Screening | Pungudutivu: A Disintegrating Island by Thanges Paramsothy @ Room 280N, Second Floor, York Lanes
Nov 24 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The documentary is based on an anthropological field research study undertaken in Pungudutivu, located in Jaffna peninsula, northern Sri Lanka, by Thanges Paramsothy, a doctoral research student from the University of East London, United Kingdom.

This documentary brings to the forefront the land-related issues, which the people of Pungudutivu currently face consequent to the internal and external displacements brought about in the wake of the armed conflict that lasted three decades. This also brings into focus some problematic issues routinely encountered by the inhabitants in relation to their residence, water problems, agriculture, safety and security, casteism etc.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A and discussion with the filmmaker.

Presented by Tamil Studies and Resources, York University. For more information:

National Independence Movements & International Human Rights Law: Perspectives from Taiwan @ Moot Court 1005, Osgoode Hall Law School
Nov 30 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Recent declarations of independence after referenda in Kurdistan and Cataluña have again confronted states with the question of right of self-determination of peoples. Since 1945 international law and treaties have supported the right of the people of Taiwan to an act of self- determination, while the realities of power have frustrated them. The Taiwanese case can form the basis for a wider discussion of international law and real politics.

Stephen Lee Sheng-hsiung 李勝雄 is Taiwan’s most prominent human rights lawyer, serving as defense in sensitive political cases since the Martial Law prosecutions of the Kaohsiung Incident in 1980, as well as initiating campaigns outside the court to end martial law, end the blacklisting of dissidents, and in support of Taiwan independence.

Discussant: Professor Craig Scott, Osgoode Hall Law School

All are welcome. Light lunch will be served, kindly RSVP at

This event is presented by the Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre and the York Centre for Asian Research with community partner, the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada.

Bengali Diaspora in Canada: The Stock of Existing Knowledge and Emerging Research Directions @ York University
Dec 1 all-day

The South Asian diaspora has emerged as a substantive area of interdisciplinary research in Canada over the last three decades. Many research scholars and graduate students have focussed their studies on documenting and understanding various dimensions of South Asian migration, transnationalism, and settlement in Canada, employing a wide range of theoretical approaches, research methods and techniques. Within the South Asian diaspora the settlement experiences of specific ethnic communities, such as Punjabis and Tamils have gained significant public attention. The settlement experiences of other ethnic communities such as Bengalis have not been discussed as much despite their noticeable presence in many large cities in Canada. Although Bengalis in Canada share common ethnic and linguistic identities, they originated from two different nation-sates (India and Bangladesh) and they belong to various religious communities. These commonalities and differences influence how they experience socio-economic opportunities and challenges in Canada. This one-day workshop will take an inventory of existing research on the Bengali diaspora in Canada, with the purpose of exploring the links between their identities and settlement experiences, and charting future collaborative research goals. The workshop will begin with a thematic overview of existing research, followed by individual paper sessions. Faculty and graduate students will present papers on specific themes related to the migration, transnationalism, and settlement of Bengalis in Canada. In the second half of the day, an expert panel comprised of leading research scholars and community partners will be convened, with the purpose of exploring the research goals and needs of the Bengali community at large.

The workshop is organized by Sutama Ghosh (Ryerson University) and Marshia Akbar (York University) with support from the York Centre for Asian Research at York University.

All are welcome but RSVPs are required by 28 November 2017 to:

Voluntourism: In Pursuit of a Profile Photo? @ Room 901, Ninth Floor, Kaneff Tower
Dec 13 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

With Kaylan C. Schwarz, Nanyang Technological University

Abstract: My research examines the contemporary cultural trend of short-term international volunteering, which has become a prominent fixture within higher education institutions in Asia-Pacific. Specifically, this presentation will draw upon two qualitative research studies (one completed and one in-progress) which chronicle the various ways UK-based and Singaporean undergraduate students visually represent their international volunteer experiences to a public audience on Facebook. Through a thematic analysis of photo-elicitation interviews and visual content uploaded to social media, and drawing on multiple theoretical re-articulations of Urry’s (1990) ‘Tourist Gaze,’ this presentation will elucidate the framing decisions volunteers faced at the moment of snapshotting and during the album editing process, including debates over which images were discarded and why.

Kaylan C. Schwarz is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Nanyang Technological University. During her doctoral work at the University of Cambridge, Dr Schwarz also examined the ways international volunteers 1) employed notions of ‘authenticity’ within their personal travel narratives and 2) sought to define themselves as ethical consumers, in opposition to the category of ‘voluntourist’ (construed as a derogatory term).

All are welcome!

This event is presented by the York Centre for Asian Research.