Transnational Suburbia: Spatialities of Overseas Filipino Mobilities and Gated Suburbanization in Manila’s Peri-Urban Fringe @ Room 120, North Ross Building
Dec 4 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Dr Andre Ortega, Population Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman

In the midst of the on-going transnational mobilities of Overseas Filipinos (OFs), gated suburbs in Manila’s peri-urban fringe serve as “balikbayan” (return-country) attractions, where successful OFs build their supposed “Filipino Dream.” From these spaces, I propose the term, ”transnational suburbia”, suburbs produced through processes of international migration and neoliberal urbanization. In speaking with postcolonial and planetary urbanist provocations, this paper moves forward geographic efforts in theorizing suburbanization and assembles the problematique of the transnational suburbia by an analysis of the spatial contingencies of suburbanity and transnationality. Through a mixed method approach, I map transnational suburbs and demonstrate its three spatialities: (1) locating transnational suburbs in the peri-urban fringe; (2) the production of ideal suburban spaces and suburbanites; (3) everyday suburbanisms. These narratives allude to the material and discursive production of suburban space in the Philippines and explain how, as idealized fruits of transnational labor, they are necessarily but contradictorily hinged upon the transnational circuits of the OF phenomena. These socio-spatial transformations are symptomatic of contemporary suburban conditions in Global South contexts where suburban development is contemporaneously hinged upon the core metropolis and translational mobilities.

Andre Ortega is an Assistant Professor in the Population Institute at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He completed a PhD in Human Geography at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2012. His research has addressed the economic and cultural dimensions of new urban developments in the Manila region and has highlighted the role of remittances in driving the real estate market in the Philippines. His work also notes the diversity of economic and social living arrangements that exist in these new housing developments and the possibilities for alternative and informal economies in such places. He combines this qualitative work with an extensive knowledge of statistical data sources in the Philippines and the analytical skills of a quantitative demographer.

This event is part of the Graduate Program in Geography’s Colloquium series.

Queer Worlding in the Urban Age @ Room 305, Third Floor, York Lanes
Dec 4 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

oswinMuch urban scholarship has moved away from thinking narrowly about the ‘global city’ as category or thing to instead critically examine the ‘worlding’ of cities. As part of this emphasis on how cities are globalized in multiple ways, the literature now attends well to embodiments and exclusions in globalizing cities – particularly in relation to race, class and gender politics. But sexuality is largely neglected as urban studies scholarship generally fails to consider how globalizing cities are concomitantly sexualized in consequential ways. This talk will draw on Singapore as a case study to address this significant gap, by foregrounding the ways in which a critical approach to global urbanism might bring together the worlding projects of both queer studies and urban studies.

Natalie Oswin is an urban social geographer and an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at McGill University. Her research focuses on the relationship between urbanization and globalization with an emphasis on the sexual politics of global urbanism.

Everyone is welcome.

This CITY Seminar is presented as part of the Developmentalism in Transnational Asia series at the York Centre for Asian Research, organized by Hong Kal (Visual Arts) and Laam Hae (Political Science).

Changing Policies, Changing Institutions, Changing Minds: The Filipino-Canadian Action Research Summit @ Room 3-176, 9th floor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
Dec 5 all-day

summitIn recent years, many collaborative projects have included researchers, artists and community members developing an understanding of Filipino experiences in Canada.  They have generated a wealth of academic and creative outputs reflecting on themes such as working lives, youth and ageing, immigration, political activism, identity formation, and social/economic marginalization.

The purpose of this event is to create a space for sharing some of these diverse projects and outputs with Filipino-Canadian community members and others who are interested in learning more.

The day will feature:

  • A panel on Labour, Care and Migration
  • A panel on Generations, Gender and Sexuality
  • Performances by poets, writers, singers and other artists
  • Discussions on arts and activism, immigration policy and community building

The tentative schedule is available here.

The event will be free and open to all.

This event is presented by the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) and The Filipino Youth Transitions in Canada Project (FYTIC) at York University,
and the Gabriela Transitions Survey (GATES) project at Ryerson University, with funding from YCAR.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact:

Brown Canada 2020 Summit @ Room 152, Founders Assembly Hall, Founders College
Dec 11 all-day

brown_canada_2020_summit_2015The purpose of the Brown Canada 2020 Summit is twofold: First, this summit aims to focus on taking a stock of where we as South Asians are at in Canada, and, secondly formulate a plan on what the next steps forward will be in the coming years to address the needs in our communities. In addition, it aims to acknowledge the histories and cultures of South Asians in Canada and highlight the contributions made to Canada by South Asians. Attending participants will include social service providers, academics, students, policy makers, funders, members from not for profit organizations, frontline workers who work closely with South Asians and community members.

Please contact Vennitta Anton at for more details.

There will be two series of breakout sessions, each consisting of four themes. The themes for these sessions are Health, Economic Justice, Immigration and Settlement, and Education. There will also be additional panels hosted by York University’s South Asian Research Group and CASSA on various topics followed by networking and refreshment sessions.

Our mission at CASSA is to facilitate the economic, social, political and cultural empowerment of South Asians by serving as a resource for information, research, mobilization, coordination and leadership on social justice issues affecting our communities. Your involvement with this event is greatly appreciated. Please note that vehicles need to purchase a parking permit on the day of the event.

YCAR is a co-sponsor of this event.

Two Analytic Windows into China’s Intergenerational Bus Seat Conflicts @ Room 2101, Vari Hall
Jan 20 @ 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

bus-conflictsKatherine Bischoping, Department of Sociology, York University
and Zhipeng Gao, Graduate Program in Psychology, York University

It may surprise people familiar with the Confucian virtue of revering elders to learn that, over the last decade, a discourse has become popular in China in which elders are denigrated as out-of-date, backward, and morally corrupt. Escalating conflicts over bus seats figure large in this discourse, as the practice of giving up one’s seat to elders is no longer taken for granted. Our research investigates this discourse in relation to both the society-wide macro-level contexts in which it emerged, and in an example of the micro-level, conversational context in which it is instantiated.

Concerning the macro-level contexts, we reconstruct the escalation of intergenerational bus seat conflicts, as well as related issues. We show how the conflicts are popularly understood to be interwoven with intergenerational differences in values and dispositions, and in particular, with the premise that an elderly, “Lost Generation” is of an evil disposition. Claims that values or dispositions entirely explain the intergenerational conflicts seem inadequate to us, and to divert public attention from China’s more profound social problems. We instead discuss how urbanization, the restrictive political environment, media sensationalism, public concerns over social problems, and the unresolved legacy of the Cultural Revolution have contributed to the anti-elder discourse.

Our micro context study focuses on a casual conversation among two family members and a friend, as they tell a sequence of stories about bus seat conflicts. Through a fine-grained discourse analysis, we show that, in this sequence, elder-blaming is not a conversational end in its own right. Rather, it is used in this relational and interactional space to maintain the storytellers’ sense of having a common history and shared identities, to problem solve, and to consider moral questions. Elder-blaming is also a resource that these speakers use in the process of collaboratively producing a sequence of stories that are increasingly vivid and dramatically satisfying.