YCAR celebrates 20 years advancing the study of Asia and Asian diasporas 

YCAR 20th anniversary banner

The York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) is launching its 20th anniversary celebration on April 28 with a talk titled “Reimagining Chinese Diasporas Studies in a Transnational World.”  

The talk will be given by transnational academic and scholar Shibao Guo, who over the past 20 years has developed research expertise in the areas of transnational migration, diaspora studies, Chinese immigrants in Canada, ethnic and race relations, and comparative and international education. It will examine the changing nature of Chinese diasporas in a transnational world and its concomitant implications for Chinese diaspora studies internationally. 

“We start with Chinese diasporas as a topic for exploration and problematization of the conceptual linkages between Asian and Asian Diaspora studies,” says YCAR Director Abidin Kusno. “The talk represents YCAR’s longstanding commitment to both Asian and Asian diaspora studies, and our collective efforts to locate the transnational field within our location in Canada, in the landscape of settler, Indigenous, racial minority and immigrant.” 

Guo will consider new patterns of Chinese diasporas, and how they can be characterized by unprecedented hypermobility, hyper diversity and hyperconnectivity in a shifting paradigm of transnationalism and transnational migration. Such characterizations depict the global dispersal of overseas Chinese as one of the most hyper-diverse groups with substantial sub-group differences that distinguish it from most other diasporas. He will then illustrate how the analytical constructs of hypermobility, hyper diversity and hyperconnectivity aid in the reimagining of contemporary Chinese transnational diasporas and its implications for developing new scholarship on Chinese diasporas studies in a transnational world. 

“Dr. Guo has been actively involved in studying the integration experience of recent Chinese immigrants in Canada and the role of community-based voluntary organizations in helping immigrants with their settlement and adaptation,” says YCAR faculty member and event organizer Qiang Zha. “Recently, Dr. Guo guest-edited a special issue of Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies on the theme of ‘Chinese Diasporas Studies in a Transnational World.’ This special issue offers findings and theorization to stimulate further research and scholarly work on the topics about Chinese transnational diasporas.” 

The talk discussants will include Department of English Associate Professor Lily Cho and Department of Multi-Disciplinary Studies Associate Professor Jean Michel Montsion. YCAR’s anniversary events are being organized in collaboration with its associates under the theme of “Re-imagining Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies.” Activities will continue throughout the year. 

YCAR was established in 2002 as a home for researchers to advance the academic study of Asia and Asian diasporas. YCAR continues the strong tradition of internationally recognized research in Asian studies pioneered since 1974 by the University of Toronto-York University Joint Centre on Modern East Asia, more recently known as the University of Toronto-York University Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies, in which York faculty members and graduate students played a central role. 

The inaugural 20th anniversary event will take place via Zoom. Registration is required.