2015 Graduate Student ConferenceYork Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) Third International Graduate Student Conference
May 1-2, 2015 | Glendon Manor, Glendon College, York University | 2275 Bayview Avenue, Toronto

This conference is the third international graduate student conference on Asian Studies organized by graduate associates at the York Centre for Asian Research at York University.

The conference presents graduate student research that speaks to ways of approaching, complicating and problematizing the category of Asia and Asian diaspora through critical frameworks from a broad range of disciplines. Over 35 presenters from the Philippines, England and across North America will showcase cutting-edge research on a wide range of areas – from the humanities to industrial relations. This multi-disciplinary conference will be a forum for scholars and academic communities from around the world to share knowledge and methodologies in researching Asia.


The keynote lecture, Transnationalism From Within and Unbound Mobility, will be given by Danièle Bélanger (Université Laval, Québec City)

In this talk, I would like to share my thoughts on how our scientific attention and gaze on migration and transnationalism often limit our understanding of these phenomena. First, I would like to discuss why scholarly work needs to pay greater attention to how communities in developing Asia, characterized by a mobility habitus, experience transnationalism from within. By situating our studies in the ‘mobility turn’ and the creation of transnational spaces, we disregard the fact that most people stay put and never experience international mobility firsthand. The understanding of how mobility and transnational activities shape people and places requires a reflection on the absence of movement, as well as an understanding of how transnationalism is performed by those who do not migrate and how it affects them. Second, the focus on international migration and transnationalism prevents us from understanding mobility on a continuum. Liberating the study of mobility from a focus on the crossing of international borders will open up avenues to better understand the continuum between internal and international migration and what we seemingly consider immobility (the non-crossing of borders) and mobility. I develop these insights based on my fieldwork in Vietnam with rural communities that have strong and recent transnational connections and with rural to urban migrants working in the sex industry.

The conference is generously supported by: York Centre for Asian Research, Faculty of Graduate Studies; Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation; Principal’s Office of Glendon College; the Graduate Association of Geography Students and the following York University units: Political Science, Humanities, Geography, History, Études françaises, and Social and Political Thought.

The programme is available here.

For more information or to RSVP, email ycargrst@yorku.ca.