Professor Susan Henders appointed director of YCAR

Professor Susan Henders has been appointed director of the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR).

YCAR advances research about Asia (South, East and Southeast) and Asian diasporas by facilitating faculty and graduate research projects, organizing academic seminars and conferences, supporting faculty and staff appointments, providing training and skill development for graduate students, developing library materials, and fostering exchanges and linkages with Asian institutions in Canada and overseas. YCAR also partners with NGOs, government and business to promote public understanding of Asia and Asian diasporas and of Canada’s connections to the region.

Right: Susan Henders

“I am honoured to take up this position,” says Henders. “By the nature of its subject, YCAR is an interdisciplinary research centre with many exciting and dynamic researchers from every corner of the University. Many of their projects are implicitly or explicitly comparative and challenge classical understandings of Asia by contextualizing it within larger movements and issues beyond the region, such as questions of minority rights, environmental governance or evolutions in popular culture. We’re also fortunate to have extremely active graduate students who are organizing a Transformations: Researching Asia conference in fall 2008.”

Henders, a professor in the Department of Political of Science, Faculty of Arts, earned her doctorate at Oxford University and joined York in 2000. She was associate director of the University of Toronto-York University Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies (JCAPS) from 2001-2002, and has been active in YCAR since its 2002 inception, serving as an executive member from 2002 to 2005.

Her research interests include international relations and comparative politics in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Western Europe, particularly within the context of international human rights, minority rights, the rights of indigenous peoples and the roles of non-traditional players such as NGOs and local governments. Her forthcoming book, Diversity and (A)Symmetry: The Politics of Special Status Regions, explores regions with distinctive autonomous status and claims to distinctive identities within Western Europe and China, including Catalonia, Corsica, Tibet and Hong Kong.