Enforced Disappearances, Mass Graves, and the Politics of DNA in Lebanon @ Room 109, Harry Crowe Room, Atkinson Building
Feb 24 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Shaery_FINALWith Roschanack Shaerie, Syrian Occupation Archives in Lebanon

In this talk Dr. Shaerie will focus on the Syrian army practice of enforced disappearance of Lebanese soldiers at the end of the war in 1990. Syrian military security used to transfer thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese citizens over the border and detain them in its notorious prisons. Families of these disappeared crossed the border to Syria in search of the victims and some even managed to find their loved ones. However in 2005 when a mass grave was opened in Lebanon, bodies of some of these disappeared soldiers were found there. While DNA tests were used to identify the bodies, the tests were also indicative of other state practices. The focus of the presentation is to explore the tensions between state citizen relations in a complex story of enforced disappearance across borders in Lebanon and Syria.

Roschanack Shaerie (PhD U Chicago) is a specialist on Shi’ite Lebanon and author of the similarly titled volume Shi’ite Lebanon. Transnational Religion and The Making of National Identities (Columbia University Press, 2008). She held a postdoctoral research position at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity at the University of Göttingen and is currently the co-­‐director of SOAL (Syrian Occupation Archives in Lebanon).

All are welcome!
This event is presented by the Departments of Sociology, Anthropology, the Religious Studies Program and the York Centre for Asian Research with support from SSHRC.

For more information: ycar@yorku.ca

An Empire Stages Back: Nationalism, Postcoloniality, and the Diaspora in Philippine Dance @ McLean Studio (Studio F), Room 244, Accolade East Building
Feb 24 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

This presentation “makes sense” of the complex relationship of Philippine dance with national formation, anti-colonial response, and movement of people between their country of origin and a host country. Such complexity will be examined through lecture, live performance, and screenings of short documentary films.

Named one of York’s Research Leaders, Patrick Alcedo is Associate Professor in the Department of Dance and Director of its MA in Dance and PhD in Dance Studies. This presentation builds on his current Early Research Award from the Government of Ontario. It also reprises the lecture-demonstration that he delivered when he was awarded the prestigious Selma Jean Cohen Award for International Dance Scholarship from the Fulbright Association of America.

All are welcome!

Developmentalism, Knowledge and Power @ Room 280A, Second Floor, York Lanes, York University
Feb 26 @ 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Developmentalism, Knowledge, and Power
Friday, 26 February 2016 | 12:30 to 2:30pm | Room 280A, Second Floor, York Lanes | Keele Campus

With Abidin Kusno, York University

This talk will provide an understanding of developmentalism as it was historically produced in and sustained by disciplinary knowledge. The aim is to understand the partialness and the situatedness of know
ledge about Asia as the knowledge evolved within particular cultures, politics and geographies.

The talk will be loosely organized chronologically to understand the epistemology of different disciplines as they were formed and structured in the West in the nineteenth century; how the structure has changed following decolonization after 1945;
and how it has been challenged and reconciled by scholars working on the region today.

All are welcome!

This event is part of the YCAR Rethinking Developmentalism in Transnational Asia series, which is organized by Laam Hae (Political Science), Hong Kal (Visual Arts) and Jesook Song (University of Toronto).

For more information: ycar@yorku.ca


Gender, Visuality and Experience in the Early Chinese Periodical Press: Roundtable and Book Launch @ Room 280N, Second Floor, York Lanes
Mar 3 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

This event is both a book launch for and a thinking beyond Joan Judge’s Republican Lens: Gender, Visuality, and Experience in the Early Chinese Periodical Press (University of California Press, 2015).

Five scholars in various disciplines will bring the lens of their own expertise to bear on key themes explored in the book:

Eugenia Lean, Columbia University; modern Chinese cultural history
Anne (Rusty) Shteir, York University; women and science culture
Bernard Lightman, York University; history of science
Yi (Evie) Gu, University of Toronto, Scarborough; photography and visual culture
Doris Sung, York University; digital humanities

Reception to follow. All are welcome!

This event is presented by the Department of History and the York Centre for Asian Research with support for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

The Hidden Palace: Everyday Practices and Performances of Affinitive Labour in Queer Japanese Migrant Lives @ Room 626, Sixth Floor, Kaneff Tower
Mar 8 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

 In this talk, Dr. Dai Kojima discusses formations of queer kinship through his ethnographic engagements with “Ooku Vancouver,” a self-organized collective of gay Japanese men located in Vancouver, BC. Carefully attending to informants’ identifications with the popularized drama of women who  were both emplaced and displaced (Ooku was the secluded living  quarters for the wives and concubines of the Shogun in medieval Japan), this  presentation traces the economic, affective and  pedagogical dimensions of queer immigrant kinship that Ooku Vancouver (OV) enables. Based on two case studies, OV as an im/migrant entrepreneurial node and OV’s regular, private karaoke events, this  talk considers these hidden practices of care  and kinship as affinitive labours which structure and mediate intergenerational feelings of loss and collective survival. Dr. Kojima argues for a queering of representations and archives of Japanese im/migration experience beyond stereotypes of stoicism, servitude and silence, and towards a reconceptualization of kinship relations and political possibilities in the Japanese diaspora in Canada.

Dai Kojima is the 2015-16 Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research. He received his PhD from the University of British Columbia specializing in Migration and Diaspora Studies, Queer Studies and Media Studies. His ethnographic doctoral research examined the cultural politics of mobility in queer Asian diasporas. His current research explores the gendered and queer dimensions of labour practices among Japanese im/migrants and queer entrepreneurs in Vancouver and Toronto. His most recent works appear in Anthropologica and Reconstruction.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, YCAR and Sexuality Studies.

Light refreshments served.

Graduate student panel: Rethinking the Developmental State in Asia @ Room 626, Sixth Floor, Kaneff Tower
Mar 29 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

A panel featuring Guillaume Dandurand (PhD Candidate, Social Anthropology), Yasin Kaya (PhD Candidate, Political Science) and Kenneth Cardenas (PhD Candidate, Geography)


On the development state in India and its impacts on the ‘right to food’
Guillaume Dandurand, PhD Candidate, Social Anthropology

‘Development’ has had different political objectives in India. Since the economic liberalization some twenty-five years ago, there is a clear orientation in financial investment from the state in physical infrastructures, mostly used by a growing middle class, rather than in social welfare that has for sole purpose to abridge the gaps of wealth. In a Polanyian move, the Congress Party created the para-public institution National Advisory Council in 2004 that has in retrospect given a series of ‘rights’ to the marginalized and the poorest of the poor, with relative success. Based on second hand literature, participant-observation and interviews, I focus on the formation of the Indian ‘right to food’ as a playground to conceptualize development in the Modi era and shed some light on the ways in which political projects deflects on mundane practices of governance.

Guillaume is currently a doctoral student in the Social Anthropology graduate programme at York University. Theoretically informed by the sub-field of economic anthropology, his PhD dissertation seeks to ethnographically examine the ways in which “the economy” is connected to the practices and meanings of food, foodways, and food (in)security in New Delhi, India. Broadly speaking, his areas of research are: political economy, political ecology, capitalisms, theories of development, actor-network theory, the concepts of governmentality and habitus. His main site of research is the (Targeted) Public Distribution System, a 50-year-old distribution program for subsidized food and non-food items that is currently on the verge of being overhauled by the central government. Guillaume holds a BA in Communication/Journalisme at the Université du Québec à Montréal and a MA in Mondialisation et développement international at the University of Ottawa.


Withering Away of the Korean Developmental State?
Yasin Kaya, PhD Candidate, Political Science

Is the Developmental State being dismantled in South Korea? Is the very concept of “developmental state” no longer viable? Or did the developmental state merely shifted its priorities to adjust to new external conditions? What has changed in the way that the Korean state intervenes in the economy?

Yasin’s research interests are at the intersection of political economy and political theory, with a focus on economic development and the state in Turkish and Korean contexts. He is currently working on his PhD thesis, which compares the telecommunications sectors in Turkey and South Korea. He is also interested in the themes of economic policy, state theory, history of economic thought and labour movements. Yasin is a Vanier CGS scholar (2010-2013).


Forfeiting developmentalism to the developers: SOE reform and Philippine capitalism today
Kenneth Cardenas, PhD Candidate, Geography

During the 1970s, the Bagong Lipunan (‘New Society’) regime under Ferdinand Marcos embarked on an ambitious public investment initiative. More than 200 government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) were set up over a ten-year period, in an attempt at replicating the successes of export-oriented developmental states in East Asia. Most of these enterprises failed, and were targeted for restructuring and reorganization by the subsequent governments and the Philippines’ development partners after the 1986 revolution.

In this session I examine the imprint left by GOCC reform on the development of capitalism in the Philippines over the subsequent three decades. I revisit how a specific understanding of the state’s role in the economy was developed and rehearsed through the reorganization of state corporations: one which prioritized financial viability as the key metric for their performance. I argue that this vision led to two important features of capitalism in the Philippines today. By locking the biggest GOCCs into revenue-generating privatization and asset-disposition forms, it restricted opportunities for pursuing strategic and developmental objectives through GOCCs. At the same time, it also created conditions which enabled Philippine-nationality conglomerates to became the primary beneficiaries of privatization, and of immense growth in energy, and infrastructure. I conclude by examining the potential for cultivating the nascent developmental tendencies within some GOCCs.

Kenneth is presently working on a PhD in human geography at York University, Toronto. He works on the big business of building big new cities in the global South, the use and abuse of disaster risk management in defining and controlling unruly and unwanted urban populations, and ways to claim new urban commons. He previously taught sociology at the University of the Philippines Diliman from 2008 to 2010, 2011 to 2012, and in 2015. He holds an MA (distinction) from the University of Manchester and a BA from UP Diliman, both in sociology.

All are welcome!

This event is part of the YCAR Rethinking Developmentalism in Transnational Asia series.