The York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) welcomed Professor Abidin Kusno (Faculty of Environmental Studies) as the centre’s new director on July 1.
Kusno is the centre’s fourth director, and will inherit an active portfolio of research initiatives and activities related to Asia and Asian diasporas at York.
“I am looking forward to continuing YCAR’s work of place-making for researchers working on Asia and Asian diasporas,” said Kusno.
In addition to his own research expertise in Southeast Asia, Kusno brings an impressive record of research and service to his new role. He joined York as a professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies in 2015, and has previously served on YCAR’s executive committee.
Before his arrival at York, he was the Canada Research Chair in Asian Urbanism and Culture at the Institute for Asian Research at the University of British Columbia. He also held previous positions at New York University and SUNY Binghamton. Kusno’s academic background is in architectural design and engineering (BA, Petra University, Surabaya, Indonesia) and art history (MA and PhD, SUNY Binghamton).
His highly respected academic work draws upon a range of fields including urban studies, history, politics, cultural studies, architecture, design and geography. His research focuses on Indonesia in particular and he is a speaker of Bahasa Indonesia and Hokkien.
Kusno’s books include: Visual Cultures of the Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia (2016, Rowman & Littlefield); After the New Order: Space, Politics and Jakarta (2013, Hawaii University Press); Appearances of Memory: Mnemonic Practices of Architecture and Urban Form in Indonesia (2010, Duke University Press); and Behind the Postcolonial: Architecture, Urban Space and Political Cultures in Indonesia (2000, Routledge).
He is also seasoned in creating collective spaces for research and learning, especially in Southeast Asian studies. Currently, as president of the Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies (CCSEAS), he is chairing the organizing committee for the CCSEAS conference to be hosted at York University in October 2017.
“Guided by the best practices that have been cultivated by the previous director, Philip Kelly, and the YCAR team, I hope to maintain YCAR’s reputation as a home for critical and engaged research,” said Kusno. “All are welcome to visit YCAR, meet our associates and get to know about all our events and initiatives at our annual meet and greet event coming up on Sept. 28.”
For more information, visit www.yorku.ca/ycar.