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York Centre for Asian Research Updates                    Issue 76, Friday, February 2, 2007

In this issue

York Brownbag Talks

 Megacity Masala: Racialized communities and social planning in Toronto
  SocioCultural Events  York to participate in Chinese New Year Celebrations this February 2007

GradStudent Conference

 CRS invites you to its Annual Graduate Student Conference in May 2007

Call for Proposals

 OPC calls for proposals for its Contributions Program 2007

Asia News - Taiwan

 China slams Taiwan textbook revision

Today at York: Megacity Masala: Racialized communities and social planning in Toronto

The City Institute at York University (CITY) presents Leela Viswanathan, York Faculty of Environmental Studies, who will talk on "Megacity Masala: Racialized communities and social planning in Toronto" from 12:30-2pm at Calumet College. For more information, contact Sara Macdonald, CITY Coordinator at 228 York Lanes, tel (416) 650-8125, email,

Monday, Feb 5, 12-1:30pm at 270 York Lanes - Radhika Mongia, Assistant Professor, York Sociology
Topic: Contract and Consent: Slavery, Indenture and the (Re)Making of Freedom

This paper reads the debates on and the definitions of contracts in the regulation of the post-abolition practice of Indian migration alongside the transformations in contract law, to argue that abolition might well provide the best explanation for the global transformations of nineteenth-century contract law. It further suggests that the paradigmatic site for the separation of “consent” and “will” from the notion of “equality in exchange,” that characterizes the nineteenth-century reformulation of the contract, and, indeed, of the paradigmatic liberal subject, is to be found not within the metropolitan heartland, but within the peripheral sites of Mauritius, the Caribbean, and India that the paper examines.

Friday, Feb 9, 10-11:30am at Harry Crowe Room, 109 Atkinson Bldg - Merle Jacobs, York Atkinson
Topic: The Impact of Culture on the Care of Colour: A Case Study of Burmese-Canadian Women

This is a study about health and underdevelopment. Using a historical and cross-cultural perspective, this paper examines the historical and contemporary relationship between human health, on the one hand, and socio-cultural and political economic organization on the other. Rape and sexual assault against women in Burma is widely committed in the Karen, Karenni, and Shan states. The paper sets out to situate Burmese women in Canada’s health-care system, examining evidences of equality and/or inequality from historical records, current practices, and personal observations and experience.

York to participate in Chinese New Year Celebrations this February 2007

The Bata Shoe Museum and the Asian Heritage Month-Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc. present Chinese New Year Celebrations, an event based on Watched by Heaven, Tied to Earth, The Museum's Exhibition of Chinese Children's Shoes.

The ceremony will be opened by Mrs. Sonja Bata (right photo), Director of the Bata Shoe Museum, with co-chair, The Honourable Vivienne Poy and keynote speaker, Professor Jay Goulding (left photo) from York University who will speak on "Chinese Philosophy and Popular Culture".

The event will be held on Wednesday, February 7, 2007 from 6:00-9:30 pm at the Bata Shoe Museum at 327 Bloor St West, Toronto. Tickets at $60/person available until Monday, February 5. To purchase tickets by Visa, MasterCard, Amex or cheque, please call Elizabeth O. at (416) 979-7799 x 225. Dr. Kay Li, YCAR Research Associate, is director of the Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Southern Ontario). The event is supported by Asian Institute/Munk Centre for International Studies of the University of Toronto and YCAR at York University. For more information visit

For other interesting Chinese New Year celebrations in Toronto, visit and Gung Hei Fat Choy!

Also we would like to add that on Wednesday, February 14, 2007, Senator Vivienne Poy (right) will present an interactive lecture on her book: Profit, Victory & Sharpness – The Lees of Hong Kong from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, Munk Centre for International Studies, 1 Devonshire Place, South House. Please register attendance online at

Profit in business, Victory in wars, and the Sharpness of a blade are the different meanings of the Chinese character "Lee", which is the maiden name of the author, Vivienne Poy. It is an unusual surname in China, and it only belongs to a small group of people who are mostly related. The surname was granted by the emperor to her ancestor during the feudal period in China, approximately 2000 years ago. Drawing on the history of the Lee family, particularly over the last four generations, Vivienne Poy tells the story of the development of Hong Kong from fishing villages to an international financial centre. The central characters are her grandfather and her father, whose lives closely mirrored the changes and the growth of Hong Kong into what it is today. This intelligent and absorbing portrait, set in the broader context of Hong Kong and Chinese history, helps to illuminate many dimensions of the society which four generations of Lees have called home.

The book is part of the Hong Kong Life Stories No. 4 of the Canada and Hong Kong Project co-directed by Dr. Bernard Luk, York Professor of History, and Dr. Diana Lary, UBC Professor of History, with York Centre for Asian Research and Hong Kong Institute of Education as co-publishers.

CRS invites you to its Annual Graduate Student Conference in May 2007

The Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) Annual Graduate Student Conference will be held May 3rd and 4th, 2007 at York University. This event, hosted by CRS Student Caucus, offers Masters and PhD students across disciplines the opportunity to present ideas in a professional but non-intimidating forum.

The theme for this year’s conference is Redefining Borders: Dialogues of Displacement, Identity and Community. Working within the field of Refugee and Migration Studies, this theme invites critical, imaginative and innovative discussion surrounding the concepts of borders, what they might entail today, and how they impact displacement, identity and community. Our aim is to create a theme broad enough to accommodate a wide range of discussion on these openly defined terms.

Graduate students from all disciplines are invited to present papers at this forum, with abstracts due by March 15, 2007. Abstracts should be submitted electronically to the CRS Student Caucus at: Abstracts should not exceed 250 words and should be accompanied by a short personal biographic profile of no more than 100 words. We are also open to accepting ‘ideas in progress’ to accommodate students who are in the initial phases of their research project.

Suggested topics include: · Internal Displacement · Diasporic and Refugee Communities & Transnational Relationships · Ethnicity, Identity and Cultural Politics · Immigration/Refugee Law and Practice · Globalization, Development, Environment, Conflict Induced Displacement · Gender and Displacement · Human Trafficking · War and Children · Emergencies and Humanitarian Assistance · Post-Conflict Rehabilitation · Repatriation and Reintegration · Imagined Communities: Attachment and Belonging · Integration: Redefining Community · Reflections on Exile · Negotiating Space: Fractured Geographies.

The CRS student caucus is honoured to announce Wenona Giles as this year’s key note speaker. Wenona Giles is professor in the School of Social Sciences and Associate Director of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York. Her research brings a strong gender and feminist perspective into areas of migration, refugee issues, and war.

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE Thursday, March 15, 2007 to CRS Student Caucus at:


The disciplines represented range from Anthropology, Archaeology, Diaspora Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature, Political Studies, Psychology, Public Health, Religion, Sociology and Theatre Studies.

ALL ARE WELCOME (Online Registration and Payment Required).


Women in Politics in Asia 2007: A Springboard for Democracy? October 4-6, 2007, Ottawa, Canada

Building upon “Women and Politics in Asia 2005: Discovering the Gender Face of Politics”, Women and Politics in Asia 2007: A Springboard for Democracy? aims to reflect upon the links between democracy and the feminization of the halls of political power within Asia. This region of the world is interesting for students of democracy for a number of reasons: many Asian countries have acceded to democratic government in the past few years; the vast majority boast extremely diverse populations, which generates enormous challenges for the establishment of balanced political representation; many countries have adopted affirmative action measures to increase the representation of women and ethnic groups in their parliaments; finally, many countries in Asia have elected women to the highest positions of executive and legislative power. This conference is soliciting papers for the four themes: Political Actors and Institutions, Public Policy, Political Theory and Citizenship Discourses, and Feminist Movements.

PAPER PROPOSALS: Please send 1) the name and institutional location of the presenter; 2) the title of the presentation; 3) a 250 words paper proposal by the end of March 2007 to and

OPC calls for proposals for its Contributions Program 2007

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has issued a call for proposals for its 2007 Contributions Program.  A summary is provided below.  To obtain the 2007 program summary, research priorities, the grant application and guidelines, please visit the following web site:

OBJECTIVES: To maximize the opportunity to develop a national privacy research capacity that will increase awareness and understanding of privacy issues among individuals and organizations. There are three different streams of the program this year, for which they are encouraging the submission of separate research and coordination proposals:

Stream 1: Research Proposals on: Protection of Personal Information on the Internet; Challenges Inherent in Secure Identification or Authentication of Individuals and Entities; Intersection of the Public and Private Sectors. VALUE:  Up to $50,000. DEADLINE:  February 19th, 2007.

Stream 2: Research Results Workshop. One of the goals of this research program is to promote the awareness of different privacy research activities in Canada, with a view to reinforcing our broader public education agenda.  Proposals must be for dates coincident with the week of the 29th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference, taking place in Montreal, September 25-28, 2007. VALUE:  Up to $50,000 (90% of this funding must be expended on travel and accommodation for other researchers.) DEADLINE:  February 19th, 2007.

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. 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: 416-736-5055, Fax: 416-736-5512.

China slams Taiwan textbook revision, by Li Fangchao, China Daily, February 1, 2007

Beijing denounced Wednesday (Jan 31) Taipei's attempt to promote "Taiwan independence" by revising the island's high-school history textbooks. On instructions from Taiwan's "ministry of education", terms like "our country", "this country" and "the mainland" in the textbooks have been changed to "China".

"We've noticed the developments. The political motive behind it is to transform the island's education into an ideological tool for 'Taiwan independence'," Yang Yi (right Xinhua photo), spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a regular briefing. "Taiwan is an inseparable part of China. No matter what tricks the secessionist forces play, they cannot change the fact."

Yang also condemned Taiwan's "national palace museum" for removing all the labels that identify half a million exhibits as originating from the Chinese mainland, calling it a "despicable act". A resolution was adopted by Taiwan's Executive Yuan on Jan 17, barring the museum from identifying its exhibits as transported from the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Under the resolution, the task of the museum will be "the collection, study and expatiation of 'domestic and foreign' antiques and art pieces", instead of "the collection, study and expatiation of ancient Chinese art".

First opened in 1965, the museum in Taipei houses 654,500 art works and artifacts that were shipped from Beijing to Taiwan in 1949 when the Nationalists retreated to the island during a civil war. Mainland scholars have condemned the change, saying the revised regulation ignores historic fact and is just another attempt to cut Taiwan's links to the mainland. "Regulations can be changed, but history cannot," said Liang Jinsheng, a researcher at the Palace Museum in Beijing.

In response to reports about the possible visit of senior Kuomintang official Wang Jin-pyng to the mainland after the Chinese Lunar New Year, Yang said: "We are willing to communicate with any individual or group from Taiwan, as long as they uphold the one-China principle and acknowledge the '1992 consensus'." According to the consensus, both sides of the Straits agree that there is only one China in the world despite their different interpretation of the political meaning of "one China".

Taiwan media have reported that Wang, who is the "president" of the "Legislative Yuan" of Taiwan, may visit his ancestral home in East China's Fujian Province this year. Yang also said the mainland "had noticed" media reports that the former pro-independence leader of the island, Lee Tung-hui, is looking forward to visiting the mainland. He refused to elaborate on the mainland's stance towards Lee's plan.

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