Annual China Day at York University @ Room 305, Third Floor, Founders College
Jan 28 @ 11:30 am – 2:00 pm

The Chinese Section of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics presents the Annual China Day at York University.

  • Public lecture on “Lu Xun’s Reception of Eroshenko” with Carole H. F. Hoyan, Associate Professor, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Chinese Yue opera ()performance by Rui Shen

This annual event celebrates Chinese literature and culture and is a part of the World Cultures Celebration. This public event is open to the students, scholars and faculty members of York University and the community in Toronto.

The event is supported by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Founders College and the York Centre for Asian Research.

The Radical Secularism of South Asian Philosophy and the Rupture of Religion and Nationalism @ Room 432, North Ross Building, Keele Campus
Jan 30 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

For reasons that have everything to do with the peculiarities of the European intellectual tradition, scholars and non-scholars alike (in and outside of South Asia) have irrationally attempted to imperiously understand South Asia by way of treating the European tradition as a frame of reference. If we instead study this tradition as philosophy, by way of the application of considerations of formal logic, not only do we appreciate the receptivity of the South Asian tradition to radical secularism, we appreciate that religious identity and non-secularism rely entirely on methods and convictions that are alien to it.

Speaker: Shyam Ranganathan, Department of Philosophy, York University
Discussant: Hira Singh, Department of Sociology, York University

Organized on behalf of South Asian Studies Initiative

Health, Hunger, and Malaria in South Asian History @ Room 626, Sixth Floor, Kaneff Tower | Keele Campus
Mar 11 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

SpeakerSheila Zurbrigg

A central role for hunger in the historical mortality burden of malaria in colonial South Asia was commonplace in the sanitary records of nineteenth-century British India. Malaria mortality declined markedly with the control of famine after 1920–a decline that predated by more than three decades the control of malaria transmission in the region with the mid-1950s DDT-based malaria eradication program.

This experience thus highlights the significance of shifts in the lethality of common endemic infections in relation to food security as a central feature of the region’s rising life expectancy from pre-modern levels–an understanding and epistemic framework that generally has been lost in modern epidemiologic, nutritional, and historiographic thought.

The question of how this understanding was lost has epistemological implications beyond South Asia. They include the importance of reclaiming conceptual distinctions between acute and chronic hunger and an epidemiological approach to hunger and subsistence precarity in health history.

Sheila Zurbrigg obtained her MD degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Her interest in rural child health led her to India (1974-79), where she helped develop a primary health program in rural Tamil Nadu, working with the traditional village midwives of Ramnad district; this experience led to an analysis of child survival in contemporary India in relation to food security and conditions of women’s work. Her discovery of S.R. Christophers’s 1911 study, Malaria in the Punjab, linking malaria mortality to the price of staple foodgrains, led her to explore more deeply the historical role of hunger in malaria lethality in South Asia, funded as a private scholar by SSHRC. Between 1993 and 2013 she taught part-time at Dalhousie University in the departments of History and International Development Studies. Her most recent historical monograph investigates the epistemic shifts in modern medical and nutritional thought leading to loss of understanding of the role of acute hunger in the region’s malaria mortality history.