Twelve York University students have earned awards for research in Asia and Asian Diaspora from the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR).
Dating apps have transformed physical and emotional intimacy, and research out of York University shows this is especially true for marginalized communities that have historically lacked collective social spaces.
For her doctoral research, Meghna George (social anthropology), winner of the Dr. Sangdeok Woo and Mrs. Kwisoon Lim Woo Memorial Graduate Award, is examining how sexual minorities use dating apps to navigate intimacy and create a sense of belonging in South Korea.
George is one of the 12 award recipients who were selected through a competitive application process to receive the graduate student awards administered by YCAR.
The recipients represent multiple disciplines and areas of research, including migration, ageing, sexuality, technology, ecology, social movements, music and multiculturalism.
“Graduate students form over half of YCAR’s membership and they are doing innovative and important research across a remarkable range of fields,” said former YCAR director Philip Kelly. “We are delighted to support our graduate associates with funding for fieldwork and language training. We’re also very grateful to donors who created awards to make this support possible.”
Students use their awards to support a range of research activities, including fieldwork travel, accommodations and language training.
Amardeep Kaur (geography) received the Albert C.W. Chan Foundation Award to complete her doctoral research on place-making and translocal spaces among diasporic Sikhs in Hong Kong, Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto.
The winner of the David Wurfel Award in Philippines Studies, Conely de Leon (gender, feminist and women’s studies) conducted multi-sited ethnographic research for her doctoral dissertation on the politics of care and emotional labour among transnational Filipino migrant networks in Canada, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
Thrmiga Sathiyamoorthy (interdisciplinary studies) received the N. Sivalingam Award in Tamil Studies for her master’s research on the dynamics of social inclusion among Canadian Tamil elders.
This year, there were five winners of the Vivienne Poy Asian Research Award, which assists graduate students with the costs of fieldwork: Mohammad Hasan (Osgoode Hall Law School), Sangyoo Lee (social work), Rupinder Minhas (geography), Kimberly Roberts (geography) and Robin Verrall (political science).
Hasan’s fieldwork documents how Indigenous peoples articulate their claims of environmental justice in Bangladesh. Lee is using her award to gather stories about experiences of social exclusion of East Asian youth in Canada. Minhas is conducting fieldwork on social movements in West Bengal and Kerala, India. Roberts is conducting transboundary research on the effects of rapid political transformations on access to natural resources in Southeast Asia. Verrall is looking at discourses of national identity through a study of artifacts that were used in the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan.
YCAR also awarded five Language Awards to help students acquire language skills that will assist them in conducting their research. The recipients were: Sarah Allen (geography), Jillian Fulton (social anthropology), Kyle Gibson (environmental studies), Amardeep Kaur and Kimberly Roberts. The award was created to help to fulfill the language requirement for the Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies.
Allen will continue her Vietnamese studies in Vietnam, where she is conducting fieldwork on the relationship between urbanization, water users and water security. Fulton is continuing her Arabic studies. Her research examines the counterculture music scene, nu-tarab, that fuses deep house and techno music with Middle Eastern instruments. Focusing on U.S. food aid in South Korea, Gibson will use his award funds to continue his Korean studies. Kaur received an award for her Gurmukhi/Punjabi studies and Roberts is continuing her studies of Burmese and Shan.
For more information about the award winners and their projects, visit ycar.apps01.yorku.ca/news/2017-ycar-award-winners.
The deadline for the 2017-18 competition for the YCAR Awards is Feb. 12, 2018. For more information about YCAR awards and recipients, visit yorku.ca/ycar.