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York Centre for Asian Research Updates                    Issue 67, Friday, November 10, 2006

In this issue

Events @ York

 Today is Mongolia Day at York
  Public Conference  The social and environmental impacts of Canadian companies operating abroad

Academic Job Postings

 UTM seeks specialist in East and/or South Asian new media

Call for Nominations

 York calls for nominations for honorary degrees

Asia News - Vietnam

 Vietnam to launch biggest post-war art exhibition

Today is Mongolia Day at York

Special guests Dugerjav Gotov, ambassador of Mongolia to Canada, and Tserensodnom Gantsog, president of National University of Mongolia, will speak at the morning session at 10:30am in room 280 York Lanes.

York University and the National University of Mongolia have collaborated on a number of projects recently. One of these collaborations will be featured in the remainder of the morning session of Mongolia Day. York Professors Dawn Bazely and Gail Fraser will present on their participation in the CIDA/AUCC Students for Development University Team Project.

In the afternoon session at 2:30pm in room 106 Accolade West, a lecture will be given by Edward J. Vajda, Dept. of Modern & Classical Languages, Western Washington University. He will present a lecture called "Chinggis Khan and World History".

Both sessions are free and open to all, and will provide a great opportunity to learn more about Mongolia and Central Asian history, as well as York’s connections in Mongolia. For more info, visit the York International website at (Source: York Events. Photo credit: UNFPA Mongolia).

York holds Graduate Studies Open House

Interested in graduate studies at York University? York's Admissions & Recruitment Office invites you to the Graduate Open House, on Saturday, November 11, to learn about the application process, meet faculty members and potential supervisors, chat with current graduate students, discover areas of specialization, learn about funding opportunities, find out about on-campus resources and tour the campus and facilities To register, view the schedule of events and get directions, go to the Graduate Open House website.

Tarab Ensemble with Arab Sufi Music performs at Noor

Back by popular demand, the Tarab Ensemble with Arab Sufi Music will perform on Saturday, November 11 at 8pm at the Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford  Drive (DVP/Wynford). Tickets: $15.00; Students - $10.00.

Note: Michael Nijhawan's talk on Urban "Dhadi": Cultural, Linguistic and Political Translations on Monday, November 13 has been moved to Winter 2007.

UCGS presents colloquium on multiculturalism

The Colloquium on the Global South proudly presents a seminar by Sara Abraham (Sociology, University of Toronto) on "Multiracialism as More than the Sum of Ethnicities: Experiences from the Anglophone Caribbean", Wednesday, November 15 (2:30-4:30 pm), at 305 York Lanes, York University. Sara Abraham teaches at the University of Toronto - Mississauga Department of Sociology, and has a book forthcoming with Rowman and Littlefield on the historical trajectory of multiracialism in the Anglophone Caribbean. All are welcome to attend! For more info, contact Joëlle Reid, UCGS Coordinator or go to the UCGS website at

YCAR invites you to its GDAS Information Session

There will be a Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies (GDAS) Information Session on Thursday, November 16 from 3-4pm at YCAR at 270B York Lanes. Attached is link to the GDAS poster that contains basic information on the program, including eligibility and requirements. GDAS will be formally launched in January 2007 with Prof. Thongchai Winichakul as guest speaker. Prof. Winichakul is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is a specialist in the intellectual and cultural history of Thailand. His book, Siam Mapped, which received the Harry J. Benda prize by the Association for Asian Studies in 1995, is about the geography of nationalism, the encounter between the modern and indigenous knowledge of geography and mapping that resulted in the geo-body of Siam.

The GDAS enrolment forms are now available on YCAR's website. The GDAS core course, The Making of Asian Studies: Critical Perspectives, will be taught in Winter 2007 by Dr. Peter Vandergeest and is crosslisted in the Departments of Anthropology, Geography and Sociology (ANTH 5500/GEOG 5700/SOCI 6745).

The GDAS Language Award has also been approved by the Office of Student Financial Services for graduate students who are interested in taking an Asian language course to further develop their proficiency and understanding of the context and perspectives relating to their area of research study in Asia.

Dr. Shubhra Gururani is the Diploma Coordinator and can be contacted at x 33716 or by email at

YCAR director to talk on emergencies, insurgencies and forestry in Southeast Asia

Dr. Peter Vandergeest will present a talk at the Asian Institute Southeast Asian Seminar Series on Friday, Nov 17 from 2-4 pm at 208N North House at the Munk Centre for International Studies, 1 Devonshire Place. Dr. Vandergeest has been conducting research in Southeast Asia for 20 years. The paper on insurgencies and forestry is the product of collaborative research with Nancy Peluso, and the most recent of a series of articles on the making of professional forestry and political forests in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He is also working with a network of colleagues in research on contemporary agrarian transitions in Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on the cultural politics of agrofood transformations.

The Modern Evolution of Shanghai, Friday, November 17, Room 204, YorkU Scott Library, 9:30-3:30 pm

10:00  Meng Yue, University of Toronto, "Shanghai and Edges of Empires: The Repositioning of Chinese Cosmopolitanism, 1800-1927"

Joshua A. Fogel. York University, "The Voyage of the Senzaimaru to Shanghai (1862) and the Revival of Sino-Japanese Relations"

2:00 Christian Henriot, Universite de Lyon, "Virtual Shanghai: Exploring New Ways in Urban History"

Everyone welcome to attend and participate! Please contact Canada Research Chair (CRC)/Professor of Modern Chinese History, Dr. Joshua Fogel at (Photo credit: Shanghai-ed/SinoMedia Ltd, Shanghai).

The Oligarchy and Continuing Philippine Human Rights Crises
Monday, November 27, 4-7pm, Rm 208N, Munk Centre for International Studies/UofT, 1 Devonshire Place

Asian Institute in association with Rizal Society of Ontario, Filipino Students Association at UofT and York and YCAR presents an open forum/book signing on Dr. Dante Simbulan's book relating to the Philippine oligarchy and continuing human rights crises in the country (Photo credit: Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA).

DANTE C. SIMBULAN earned his doctorate in Political Science from the Australian National University. He taught Politics, Government and Sociology at the University of the Philippines, Ateneo, Maryknoll, and the Philippine Military Academy. He was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines when Martial Law was declared by Ferdinand Marcos. Dr. Simbulan was arrested and detained for two-and-a half years without charges and adopted as a "prisoner of conscience" by Amnesty International and other international human rights groups. While in exile, he taught at Montgomery College, Maryland and lectured at several universities in the U.S. and Canada. He served as the first executive director of the Church Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (based in Washington, D.C.) that worked for the termination of US military and economic support to the Marcos dictatorship. Dr. Simbulan will be on hand to sign copies of The Modern Principalia, Historical Evolution of the Philippine Ruling Oligarchy, his finally published 1963 watershed thesis on the 20th century Philippine ruling elite which influenced two generations of Filipino political activists.

In advance, we would also like to announce that YCAR will be holding its Annual Holiday Potluck Event on Monday, December 11 from 3-5 pm at York Lanes 270B. Please mark your calendar. Everyone welcome!

Extractive Industries, Destructive Industries? The Social and Environmental Impacts of Canadian Companies Operating Abroad

Monday, Nov 13, 2006 – 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Amphithéâtre SH-2800, 200 Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal

This civil society conference will examine the impacts of the Canadian international extractives sector (mining, oil, gas) in developing countries on the environment, human rights, indigenous rights, culture and politics. It is planned to coincide with the Canadian Government’s National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility. The final Government roundtable will take place in Montreal in mid-November. The main themes of the conference are: The role of the Government and other decision-makers, Corporate accountability and Canadian companies, Public engagement in both Canada and developing countries, and Proposed solutions for these problems.

Participants and speakers will include people from affected mining communities in developing countries, indigenous peoples, civil society organizations, the research community, students, and concerned individuals. This forum will encourage participants to share their experiences, reflections, research, and activities, and discuss proposed solutions for Canadian extractive companies that disregard human rights and the environment in their overseas operations. *Registration is Free!*

For more info, contact Sara Kemp, Program Officer, Asia Pacific Working Group, Canadian Council for International Co-operation, 1 Nicholas Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, ON    K1N 7B7, Phone: (613) 241-7007 ext. 316, Fax: (613) 241-5302, Web:

UTM seeks specialist in East and/or South Asian new media

The University of Toronto at Mississauga Institute of Communication and Culture (ICC) seeks applications for a tenure-stream appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor in Asian New Media, Visual Culture and Contemporary Art. The successful candidate will be associated with programs in the Centre for Visual and Media Culture (CVMC). Appointment will begin on July 1, 2007. The successful candidate will demonstrate theoretical sophistication and a commitment to interdisciplinarity as well as strong visual analytic skills and a broad knowledge of Asian visual culture and contemporary art. Applications are invited from scholars in a variety of disciplines including anthropology, art history, comparative literature, cultural studies, East Asian studies, history, South Asian studies, or another related field. Ph.D. required.

The candidate will be expected to teach undergraduate courses within the curriculum of the Centre of Visual and Media Culture that includes the Visual Culture and Communication program (jointly administered with Communication, Culture, and Information Technology) and the Art and Art History program as well as to design new courses. The Institute of Communication and Culture [] is an interdisciplinary research and teaching institute designed to address questions of culture and communication across the humanities, social sciences, and science disciplines. For additional information about the Centre for Visual and Media Culture and its academic programs, go to: For further details, please visit the following link:

Please send all applications electronically to and addressed to Professor Louis Kaplan, Chair, Asian New Media Search Committee, Institute of Communication and Culture, CCT Building, Rm. 3030, University of Toronto at Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road N., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 1C6. Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a statement outlining current and future research interests, comprehensive portfolio of publications (at least three writing samples sent via email and samples of digital/media-based projects if applicable), and materials relevant to teaching experience. Hard copies will also be accepted in addition to electronic files. Applicants should ask three referees to send letters directly to the address above to be received in hard copy format by the deadline. Materials must be received by December 1, 2006.

Reminder: Applications for YCAR Director effective July 2007

Applications and nominations are invited for the position of Director of the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), for a term of three to five years, to begin July 1, 2007. YCAR was created in 2002 to enhance understanding of Asia and Asian diasporas. Its goal is to raise the profile of research and education about Asia and Asian diasporas through research, lectures, workshops, and other public events. It also supports scholars, community groups, and other organizations working to improve social justice and welfare in Asia and among Asian communities. YCAR serves as a centre of information about Asia and Asian Canadians, both within York University and beyond.

YCAR is an interdisciplinary Organized Research Unit (ORU) within York University. Interdisciplinary ORUs, that bring together researchers from across the university, including social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and the professional schools, are organized under the Office of the Vice-President Research Innovation. Research centres and institutes provide collaborative support to researchers and are a vibrant and important part of the research culture at York.

Applicants are expected to be members of the full-time faculty at York University, and to have a distinguished record of scholarship and interdisciplinary research interests in Asia or Asian diasporas. The Director is expected to administer the financial, organizational and academic activities of the Centre, to develop external funding sources, and to maintain an active individual and collaborative research program. The successful applicant will receive an administrative stipend and the appropriate course load reduction as stipulated by the YUFA Collective Agreement. The Director of the Centre reports to the Associate Vice-President Research (Social Sciences and Humanities). Applications and nominations (including curriculum vitae and the names of three referees who may be contacted) should be sent to Phyllis Lepore Babcock, Executive Officer, Research, Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, 200 York Lanes. Applicants are also asked to submit a statement about their vision for the Centre including goals, objectives, strategy of action and leadership style. Applications and nominations must be received by Monday November 20, 2006.

York calls for nominations for honorary degrees

The Senate Sub-Committee on Honorary Degrees and Ceremonials wish to encourage members of the York community to submit nominations for honorary degrees and University Professorships. The award of honorary degrees is an important feature of Convocation at York University.  These awards are important to the celebration of the achievements of our graduands and add to the distinction of the ceremony which graduands, their families, members of the York Community and guests will remember with satisfaction.  The Sub-Committee will be considering candidates for inclusion in a pool, so nominations are considered throughout the year.  The Chancellor and President will select individuals from this pool to be honoured at a given convocation.

Candidates for honorary degrees must meet one or more of the following general criteria: (a) eminence in his or her field; (b) service to humankind, Canada, Ontario, York University or a particular community in a significant manner; (c ) has provided a significant benefaction to the University; (d) someone whose public contributions to society are worthy of emulation. Nomination forms should be accompanied by personal statements of support for the nominee, a curriculum vitae or biographical summary and a short summary of the nomination.  In keeping with our mandate, the Sub-Committee is particularly concerned that York honour with appropriate ceremony and dignity those candidates who for reasons attributable to social prejudice or ignorance may have been passed over. In this connection, we encourage nominations of women and of cultural and other minorities.

Further guidelines and nomination forms are available on the Senate web site ( or by visiting or calling the University Secretariat (Room N926 Ross Building, 416-736-5012).  Nominations for Honorary Degrees are considered throughout the year; nominations received by Wednesday, November 22 will be considered at the next meeting of the sub-committee.  

Vietnam to launch biggest post-war art exhibition
Channel News Asia, 02 November 2006 

HO CHI MINH CITY - Vietnam's southern metropolis will launch the two-year art project "Saigon Open City" later this month, bringing works from regional and international artists. Billed as post-war Vietnam's largest arts event, it will showcase works from Japanese-American Yoko Ono, the widow of murdered Beatle John Lennon, as well as major artists from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. (Left photo: A man cycles passed the venue of the Vietnamese Communist Party's five yearly national congress in Hanoi).

More than 40 contemporary artists will exhibit from November 26 in venues including the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum, the War Remnants Museum, the Museum of Southern Women and the Saigon Open City Studio Space. "For people from outside Vietnam, Saigon Open City will be an introduction to local art, a platform to show that it is much more than lacquer, silk or army paintings," said Thai artist-curator Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Three major exhibitions over two years -- themed Liberation, Unification and Reconstruction -- will also include film screenings, artists' studio visits and workshops, and talks by artists and curators, say organisers. Sponsors of the event ( include the Ford Foundation, the Vietnam Foundation for the Arts, the Goethe Institut, Vietnam-Denmark Cultural Fund, British Council and the French Embassy. - AFP/sh

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