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

This event has been postponed. Details about the rescheduled event are forthcoming.

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.

Oil Palm Capital: A Feminist Political Ecology Lens on Mobile Labour and Accelerated Dispossession in Indonesia @ Room 108N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
May 1 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Guest speaker: Rebecca Elmhirst, University of Brighton, United Kingdom

Rebecca Elmhirst is a leading feminist political ecologist and human geographer with two decades of research and teaching experience on the struggles over environmental governance, migration and social justice in the global South. Her work explores new ways to rethink feminist political ecology by linking theories associated with ‘material feminisms’ to empirical work on mobility, environmental change and gender in Southeast Asia.

Presented as part of the Ecologies on the Edge Programme. This event is made possible with the support of the York Centre for Asian Research, Asian Institute (Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto), and the Department of Geography at York University.

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

Hong Kong and the Golden Mountain Dream | Elizabeth Sinn | Bernard H. K. Luk Memorial Lecture @ Eighth Floor, Robarts Library
May 10 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Elizabeth Sinn, Hong Kong University

In the latter part of the 19th Century, hundreds of thousands of Chinese left China for California, first to “seek gold” and then to work on the railroads. Others dreaming of Gold Mountain went to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Almost all the “Gold Mountain” migrants were from the Pearl River Delta, and almost all of them went through Hong Kong on their way out of China and on their way home, thus raising Hong Kong’s status as an international port – a space of flow for people, shipping and trade, remittances, ideas, information, cultural practices and the remains of deceased migrants.

Hong Kong’s experience as a migration hub has inspired the idea of “in-between place”. Migration studies generally focus only on the sending countries and/or the receiving countries, yet migration is seldom a simple, direct process of moving from Place A to Place B. The 19th century Chinese migrant typically moved in a circular rather than unilineal pattern. In the process of repeated, even continuous, movement, hubs arose which allowed sojourners to leave while also enabling them to maintain ties with the home village; these hubs, which I call “inbetween places” to underline the sense of mobility, played special social, economic, emotional and cultural roles in the migrants’ lives. The idea of “in-between place” – also exemplified by places like San Francisco, Vancouver, Liverpool and Singapore – can provide insights into migration as well as offer a new paradigm in migration studies.

The annual Bernard H. K. Luk Memorial Lecture is endowed by the Honourable Dr Vivienne Poy and organized by a group of Hong Kong scholars in Toronto. The lectures focus on Hong Kong as a distinct society, its influence on the wider world or the experiences of the Hong Kong diaspora. Find out more about the lectures at




Past, Present and Future of the Political Left in South Korea | Vladimir Tikhonov @ Room 280A, Second Floor, York Lanes
May 11 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Korea has a long and proud history of socialist/Communist political radicalism, dating back to the colonial age (1910-45) when the dual (class and national) oppression created the conditions under which the Communists came to constitute one of the most influential ideological sectors of the national movement by the mid-1920s. Koreans were also prominent in the Communist parties and movements in China, Japan and the Soviet Far East (until their forced deportation from there in 1937). Under the anti-Communist dictatorships of the 1950-70s, the South Korean Left mostly struggled underground to survive; however, it underwent a spectacular revival in the 1980s in the wake of South Korea’s high-speed industrialization, spearheading the struggle for both national liberation (vis-à-vis US hegemony over South Korea) and social justice.

Today, however, the left-nationalist passions of the 1980s are largely seen as a thing of the past, while South Korea’s working class is on the defensive, struggling against fragmentation under the conditions of the neo-liberal regime. What will be the way forward for the South Korean Left in an increasingly multi-ethnic, globalized neo-liberal society? This presentation will deal with the past, present and the possible futures of the South Korean Left.

This event is presented as part of the Transformative Politics in the Transnational Korea series at the York Centre for Asian Research with support from the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.