Interdisciplinary panel to explore research on China

What importance does a gold seal have in relation to Chinese history? Why do Chinese firms seem to have a competitive advantage in the world market? How might one describe Canada’s relationship with China? These are the types of questions researchers in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies will explore as part of the monthly Associate Dean Speaker’s Series Research Matters. The event will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 10am to 12pm, in N280 York Lanes.

History Professor Joshua Fogel will chair the event and open as the first panellist. Fogel, who currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Modern Chinese History, will explore why a “gold seal” – the first known material object exchanged between China and Japan in 57 CE – has been the topic of over 300 research projects by scholars. The seal disappeared shortly after its exchange and reappeared in Japan in 1784. Fogel will examine the afterlife of the object and piece together what makes it so important and worthy of attention from scholars.

Wonder what mechanisms Chinese enterprises employ to develop and sustain their cost advantage? Marketing Professor Lee Li will discuss what has enabled China to become one of the fastest growing major ecnonomies with an average annual GDP growth rate about 10 per cent. Li’s research has important implications for managers who wish to compete globally.

David Lumsden, chair and undergraduate program director in anthropology, will look at what affects a researcher’s fieldwork, drawing on his own experiences as a teacher, researcher and as a Canadian in relation to his 2006-2008 sabbatical in Chongqing, a southwestern Chinese city and Toronto’s sister city.

To conclude the panel,  Political science Professor Emeritus Bernie Frolic, director of the Asian Business & Management Program at York, will explore Canada’s relations with China since 1970. Frolic is completing a book on this topic, which follows his earlier publication Canada and the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1970. In his presentation, Frolic will talk about what he has learned and about the difficulties involved in conducting research in this area. He is currently a visiting professor at the Beijing Foreign Studies University Graduate Centre for Canadian Studies.

A Q&A and light refreshments will follow.

For more information or to register for this free event, visit the Research Matters RSVP page.