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China Studies

Critical China Studies Reading Group

 

Critical China Studies Reading Group (CCS), a GTA-based forum of faculty and graduate students with a scholarly interest in China, has been in existence since January of 2009. Initiated by Professor Judge and Professor Fogel, its meetings bring together from 15 to 20 professors and graduate students from York University, the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and Wilfred Laurier University. These informal sessions serve as a lively, interdisciplinary forum in which members of the group—from senior scholars to first year graduate students—can present their work in progress.

In Spring 2010, the organizers of the Reading Group received funds from the Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation at York University, which were intended to support the Group to extend and deepen the research for current and future opportunities.  The CCS held two events at York University during the year, and the Group also met for nine reading group sessions over the year at the University of Toronto.

Since its inception, presentations given by CCS participants have been on a range of topics including traditional Sinology, history of science, gender studies, print culture, art and design, photography, postcolonial studies and law. The group has also brought in renowned outside speakers who shared both a work in progress with members of the group and gave a more formal public lecture. Among these speakers were Benjamin Elman (History of Chinese Science, Princeton University) and Lydia Liu (Chinese Literature, Columbia University).

2010.2011

> Spring 2010 | Organizers of the Reading Group received funds from the Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation at York University, which is intended to support the Group to extend and deepen the research for current and future opportunities. It has enabled organizers to host more meetings at York University, to invite one outside speaker.

> 19 November 2010 | All members of the group attended a (separately funded) symposium on “China in the Long Twentieth Century: Overcoming the 1949 Divide.” Members of the group, including two York faculty members and one York graduate student, gave papers, and three other members of the reading group served as discussants. Nine or 10 graduate students were in the audience.   

> March 2011

Gail Hershatter (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Gail Hershatter led a seminar on 4 March 2011at the University of Toronto. She is one of the leading scholars of Chinese women’s history (recipient of the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in Women's History, American Historical Association in 1997 for Dangerous Pleasures: Prostitution and Modernity in 20th-Century Shanghai). As several members of the reading group have an interest in gender issues and all have read Gail’s work, her visit will be extremely fruitful for scholars and graduate students alike. Gail discussed with the group a chapter from her current project on The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China's Collective Past.

Professor Hershatter also gave a public lecture on 3 March 2011 at York University on her current project titled 'The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China's Collective Past'.

The Sing Tao Daily story about Professor Hershatter's talk can be accessed here:  http://news.singtao.ca/toronto/2011-03-04/city1299228775d3039332.html.

 

CAMERA SINICA: Uses and Meanings of Photography in China, Early Twentieth to Early Twenty-first Centuries
The workshop was held 11 March 2011 at York University and included four papers by York and University of Toronto faculty along with ccommentaries by York faculty who have expertise in photography but who are not in the China field. As the theme of the workshop indicates, there is a convergence of interest in the group around the topic of Chinese photography.

Participants in the workshop plan to establish a separate reading/research group on this theme in the 2011.2012 academic year and hold an international conference on this theme, possibly in 2012.

Lt-Rt: Joan Judge (History), Tong Lam (University of Toronto, Mississauga), Yi Gu (University of Toronto, Scarborough), Meng Yue (University of Toronto), Marianne Kadar (Humanities), Carol Zemel (Visual Arts)

> 24 September 2011 | The group welcomed Tobie Meyer-Fong (Department of History, The Johns Hopkins University) to the first meeting of the acadmeic year. The title of her talk was " Knowing One's Enemy: Tattoos, Hair, Clothing, and Other Boundaries during the Taiping Rebellion".  She spoke on the war fought between the Qing armies and the Taiping rebels and the catastrophic loss of life, how it was memorialized afterward, and related issues.


Researchers:

YCAR Associates involved with the research programme include: Faculty Associates Joan Judge (History), Joshua Fogel (History), Bernard Luk (History), Grace Shen (Humanities), and Graduate Associate Doris Sung (Humanities).


Contact Information:

For more information, please contact Professor Joan Judge at ycar@yorku.ca.


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