Workshop to take inventory of research on Bengali diaspora in Canada

A workshop exploring the Bengali diaspora as an area of research in Canada will take place at York University on Dec. 1.

“The Bengali Diaspora in Canada: Current Research Trends and Future Pathways” is a workshop organized by Sutama Ghosh (Ryerson University) and Marshia Akbar (York University) with support from the York Centre for Asian Research at York University.

The South Asian diaspora has emerged as a substantive area of interdisciplinary research in Canada over the past three decades. Many research scholars and graduate students have focused their studies on documenting and understanding various dimensions of South Asian migration, transnationalism and settlement in Canada, employing a wide range of theoretical approaches, research methods and techniques.

Within the South Asian diaspora, the settlement experiences of specific ethnic communities, such as Punjabis and Tamils, have gained significant public attention. The settlement experiences of other ethnic communities, such as Bengalis, have not been discussed as much despite their noticeable presence in many large cities in Canada.

Although Bengalis in Canada share common ethnic and linguistic identities, they originated from two different nation states (India and Bangladesh) and they belong to various religious communities. These commonalities and differences influence how they experience socioeconomic opportunities and challenges in Canada.

This one-day workshop will take an inventory of existing research on the Bengali diaspora in Canada, with the purpose of exploring the links between their identities and settlement experiences, and charting future collaborative research goals.

The workshop will begin with a thematic overview of existing research, followed by individual paper sessions.

Faculty and graduate students will present papers on specific themes related to the migration, transnationalism and settlement of Bengalis in Canada.

In the second half of the day, an expert panel comprised of leading research scholars and community partners will be convened, with the purpose of exploring the research goals and needs of the Bengali community at large.

All are welcome to attend. RSVP by Nov. 28 to