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York Centre for Asian Research Updates                    Issue 80, Thursday, March 1, 2007

In this issue

March-April Events

 Today: Asian Institute and YCAR co-sponsor Taiwan Roundtable
  Study Abroad Program  TECO announces Taiwan studies grant for Canadian scholars

Job Postings

 Right to Play International seeks research manager for its Toronto office

Grant Applications

 ORS to conduct information session on Killam Research Fellowship

Y-File News

 York professor offers insight into the origin of the Chinese New Year

Asian Institute and YCAR co-sponsor Taiwan Roundtable revisiting the 228 Incident

A Dangerous Memory Rhetorically Perceived: Revisiting the 228 Incident after 60 Years of Ambiguity
Featuring: Dr. TiN Giongun 鄭仰恩 - 危險記憶 :再論 228 六十年的模糊
TODAY: March 1, 7:30pm, Room 208N, Munk Centre, University of Toronto

The Asian Institute and YCAR will hold today a Taiwan Roundtable on the theme "A Dangerous Memory Rhetorically Perceived: Revisiting the 228 Incident after 60 Years of Ambiguity". The event is organized by YCAR Research Associate, Michael Stainton (left photo). The 228 Massacre of some 20,000 Taiwanese by Chinese KMT troops in 1947 is the defining moment of modern Taiwanese history. It gave birth to the Taiwan Independence movement, and has cast a persistent shadow over Taiwan’s ethnic politics. Though national commemoration has replaced enforced silence, “228” remains a dangerous free memory with much transformative power. The event features Dr. TiN Giongun, Principal of the Taiwan Theological Seminary and a historian who has written on the history and meanings of 228. For last minute registration, go to the MCIS website at:

On Friday, March 2, Tania Li, Anthropology professor at University of Toronto will present a Southeast Asian Seminar Series on "Indigenous Capitalism in Indonesia" from 12-1pm at 208N, North House, Munk Centre for International Studies. The event is co-sponsored by the Asian Institute, Departments of Anthropology, Geography, Political Science and Sociology as well as the Centre for Comparative, International and Development Education at OISE/UT. To register, go to:

Also as part of the Asian Institute's Hong Kong in 2007 Series: A Prospective Retrospective, YCAR Faculty Associate, Susan Henders of York political science, will speak on the topic of Inequality and Autonomy: The Double Dynamic of Hong Kong's Special Status on Friday, March 2 from 2-4pm at 208 North House, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, 1 Devonshire Place. Susan's
current projects include a study of the internationalization of minority self-government arrangements and cross-border roles of non-central/federal governments in Eastern Asia. To register, go to:

On Monday, March 5, York women's studies PhD candidate Naoko Ikeda will present a brownbag seminar entitled "Toward Construction of Transnational Subjectivity: Ex-Comfort Women’s Voices Beyond National Identity & Borders". The research for this talk involves a feminist (re) reading of the oral testimony of "comfort women". The testimony is an important feminist activism because it demonstrates a feminist practice of transnationalism and counter-identity politics. Though many historians have interpreted comfort women’s activism as merely “nationalistic sentiment”, believing that these women are blinded with their national/ethnic identity, the argument is that their activism in fact aims to problematize the basic epistemological framework, where a conception of “political subjectivity” is legitimated only through the category of “identity”, and consequently privileges the “national” over the “personal”. The event will be held from 12-1:30pm at York Lanes 270B.

On Wednesday, March 7, the Colloquium on the Global South presents a seminar by Peter Brosius on "Global Conservation and the Politics of Scale" from 2:30-4:30 pm at York Lanes 305. Dr.  Brosius is professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Integrative Conservation Research at the University of Georgia, USA. Abstract: At the beginning of the 21st century, as global environmental change proceeds at an unprecedented pace, conservation has become a central element in civic and political debates in the nations of both the North and the South. Responding to these debates, new forms of conservation practice are continually emerging. In this discussion, Professor Brosius focuses on the recent proliferation of strategic approaches to conservation, most clearly seen in the linked enterprises of eco-regional conservation planning and conservation finance. He further examines how social scientists have responded to these developments, a trend most evident in the proliferation of studies focused on understanding how this strategic turn in conservation has produced new configurations of power and a new politics of scale. He finally assesses the value of recent social science contributions to conservation, and describes an emerging program of integrative conservation research that attempts to link conservation science and the social sciences in a more productive manner. This event is co-sponsored by the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), the department of Geography, the department of Anthropology and the Graduate Program in Anthropology. All are welcome to attend! For more information, contact Joëlle Reid, UCGS Coordinator at or check the UCGS website at for regular updates.

Also on the same day, March 7 from 6-9 pm, the Atkinson School of Social Sciences is organizing a public lecture on "Queer Regions: South Asian Diasporic Remappings of Space & Sexuality" by Gayatri Gopinath, a scholar who has done work on sexuality, gender and diaspora within the South Asian diaspora. Gayatri Gopinath is Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of California at Davis. She is the author of Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures (Duke, 2005). Her work on sexuality, gender, and South Asian diasporic literature, film, and popular music has appeared journals and books including: GLQ, Positions, Diaspora, Theorizing Diaspora: A Reader, Queer Globalizations: Citizenship, Sexualities, and the Afterlife of Colonialism, and Burning Down the House: Recycling Domesticity. Reception is at 6pm followed by the lecture from 7-9pm at Vari Hall 2169, Vari Hall A. For more info, contact Susan Driver

On Monday, March 12, Anil Varughese, PhD candidate in political science at the University of Toronto will present a brownbag seminar on "The Politics of Redistribution in West Bengal and Kerala, India". Abstract: The paper explores the linkages between democratic politics and redistributive policymaking in two Indian states: Kerala and West Bengal. Despite a host of similar background conditions (democratic framework, pro-poor orientation with programmatic political parties, strong labour unions, and a high degree of subordinate class integration), the cases display considerable variation in their pro-poor redistributive commitment and egalitarian outcomes. The paper employs the comparative-historical method to argue that the mode of integration of the poorer classes into the political process is a key variable in explaining the divergence in redistributive commitment." The event will be held from 12-1:30 pm at York Lanes 270B, York University.

Hear Armando Choy on Wednesday, March 14 at York University! Choy, Gustavo Chui and Moises Sio Wong - three young rebels of Chinese-Cuban ancestry - threw themselves into the 1956-58 Cuban revolution that brought down the Batista dictatorship. They all became generals in Cuba's army, helped lead 375,000 Cuban volunteers in the fight to defeat South African apartheid's invasion of Angola, and play leadership roles in Cuba today. Our History is Still Being Written, published by Pathfinder Press, tells their story. The event will be held at the Senior Common Room 335, Founders College from 12:30 pm (reception at noon). Sponsored by: East Asian Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) York, YCAR and Pathfinder Books. For more information, call (416) 736-2100 ext 22348 or (416) 537-5163, web:

Reminder: David Wurfel Award Competition for scholars engaged in Philippine studies due March 15

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 (2007): CAD $2000. 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: March 15, 2007. For more information, visit our website at:

On Monday, March 19, Wendy Wong, YCAR Associate Director and Chair of York Department of Design presents An overview of the globalization of manga and anime. Abstract: As a part of the development of the globalization process of media, American comics and animation have a long history of exporting work to the rest of the world. However, this globalization trend has been changing in the past 15 years. Japanese comics (manga) and animation (anime) are becoming more prominent outside Asia. Comic scholars and cultural studies scholars are optimistic that Japan can be considered as another centre of globalization because of the current global development of manga and anime. This presentation aims to investigate the flow of manga and anime as a cultural product in the global market from Japan to neighboring region and to the rest of the world.

On Monday, March 26, Nancy Peluso, professor at the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley will be at York to conduct a workshop-discussion on her paper on "Agrarian reform movements in Java, Indonesia". The event will be held from 3-5pm at 305 York Lanes and is co-sponsored by Asian Institute at UofT, York Faculty of Environmental Studies and YCAR. There is limited seating available and parties interested to attend should contact Peter Vandergeest at She will also deliver a seminar on "Flexible Landscapes or Rubber Erasures? Property, Violence, and the Racialization of Landscapes in West Kalimantan Indonesia" on Tuesday, March 27 from 3-5pm, 208 North House, UofT. To register, go to

On Wednesday, March 28, the York Centre for International and Security Studies (YCISS) Afternoon Seminar Series presents "Sources of Conflict in South Asia" by Zaglul Haider, YCISS Research Associate. Zaglul Haider completed his Ph.D in Political Science at Clark Atlanta University, USA. His research interests focus on: Foreign policy, security, conflict resolution, regional cooperation, foreign aid, governance, development and military politics. He is professor of political science at the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. His most recent published book is: The Changing Pattern of Bangladesh Foreign Policy: A Comparative Study of the Mujib and Zia Regimes. The event will be held from 1-2:30pm at 372 York Lanes. For more information, visit their website at

On Monday, April 2, Philip Kelly, Associate Professor at York Department of Geography will present a brownbag seminar on Capital and Labour Mobility in a Philippine Locality. Abstract: The presentation examines the developmental implications of intersecting global capital and labour flows in a Philippine locality. In an influential analysis almost 20 years ago, Saskia Sassen suggested that FDI in countries such as the Philippines explained, in part, the increasing numbers of transnational migrants that they were generating. Sassen’s analysis lacked much empirical depth in such source areas of migration, and while her analysis of world city labour markets has been influential, her attempts to unite an analysis of capital flows and labour flows in the developing world has not subsequently been pursued. The paper takes a contemporary look at the linkages between FDI and migration in the Philippines. Using household survey data from a locality that has seen significant flows of inward national migration, outward international migration, as well as manufacturing FDI and remittances, the study will trace the local developmental implications of capital and migration flows.

We also would like to announce that Mark Robertson, York Librarian at the Scott Reference Library, has created an Asian Studies web page on the York library home page. The web page initially includes a bibliography on Asian Studies; historical, geography and environmental studies, political science and sociological abstracts; database on Islamic, religious and philosophical studies, among others. It is a work in progress and interested parties are encouraged to provide feedback on its development. Please send your comments and feedback to Congratulations and thanks to Mark for creating an innovative and informative Asian Studies guide!

YCAR will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 from 1:00-3:00pm at 280 York Lanes. Prior to the AGM, the Executive Committee (ExeCom) will meet from 10:00-12:00 noon followed by a lunch reception from 12:00-1:00 pm at 280 York Lanes. The AGM is open to the general public and will discuss membership, programs and projects for FY 2006/2007 as well as its plans and priorities for FY 2007/2008 onwards. For those who wish to participate, email us at or call us at (416)736-2100 x 44068. 

TECO announces Taiwan studies grant for Canadian scholars

The Cultural Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Canada is pleased to announce the Taiwan Studies Grant Program for Canadian Scholars for the year 2007. This grant, sponsored by the Ministry of Education of Taiwan, is designed to encourage Canadian academics in universities and colleges or in research institutions to undertake research projects on Taiwan, or on various aspects of Taiwan’s relations with Canada. The grant aims to enhance Canadian scholars' understanding of Taiwan by establishing directs contacts with Taiwanese academics in the same field and/or by conducting field work in Taiwan. The grant will cover international airfare and a per diem. It is mandatory for all recipients of this grant to travel to Taiwan. Grants may be awarded for research in any of the following categories: (1) Subject areas in sciences, social science and humanities that focus on: Asia Pacific economic co-operation with an emphasis on Taiwan and Canada; regional security in the Asia Pacific area and implications for Taiwan and Canada; cultural pluralism in Canada and Taiwan. (2) Taiwan Studies or Taiwan-Canada comparative studies. and (3) Taiwan's relations with Canada.

Applicants must: (1) be full-time members of the academic staff of a recognized institution of higher education or equivalent degree-granting institution; or (2) be scholars at a research and policy planning institution that undertakes significant Taiwan-Canada bilateral-relations research projects; or (3) hold a degree equivalent to a postgraduate qualification; applications will be considered from applicants without these formal qualifications only if he/she demonstrates successful research experience; (4) basic skills in Mandarin Chinese is an asset. For detailed information, go to the guidelines at the TECO website.

Right to Play International seeks research manager for its Toronto office

Right To Play (RTP) is an athlete-driven, humanitarian non-governmental organization, delivering programs of sport and play to children living in situations of disadvantage around the world. It is currently seeking a research manager who will provide managerial leadership to support the implementation of Right To Play’s research agenda. The goal is to ensure the production, dissemination, and application of research that benefits the international agenda for Sport for Development on a broad level, and specifically Right To Play programs. Right To Play supports research that builds local ownership of Sport for Development, opens space for discussion and dialogue and informs policy and research capacity of local universities and research institutions. The position will support the following strategic initiatives: (1) Development of RTP Research Committee and Principles for Inclusion of Research with Right To Play; (2) Build a international and multi-disciplinary network to encourage research partnerships between academic, development and sport communities in developed and developing countries; (3) Pilot Right To Play/Sport for Development focused research studies; and (4) Establish on-going series of Right To Play/Sport for Development focused research studies; and (5) Build on the Evidence Base in Sport for Development. Experience Level: Senior Level. Salary is commensurate with experience. Closing Date: 3/9/2007. For details and other job postings, visit their careers website.

ORS to conduct information session on Killam Research Fellowship

York University's Office of Research Services (ORS) is coordinating an information session for faculty members who may be interested in preparing a submission to the upcoming Canada Council Killam Research Fellowship competition. This session will be led by Peter Morand, Special Advisor, Killam Program.

When: Tuesday, March 6, 2007 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at 305 York Lanes. Please confirm your attendance by contacting ORS at ext. 55055 or

This session will consist of a general presentation which will include historical and statistical information, explanations on eligibility and application requirements, tips on how to improve one’s application and information on the electronic filing process. This will be an interactive presentation, which will be followed by a question and answer period. Peter Morand will also be available to meet briefly with individual applicants at the end of the session. For more information, visit the Canada Council website.

OBJECTIVE: To provide full release time from teaching and administrative duties to an individual scholar who wishes to pursue independent research in any of the following fields: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, engineering and studies linking any of the disciplines within these fields. Note: The award is not intended as a subsidy for the overall research or teaching program of a department, institute or centre, and it is not offered for work undertaken as part of a degree program. An individual may win this award only once.

VALUE: Killam Research Fellowships provide release time and are valued at $70,000 per year. The funds are paid to the university or research institution which employs the Fellow. The university or research institution that employs the Killam Research Fellow is expected to relieve him or her of all teaching and administrative responsibilities, and to continue to pay the Fellow’s full salary and benefits during the full tenure of the fellowship. The fellowship funds assist the university or research institution in defraying the costs of replacing the Fellow and in paying the Fellow’s salary and benefits during the two-year fellowship period.

DURATION: Two years. DEADLINE: May 15, 2007. 


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 agency deadline, a complete application folder must be submitted to ORS ten (10) working days prior to submission date. Office of Research Services, 214 York Lanes, York University, Tel: 416-736-2100. Fax: 416-736-5512.

York professor offers insight into the origin of the Chinese New Year

The festivities surrounding Chinese New Year, which this year fell on Feb. 18, are ancient in origins and rich in cultural and mythological symbolism. York Professor Jay Goulding spoke about the background and symbolism of this holiday at the Chinese New Year celebration held at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto on Feb. 7.

Goulding, a professor in the School of Social Sciences in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, is a specialist in classical and modern Chinese and Japanese philosophy, religion and culture. He was a keynote speaker at the museum's day-long Chinese New Year event, co-sponsored by the York Centre for Asian Research.

Photo (l-r): Tom Bata, Wendy Wong, Vivienne Poy, Jay Goulding and Sonja Bata.

In the afternoon, Goulding delivered a presentation to the museum’s patrons and the media about Chinese New Year, explaining that it originated up to 5,000 years ago during the mythological era of China's first emperor Huangdi.

This year, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, it is the Year of the Pig. In keeping with this theme, Goulding, in his presentation, outlined the symbolism of the pig in Chinese culture. He explained the creature's significance as a loyal creature of fertility, citing the famous fable Journey to the West, in which a pig (Pigsy) was a key figure.

Goulding also drew on examples from a current Bata Shoe Museum exhibit called Watched by Heaven, Tied to Earth: Summoning Animal Protection for Chinese Children. Featuring children's shoes and garments, the exhibit explores the hidden meanings of symbolism of the Chinese zodiac and explains the reasons why children are dressed in clothes adorned with these traditions symbols and images.

In the evening, after an introduction by Senator Vivienne Poy, chancellor emerita of the University of Toronto, Goulding spoke on "Chinese Philosophy and Popular Culture".

"As we move toward the 2008 Beijing Olympics, popular culture becomes the meeting ground for the emergence of a new world inter-culture that is based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of 'all under heaven'," said Goulding. "New Year celebrates this new global culture."

Making reference to Poy's new book, Profit, Victory and Sharpness – The Lees of Hong Kong (jointly published by the York Centre for Asian Research and the Hong Kong Institute of Education), Goulding explained how Chinese philosophy and popular culture are linked through the centrality of storytelling.

Goulding discussed the ancient tales from the Daoist classics of Zhuangzi and detailed a fluid continuity between the stories of ancient and modern worlds, noting that pigs, turtles, fish, camels, dragons, tigers, monkeys and elephants appear throughout.

He enhanced his lecture with a comprehensive slide show from his fall lecture tour at Peking University and Beijing Foreign Studies University. After his presentation, Goulding fielded questions from the audience during a question-and-answer period moderated by Poy.

The event was sponsored by the Bata Shoe Museum and the Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc., and co-sponsored by York's Centre for Asian Research and the Asian Institute of the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. (Source: Y-File, February 23, 2007).

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