YCAR announces recipient of inaugural award supporting graduate research on Hakka population

York University PhD student Monique Attrux (Deptartment of English) was named the inaugural recipient of the Vivienne Poy Hakka Graduate Research Award from the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR).

Established in 2020, the Vivienne Poy Hakka Graduate Research Award is open to graduate students conducting research on topic(s) related to the Hakka population, their cultures, histories and geographies anywhere in the world.

Monique Attrux

Monique Attrux

Attrux is a doctoral student whose research focuses on the relationship between language and identity in Chinese-Canadian literature. In particular, she wants to look at how Chinese languages function as markers of identity in these literary texts. She is also pursuing the Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies.

Though Attrux can speak English, Cantonese and Mandarin, she hopes to learn other Chinese language varieties such as Hakka, Taishanese and Hokkien. Before her doctoral studies, Attrux completed her BA in linguistics and English at the University of Hong Kong and her MA in English at York University.

“The members of the YCAR Award Committee are very pleased to present the first Vivienne Poy Hakka Graduate Research Award to Monique Attrux. It is most appropriate that the first recipient is a student of humanities who is examining a most unique and complex feature of Hakka identity – language. We look forward to learning more about Hakka’s history, culture and society through her work and that of future recipients of this award,” said Abidin Kusno, director of YCAR.

The award funds will support travel to different Hakka cultural sites in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan to conduct research for her chapter on Larissa Lai’s Tiger Flu and Madeleine Thein’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing.

“Lai and Thien are both partly Hakka Chinese. Lai engages with Hakka mythology, while Thien is with Hakka language,” said Attrux. “Exploring these sites facilitates my engagement with Hakka mythologies, cultures, languages, and histories in the two literary texts for my chapter. I am also interested to account for the differences in these exhibitions’ conceptualizations of the Hakka identity and to see whether there is a thread that connects these sites with the texts.”

The next deadline for award applications is Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.

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