The Philippines: A Human Rights Calamity Under President Duterte @ Room 956, Ninth Floor, Kaneff Tower
Feb 23 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

With Carlos H. Conde (Human Rights Watch, Asia Division)

Since taking office on 30 June 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has carried out a “war on drugs” resulting in the deaths of over 12,000 suspected drug dealers and users. The government has attributed nearly half the killings to the Philippine National Police, and the remainder to “unidentified gunmen.” Among those killed are children, often caught in the cross-fire or, in several instances, specifically targeted by the killers. Cases investigated by the media and human rights groups invariably found unlawful executions by police or agents of the police acting as “death squads.” Duterte himself has been outspoken in support of the anti-drug campaign and has sought to silence its critics. No meaningful investigation into the killings has been undertaken.

But the drug war is only the tip of the iceberg in the spectre of impunity and human rights violations in the Philippines, including the extrajudicial killings of activists, environmentalists and journalists.

Carlos H. Conde will talk about these issues and the work that Human Rights Watch does in the Philippines.

Carlos H. Conde is the Philippines researcher for Human Rights Watch’s Asia division.  Before joining Human Rights Watch, he worked as a journalist for 20 years, mainly as the freelance correspondent in Manila for The New York Times. Before that, he worked as a reporter and editor for various publications in the Philippines, writing about politics, human rights, the communist and Islamic insurgencies, terrorism and labor migration, among other subjects. Conde has served as secretary-general of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines and has been a fellow at the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. He was also a Jefferson Fellow at the East-West Center of the University of Hawai’i.

This event is presented by the York Centre for Asian Research and the The Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security. Mr Conde’s visit is made possible thanks to Human Rights Watch.

From Eunuchs to Transsexuals: (Un)mapping Histories of Science and Sexuality in Modern China @ Schulich Private Dining Room
Feb 23 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Dr. Chiang received his PhD in the History of Science program at Princeton University in 2012. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Davis. His monograph, After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformations of Sex in Modern China, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press. He is currently working on two projects: one on global transgender theory and another on the history of psychoanalysis in global Chinese culture. His recent publications include Transgender China (2012), Queer Sinophone Cultures (2013), Psychiatry and Chinese History (2014), Historical Epistemology and the Making of Modern Chinese Medicine (2015), and Perverse Taiwan (2016).

To register for this event, please fill out the form (option – keynote only/conference and keynote) at

This event is the keynote for the New Frontiers Graduate Conference in History 2018, (UN)MAPPING HISTORIES, which will be held at York University from 22 to 24 February 2018.

The conference is co-sponsored by YCAR.

Dr. Chiang will also give a workshop on his paper “Castration: A Moving Target in Queer Sinophone History” on Friday, 23 February from 1 to 3pm at Robarts Library (Room 14353) at the University of Toronto. This event is co-presented by the Critical China Studies Group and the York University Graduate History Association. Registration is not required, but to receive the pre-circulated paper, please contact

Questions of Municipal Service Delivery in Asia: Why do I have Garbage, but not Water? @ Room 280 A, Second Floor, York Lanes
Feb 28 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

This is the third event in the Emerging Asian Urbanisms event series at the York Centre for Asian Research.

Panel presentations:

Service Delivery to Informal Settlements: Contrasting the Role of State and Non-state Actors
Faisal Haq Shaheen, Lecturer, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University; Manager of Management Systems at the City of Toronto; Visiting Fellow, Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad, Pakistan

Service Provisions in the Periurban Areas of Can Tho, Vietnam
Sarah Allen, PhD Candidate, Geography, York University

Discussant: TBD

All are welcome!

This event is co-presented with the support of the CITY Institute. The series is organized by Nabeel Ahmed (Environmental Studies).

The Emerging Asian Urbanisms event series explores the diverse processes and practices of urban planning in Asia. Urban planning and urban studies programs in Canada lack sufficient exposure to prevalent theories and practices in Asian contexts. The series draws upon the calls made by Ananya Roy and Jennifer Robinson, among others, to go beyond the North American context and investigate “new geographies of theory” as fertile sources of uncovering new ways of understanding urbanism everywhere.

Visit the series page for more information


Philippine Arts and Social Studies in the Ontario Curriculum Launch @ Room 519, Fifth Floor, Kaneff Tower
Mar 8 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

The Philippine Arts and Social Sciences in the Ontario Curriculum (PASSOC) project is a collaboration between the Toronto Catholic District School Board and York University. The project has created curriculum content that reflects the cultural identity of the large and growing population of Filipino students in the school system in the Greater Toronto Area. The content of the curriculum affirms Filipino experiences and identities and supports the larger equity goal of culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy.

The curriculum materials developed by the project provide classroom-ready material relating to the Philippines and Filipino communities in Canada for Grade 6 Social Studies, Grade 6-8 Dance, and Grade 8 Geography. This launch event will feature presentations and demonstrations by the researchers and teachers who wrote the PASSOC curriculum materials.

The PASSOC project is supported by: Canadian Heritage Canada 150 Fund, York University Canada 150 Fund, Social Sciences and Humanities Resesarch Council of Canada, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, and Canada 150 | Unity in Diversity:Fusion of Communities in Canada.

Talk by CCKF Postdoctoral Fellow Lianbin Dai @ Room 626, Sixth Floor, Kaneff Tower
Mar 29 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Lianbin Dai is a Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (CCKF) Postdoctoral Fellow at the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). Dai is a historian of late imperial China (1368-1911). His research encompasses issues of intellectual practices and understandings of nature and the world. His extensive studies range from the history of the book to analytical bibliography, textual scholarship, Chinese painting and calligraphy, Chinese state and society, history of knowledge, and intellectual history, in particular Neo-Confucianism.

Currently he focuses on textual practices in relation to the traditional Chinese humanities in the twelfth to eighteenth centuries. He is currently working on a a monograph manuscript entitled Learning to Be Learned: Scholarly Reading and Knowledge in the Late Imperial Chinese Humanities. In this manuscript, he will discuss how Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi’s (1130 – 1200) art of reading shaped the tradition of the Chinese humanities in late imperial China, justified the intellectual attitude towards learning, and established reading as a paradigm for cultural judgement or foresight for later Chinese Confucian elites.

Before joining YCAR, Dai was a curator in the University of Alberta Museums, working on the Mactaggart Art Collection. He taught as a College Fellow in EALC at Harvard University, and conducted his research in the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin. He is the author of a bibliography, a monograph in Chinese, and some book chapters and journal articles. Besides his own monograph manuscript, he is editing, with Timothy Brook and Kent Guy, translations from Qiu Jun’s Supplement to the Explication of The Great Learning (Daxue yanyi bu).

Dai received his BA from Nankai University (Tianjin, China), his MA from the University of British Columbia, and his D. Phil from Oxford University. 

YCAR Annual General Meeting @ Room 519, 5th Floor, Kaneff Tower
Apr 25 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

YCAR invites its membership to the 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM). We will be reviewing our activities over the past year, making plans for the year ahead, and presenting awards to our students. It is also a great opportunity to connect with colleagues from across all fields at York who work on Asia and Asian diasporas.

Conference on the Language of Japanese Food
May 4 – May 5 all-day

In recent years, culinary linguistics, or ‘the language of food’ (Jurafsky 2014), has attracted the attention of scholars, with an increasing number of publications on the topic (e.g. Gerhardt et al. 2013; Szatrowski 2014; Matwick and Matwick 2014; Diederich 2015; Caballero 2017). The focus, however, has been mostly on Indo-European languages and food from Western cultures, although Szatrowski (2014) is a notable exception. At this conference, we will turn our attention to the language of Japanese food.

The conference aims to provide a venue to foster interactions among researchers with different specializations, collectively considering what aspect of language use can be revealed by examining a genre-specific language, in this case, the language of Japanese food.

Keynote speakers:
Dr. Masako Hiraga (Rikkyo University)
Dr. Polly Szatrowski (University of Minnesota)
Dr. Natsuko Tsujimura (Indiana University)

Kiyoko Toratani, York University
Mitsuaki Shimojo, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York