Human Rights and the Arts in Asia: A Celebration @ Room 280A, Second Floor, York Lanes
Jan 8 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Please join us for a celebration of this edited collection and anthology on Thursday, 8 January 2015.

Human Rights and the Arts in Global Asia: An Anthology
Edited by Theodore W. Goossen (Humanities) and Anindo Hazra (English)

This anthology presents the complex dynamic between a diversity of Asian lives and the universalized concept of the individual “human” entitled to clearly specified “rights.”

Human Rights and the Arts: Perspectives on Global Asia
Edited by Susan J. Henders (Political Science) and Lily Cho (English)

This volume approaches human rights issues from the perspective of artists and writers in global Asia. By focusing on the interventions of writers, artists, filmmakers, and dramatists, the book moves toward a new understanding of human rights that shifts the discussion of contexts and subjects away from the binaries of cultural relativism and political sovereignty.

All are welcome!

For more information: ycar@yorku.ca

New Directions in Environmental Governance in Southeast Asia @ Room 626, Sixth Floor, Kaneff Tower
Jan 14 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Simon Bush, Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
Chusak Wittayapak, Department of Geography, Chiang Mai University, Thailand
Chaired by: Peter Vandergeest, Department of Geography, York University

This panel will discuss key controversies and questions being provoked by the ways that environmental governance in Southeast Asia is being transformed through private sector involvement and market-based regulation, including sustainability certification and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs. Southeast Asia is an important source of forestry and fisheries products for both local and global markets, but the rapid expansion of industrial aquaculture (e.g., shrimp, pangasius, and tilapia) and of tree plantations is often linked to environmental degradation, controversial labour practices such as the widely publicized ‘slave labour’ in Thai fisheries, and the marginalization of resident farmers and small-scale fishers. Certification and/or PES are often promoted as mechanisms for addressing these problems. They also provide an avenue for buyers concerned about reputational risk to their brands to become involved in regulating their suppliers with respect to potentially controversial environmental and labour practices. The panelists will discuss whether these rapidly spreading schemes can contribute to resolving these problems, and describe their broader effects on participation in environmental governance in Southeast Asia.

Iran’s role in South and Central Asia @ Room 120E, Stedman Hall
Jan 23 @ 9:30 am – 1:00 pm

This event is part of the South and Central Asia Project Workshop organized by Sergei Plekhanov (Political Science). For more information on the series, click here.

Resilience of Armed People’s Movements: A Mixed Methods Study of the Maoist Movement in India
Jan 28 @ 1:30 am – 3:00 am

Juhi Tyagi
PhD Candidate, Stony Brook University, New York

Several disciplinary fields have examined questions around armed resistance. Though insightful, these studies have left unanswered a crucial question: what explains how such movements are sustained over time. Due to the lack of systematic access to organizations under investigation these studies have been restricted to the analyses of a few variables; and often limited to only a military perspective. This research investigates factors that affect the resilience of armed movements through a systematic first-hand analysis of a contemporary revolutionary guerrilla movement—the Maoist movement in India. By using a mixed methods approach of developing a large quantitative dataset of all Maoist activities (2000-2012) supplemented with state and political economy variables, and carrying out an ethnographic analysis of the local movement in a few selected districts (determined by quantitative findings)—this method enables the identification of both larger structural patterns, and finer causal mechanisms that result in the continuity of armed movements. I show the mechanism of the operation of organizational variables to be most significant in predicting and explaining variance in armed movement resilience. Organizational characteristics of the movement, such as the type of hierarchical structure adopted, diversity of network links, nature of sub-groups formed, promotion and recruitment policies, flexibility of organizational structures, and the ability to learn from past mistakes play a critical role in determining armed movement continuity. My preliminary analysis suggests a) the important position of some members in the organization (part-time women and non-transitioning male leaders), b) the co-ordination of activities with local peoples’ needs and groups in a specific area through large informal and formal networks, c) balancing between part-time and full time members, and d) building thick bottom layers of autonomous unarmed groups and tied arms groups, to be some factors which reflect the importance of organizational characteristics through which armed movements become entrenched within communities. Through an analysis of structural factors that determine sustained guerrilla movement activities, and an organizational analysis of a contemporary armed movement that researches have seldom been able to systematically access, this research makes an important contribution towards understanding factors that determine the continuity of armed people’s movements.

How did Chinese Gynecology become Korean? A Comparative Case Study of “Women’s Diseases” in Heo Jun’s Precious Mirror of Eastern Medicine (Dongui bogam, 1613) @ Room 280A, Second Floor, York Lanes
Feb 12 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Yi-Li Wu
Research Fellow, EASTmedicine Research Cluster, University of Westminster

The Precious Mirror of Eastern Medicine is a foundational work of Korean medicine and a cultural treasure, listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Its chief author, the imperial physician Heo Jun (1539-1615), synthesized Chinese classical medicine with local knowledge to articulate a specifically Korean approach to healing. This talk examines how Heo Jun transformed Chinese teachings on female blood and childbirth to create a new model of the gendered female medical body. In addition to providing an illuminating case study of medical exchange in East Asia, Heo Jun’s work suggests new ways of thinking about the relationship between society, gender and medicine in China and Korea.

This event is part of the Knowledge Production in East Asia seminar series, and is organized by Joan Judge (History) and the Critical China Studies Reading Group at YCAR.

US Presence and Goals in South and Central Asia @ Room 120E, Stedman Hall
Feb 20 @ 9:30 am – 1:00 pm

This event is part of the South and Central Asia Project Workshop organized by Sergei Plekhanov (Political Science). For more information on the series, click here.


Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop 2015 @ 280N York Lanes and 519 Kaneff Tower
Feb 26 – Feb 27 all-day


Third Critical South Asian Studies Workshop

For more information on the South Asia Research Group or the workshop, please click here.

People and Dam Ecologies in Lao PDR @ Room 626, Sixth Floor, Kaneff Tower
Feb 26 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Ian Baird, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This event is part of the Critical Asian Political Ecologies Seminars, organized by Peter Vandergeest (Geography) and Robin Roth (Geography)



Nimmi Gowrinathan Lecture @ Room 280N, Second Floor, York Lanes
Mar 6 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Nimmi Gowrinathan will speak at York University on 6 March 2015.

Dr. Gowrinathan is Visiting Professor at the Colin Powell School at City College, New York, Director of the Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative and Founder of deviarchy.com.



The China Factor in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan @ Room 120E, Stedman Hall
Mar 20 @ 9:30 am – 1:00 pm

This event is part of the South and Central Asia Project Workshop series organized by Sergei Plekhanov (Political Science). For more information, click here.