History of the Hakka/Chinese diaspora focus of recipient of second Vivienne Poy Hakka Graduate Research Award recipient

Eleanor Marie Yang

Congratulation to Eleanor Yang, recipient of the second Vivienne Poy Hakka Graduate Research Award. Eleanor is a master’s student in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies.

Eleanor is a 1.5 generation 客家 Chinese settler born in Kingston, Jamaica, but with ancestral roots in Feng Gang, Guangdong. She has been immersed in Hakka culture and language for all of her life, growing up with her 婆婆. She is currently an active volunteer and co-vice Chair of Yarrow Society for Intergenerational Justice’s Board, which operates in Vancouver’s Chinatown community. She has been volunteering virtually throughout the pandemic with low-income seniors and youth in Chinatown. Her aim is to assist in creating a vision of a Chinatown that is intersectional, anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-oppressive for all.

Eleanor’s graduate research plans are in progress but she is interested in researching the history of the Hakka/Chinese diaspora and their cultural exchange, adaptation, and growth in their places of settlement. What role the Hakka/Chinese diaspora plays as settlers on Indigenous land in the colonial state, considering the history of the Hakka people as nomadic peoples. Ultimately, this research will better highlight the resistance, resilience, and community-building of the Hakka/Chinese diaspora in their places of settlement. Countering dominant practices in western academia, Eleanor is hoping to draw from various sources of knowledge that are otherwise considered less legitimate; these include oral histories and work in different languages, including Cantonese, Mandarin, and Hakka. These will likely be procured with translation assistance through interviews, surveys, and questionnaires. Additionally, she is hoping to access various journals and resources in Cantonese and Mandarin, to better illuminate an image of the global Hakka diaspora.

The Vivienne Poy Hakka Graduate Research Award is given annually to a York graduate student conducting research on topic(s) related to the Hakka population, their cultures, histories and geographies anywhere in the world. The next deadline for applications is Tuesday, 8 February 2022 by 4pm.

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