7:00 PM
Special Saturday Openings: September 9, and 16 Noon - 5:00 PM Closed: Sundays and all other Saturdays

NUS seeks scholar/postdoctoral fellows in Southeast Asian Studies Programme

The Southeast Asian Studies Programme of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore ( seeks applicants for a scholar specializing in contemporary Indonesia at the Assistant Professor or Associate Professor level (tenure track). Disciplinary specialization is open but preference will be shown to those who engage in research on contemporary political and social issues. Applicants must be committed to working and teaching in an interdisciplinary environment with an area studies perspective. Candidates should have relevant teaching experience, should be actively engaged in research, be fluent in at least one Southeast Asian language, and show evidence of a strong publication record, or the potential to develop one. In terms of teaching responsibilities, the successful applicant will be expected to teach at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Scholars willing to make a long-term commitment to the Southeast Asian region, including citizens of its countries, are especially encouraged to apply. A Ph.D. is required at the time of appointment. The appointment will begin on July 1, 2007.

To apply, please submit a full CV and a statement describing your research and teaching interests. Please also arrange for three reference letters to be sent directly to the Chair of the Search Committee under confidential cover. Send inquiries and completed applications to: Chair of the Search Committee, Southeast Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore, 3 Arts Link, Singapore 117570, Fax: (65) 6777-6608, Email:

Applications close on 15 November 2006. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. An appointee may also enjoy the following benefits depending on the type and duration of appointment and citizenship: Subsidised housing, Relocation allowance, Medical and Leave benefits. Only short-listed candidates will be notified of the selection committee’s decision. Short-listed candidates may be invited for a campus visit. Visit their website at  for links to information on the Programme, the University, terms of service and the application form.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of NUS also invites applications for postdoctoral fellows to be based in the SEA Programme. The successful candidate will be someone who holds a PhD degree (or is awaiting conferment) and has broad interdisciplinary expertise and research interests in SEA studies (including specializations in anthropology, cultural studies, economics, geography, history, political science and sociology). Interested scholars should submit the following by 31 December 2006: Application form (, CV with complete list of publications, academic certificates and transcripts, two letters of reference, and a detailed research proposal of 4-6 pages (double spaced) to: The Head, Southeast Asian Studies Programme, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Blk AS3 Level 6, #06-17, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117570, Fax: (65) 6777 6608.

Memorial Foundation offers fellowships in creative arts and research

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation ( offers fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts. A summary is provided below. For further details on this program, please contact the Office of Research Services (ORS) at ext. 55055 or or consult the following URLs at:; 

OBJECTIVES: To help provide Fellows with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible. The Fellowships are awarded to men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. The Foundation consults with distinguished scholars and artists regarding the accomplishments and promise of the applicants and presents this evidence to the Committee of Selection.

VALUE: Not specified (The amounts of the grants will be adjusted to the needs of the Fellows, considering their other resources and the purpose and scope of their plans). DURATION: 1 year. DEADLINE: October 1, 2006. 

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. Contact: Office of Research Services, 214 York Lanes, York University. Web: Tel: 416-736-2100. Fax: 416-736-5512.

Burmese villager wins 2006 John Humphrey Freedom Award

Su Su NwayMONTREAL – August 31, 2006, 10 a.m. – Burma 's Su Su Nway, who courageously challenged the ruling military junta's use of forced labour and won a historic court ruling against the regime last year, is the winner of Rights & Democracy's 2006 John Humphrey Freedom Award.

Su Su Nway, 34, came to the world's attention last year for her inspiring individual efforts to see the junta's representatives in her village brought to justice for forcing her and her neighbours to repair a road without pay. Conscious of the dangers inherent to confronting Burma's military authorities, Su Su Nway's determination paid off last year when a judge sentenced the village Chairman and a deputy to eight months in prison under an untested law passed in 1999 that bans compulsory labour. The verdict was the first ever against the military regime's long-standing practice of forced labour.

Su Su Nway's legal victory, however, was met a few months later with charges that she had defamed the village's replacement Chairman. Tried for “insulting and disrupting a government official on duty,” she was sentenced last October to 18-months in Insein Prison, a jail infamous for its horrific conditions. Su Su Nway, who suffers from a heart condition, endured nine months in Insein before authorities finally bowed to international pressure and released her on June 6, 2006 .

“I am fine but I don't feel happy or sad about my release because forced labour in Burma still exists,” she told the Democratic Voice of Burma upon her release from prison. “I took my prison uniform with me because I know that I will have to come back to prison until Burma gains democracy.”

Su Su Nway's defiant struggle for human rights and dignity has made her a symbol of resilience and courage to the people of Burma , who now honour her with the title, “Courageous Su Su Nway.”

“Su Su Nway's story moved us profoundly and represents the selfless commitment to justice that the John Humphrey Freedom Award was established to honour,” said Wayne MacKay, Vice-Chair of Rights & Democracy's Board of Directors and a member of the committee that selected Su Su Nway from more than 100 nominations. “What she has accomplished is a powerful tribute to the human spirit that we hope Canadians and the international community will join us in celebrating.”

Rights & Democracy presents the John Humphrey Freedom Award each year to an organization or individual from any country or region of the world, including Canada , for exceptional achievement in the promotion of human rights and democratic development. Named in honour of John Peters Humphrey, a McGill University law professor who prepared the first draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Award includes a speaking tour of Canadian cities to help increase awareness of the recipient's human rights work.

Rights & Democracy is a non-partisan, independent Canadian institution created by an Act of Parliament in 1988 to promote, advocate and defend the democratic and human rights set out in the International Bill of Human Rights. In cooperation with civil society and governments in Canada and abroad, Rights & Democracy initiates and supports programmes to strengthen laws and democratic institutions, principally in developing countries. For more information, contact Louis Moubarak (ext 261) or Steve Smith (ext 255) at Rights & Democracy, 514-283-6073.

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