A message from the director

September 2020

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

We hope you have had a pleasant summer (despite current events)! We would like to extend a warm “welcome back” to you. The 2020–21 academic year is surely an unusual one for many of us who have not been exposed to remote teaching and are not accustomed to virtual research activities. I nevertheless hope that everyone is coping and adjusting well.

As mentioned in our Summer message, this new academic year marks the beginning of YCAR’s fourth charter. We were fortunate to have inherited a solid basis from previous years of operation and received consistent support from all of you throughout YCAR’s years of existence. Through your work, we have accomplished much in our last charter years.

For the new charter, we have identified from our survey four promising research areas which capture YCAR’s commitment to continue fostering Asian and Asian Diaspora studies:

  1. Guests, Hosts and Indigeneity: Asian Mobilities, Migration and Place-Making;
  2. Geo-politics, Statecraft and “Politics of the Governed” in Asia;
  3. The Urban Generation: Cultural Knowledge and Artistic Interventions of Asia;
  4. Labour, Livelihoods and Urban-Rural Environmental Change in Asia as well as an area of research with a focus on region and country-based themes as exemplified by the continuous activities of the Korean Office for Research and Education (KORE).

We look forward to working with you to sharpen the focus and to expand the scope to cover areas of your research interests. Together we’ll continue build on our reputation as a well-respected centre in Asian research.

As you may have seen in earlier communications, we are pleased to welcome Jean Michel Montsion (Multidisciplinary studies), a dedicated and long-time Associate of YCAR as Associate Director and Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies (GDAS) Coordinator. Jean Michel has a key role in shaping a present-future structure to accommodate the development of GDAS and its core course. On this, please remind your students about the GDAS and if they have questions, feel free to contact gdas@yorku.ca.

I would also like to highlight two funding opportunities. Thanks to the Asian Business Management Program, YCAR can support York faculty and students to carry out their research projects on Canada-China relations, China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese communities through the Canada-China Initiatives Fund. Since Summer 2019, 13 projects or events have received support. The next deadline is 22 January 2021.

Second, we are delighted and honoured that Dr. Vivienne Poy has endowed $500,000 in support of the pursuit of Hakka Studies at York though a graduate research award and an undergraduate summer “Study Abroad” course. This gift serves as a seed fund for York (YCAR & LA&PS) to develop the Hakka Scholar Network over the next 10 years with the aim of building a multifaced program in Hakka Studies. Please check out the following report at Yfile and the Hakka Scholars Network webpage, and inform your students about the Vivienne Poy Hakka Graduate Research Award, which is granted annually to a graduate student conducting research topic related to the Hakka population, their cultures, histories and geographies anywhere in the world. The deadline is 16 October 2020.

Despite the challenge of COVID-19 situation, we have much to look forward to. YCAR continues to open (virtually) and we remain here to support you in your research activities. Please do stay in touch and feel free to share your knowledge, concerns and suggestions for an effective virtual engagement in this academic year. Let’s work together to making this unusual year a wonderful one for our community.