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Graphic image of a handshake with maps superimposed on the hands.
Graphic image by Michael Fan

On 15 March 2012, Mary M. Young and Susan J. Henders organized a workshop on the research programme themes, as a pre-conference event for the 2012 Association for Asian Studies Conference in Toronto. Funded by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and the York Centre for Asian Research, York University, the workshop brought together scholars as well as practitioners from a range of disciplines. Discussions centered on preliminary case studies of Canada-Asia societal interactions in the realms of business, education, culture, migration and diaspora, labour markets, scholarly and technical experts, and NGOs across local, national and transnational spaces, and in everyday life.

The workshop aimed to begin to identify important research questions and areas of empirical research that could illuminate the contemporary character of Canada-Asia societal connections and their wider implications. It also explored the concept of “other diplomacies” (Beiers and Wylie 2010), which Henders and Young further develop in an article in Canadian Foreign Policy Journal 18(3)(2012), winner of the 2012 Maureen Molot Best Paper Prize.

Workshop participants included faculty, researchers and graduate students from across Canada as well as Taiwan and the U.S., trained in sociology, political science, education, communication studies, international business, geography, history, international studies, ethnomusicology and environmental studies. Representatives of KAIROS Canada and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada also took part.

Workshop participants (YCAR photo)

Henders and Young summarized the workshop discussion in “‘Other Diplomacies’ and the Making of Canada-Asian Relations: An Interdisciplinary Conversation” published in YCAR’s Asia Colloquia Papers.

Full workshop programme and list of attendees