Asia Sessions at the CAG meeting, Halifax

For those of you attending next week’s CAG meeting in Halifax, please plan to attend the following Geographies of Asia Study Group events at St. Mary’s University on Thursday 2nd June 2016.

1. Geographies of Asia Special Panels

Thursday 2nd June 2016

(a) 8:30 am – 10:00 am, Saint Mary’s University

Session R2. Geographies of Asia: Social and Cultural Geographies of Northeast Asia

-Room 265, Sobey Building

Chair: David Edgington, University of British Columbia

-“Gekisenku – the evolution of competition within ramen restaurant clusters in Japan” | Tim Reiffenstein, Mount Allison University;

“Agri-tourism in Japan and Southern British Columbia: A regional approach” | Tom Waldichuk, Thompson River University; Akira Tabayashi, University of Tsukuba; Noritaka Yagasaki, Nihon University; Toshio Kikuchi, Tokyo Metropolitan University; Takaaki Nihei, Hokkaido University; Jun Kaneko, Ehime University;

-“Reconstruction along the Sanriku Coast after the 3.11 Disaster” | David W. Edgington, University of British Columbia;

“Dynamics of urban land use in Shanghai” | Wei Xu, University of Lethbridge.

(b) 10:30 am – 12:00 pm, Saint Mary’s University

Session R11. Geographies of Asia: Social and Environmental Geographies of Southeast Asia

Room 265, Sobey Building

Chair: Tom Waldichuck, Thompson River University

-“Through the lens: Photovoice as a means for understanding the everyday politics of street vendor mobilities in Hanoi, Vietnam” |Noelani Eidse, McGill University;

-“The cascading impacts of migration and climate change: Documenting the challenges of Myanmar labour migrants in Phuket, Thailand” | Angelica de Jesus, University of Toronto;

2. Geographies of Asia Annual General Meeting (AGM).

I will hold our Study Group’s AGM at 12 noon-1.30pm, Thurs 2nd June, immediately after the 2 x morning Study Group sessions, in Room 265, Sobey Building.

The AGM Agenda; Minutes from the 2015 meeting, and a Report on Activities Held in 2015-16, are attached.

3. Study Group Workshop on China

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm, Saint Mary’s University

Session R22. China After 30 Years of Economic Reform

Special session organized by Shuguang Wang (Ryerson University)

Room 265, Sobey Building

Panelists: Lucia Lo (York University), Wei Xu (University of Lethbridge), Shuguang Wang (Ryerson University), and David W. Edgington (University of British Columbia).

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CFP: Disaster Justice in Anthropocene and Asia Pacific

This interdisciplinary conference brings together research on environmental disasters in Asia to illuminate questions of disaster justice from historical and contemporary perspectives. As all disasters occur in political space, disaster justice is situated in spheres of governance and in the context of Asia’s rapidly urbanizing societies that are increasingly impacted by the advent of the Anthropocene, namely, the destructive human transformations of nature that are significant drivers of environmental disasters. As awareness grows of human complicity in creating socially and spatially uneven vulnerabilities to disasters, discontents and mobilizations for disaster justice are being generated as moral claims for more effective and inclusive modes of disaster prevention, mitigation, management and redress.

This event combines the richness of on-the-ground research with new insights into how to conceptualize and govern disasters from normative as well as explanatory perspectives. Our central premise is that disaster justice as a moral claim on governance arises from anthropogenic interventions in nature that incubate disasters and magnify their socially and spatially uneven impacts. Posing disaster justice as a problem of governance thus covers a set of issues that encompass but are also differentiated from such allied concepts as environmental and climate justice. As intense events that cause widespread harm and overwhelm existing capacities to respond, disasters generate highly charged but exceptionally complex questions of justice. These factors, combined with the increasingly compound characteristics of environmental disasters (for instance, when a tsunami leads to a nuclear power plant meltdown) further complicate issues of justice in establishing causalities, attributing blame, identifying victims and (re-)establishing working solutions.

Changing geographies of vulnerability accompanying Asia’s urban transition are adding new dimensions to disaster governance and justice. Urbanization can erode traditional intergenerational responsibilities and customary law, leaving vacuums in authority and achieving justice. As reliance on the state for justice increases with urbanization, rural-urban migration is producing large slum populations in environmentally precarious locations along urban waterways. The vulnerability of these settlements is exacerbated by urban mega-projects that cover cityscapes with non-porous surfaces and abet ground subsidence while further pushing low-income households into high disaster risk areas. Minorities, women, children, the elderly and disabled are also among the ranks of those who are unable to access and thus have low confidence in government disaster support systems. Self-reliance in disaster resilience is often the only recourse, and as grassroots efforts grow, so do calls for disaster justice that extend into issues of land ownership, the right to dwell in the city, and participation in governance, all of which move beyond a disaster event to present growing challenges to prevailing political structures.

Asia’s urban turn also brings environmental disasters into wider global urban networks of flows of information, ideas and technologies. Whether in cities or world peripheries, awareness of our planetary interconnectedness is growing, and along with it calls for disaster justice are appearing from local to global scales. Cooperative inter-city networks of mainly urban-based disaster recovery and humanitarian assistance organizations and programs are furthering acceptance of the principle that people everywhere are entitled to receive help when disasters strike. Cities across Asia are also emerging as sites of innovation in promoting more inclusive forms of participatory governance through wider circles of civic engagement that assert rights-based strategies in building resilience for more socially just post-disaster futures.

We invite submission of papers from scholars, policymakers, planners and development practitioners to explore the governance of disaster justice in urbanising Asia. We encourage applicants to consider empirical studies and theories within comparative Asian contexts to draw lessons that can be learned from disaster justice in other urbanising world regions. Questions that will guide the conference proceedings to speak to related themes across disciplinary and geographical boundaries include:

·     How can we theorize questions of justice in the context of environmental disasters in Asia and other world regions?
·     Is activism for disaster justice emerging in specific contexts? Why or why not? If it is, how is it manifested, and to what effect?
·     What kinds of innovations in governance are appearing to provide redress for real and perceived injustices related to disasters?
·     Do such concepts as vulnerability, disaster risk reduction, resilience and capacity building contribute to a useful discourse on disaster justice?  Are other analytical frameworks needed?
·     What kinds of actions are needed at various scales of disaster governance, ranging from the neighbourhood to city region, transboundary and global levels of seeking disaster justice? How can actions at all levels be articulated toward combined visions of disaster justice instead of becoming territorially divisive?

Submission of Proposals

Paper proposals should include a title, an abstract (250 words maximum) and a brief personal biography of 150 words for submission by 30 June 2016. Please send all proposals in word document to and for a copy of the submission form, click here. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 July and will be required to send in a completed draft paper (5000-8000 words) by 31 October.

Conference Covenors

Prof Mike Douglass
Asia Research Institute, and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
E |

Dr Michelle Miller
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
E |

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2016 Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship

The National Library, Singapore is inviting applicants for the 2016 Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship and George Lyndon Hicks Fellowship for Southeast Asia Collections.

Applications close on 30 April 2016.

Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship & George Lyndon Hicks Fellowship for Southeast Asia Collections

The Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship (LKCRF) program started in 2005 and is into its 11th year. The Fellowship aims to facilitate new research and publishing about Singapore and Southeast Asian culture, economy and heritage. This will enrich the Asia-centric collections and resources of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library at the National Library of Singapore.  We welcome talented scholars and researchers to use our resources and services, and to collaborate with us on joint research projects to create new knowledge. The LKCRF will be offered to individuals interested in suggested fields of research identified by the Library.

The George Lyndon Hicks Fellowship for Southeast Asia Collections (GLHF) aims to attract top professionals to work with the National Library Board (NLB) to develop its collections on Singapore and Southeast Asia. Through the Fellowship, NLB also aims to foster partnerships with collectors worldwide. We welcome talented librarians, researchers, curators, archivists and collectors to collaborate with us.

Instructions on how to apply and other details about the LKCRF can be found here, and the GLHF here.

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UCRSEA Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2016-2017

The Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia Partnership (UCRSEA), based at the University of Toronto, is currently inviting applications for a one-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Urban Climate Change Resilience.

Applications are due February 10, 2016, and the fellowship begins in July 2016.

We encourage all interested individuals to apply. Questions? Contact Alicia Filipowich at

The Urban Climate Resilience Southeast Asia Partnership (UCRSEA), located in the Asia Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, invites applications for a one-year UCRSEA Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Urban Climate Change Resilience.  Research proposed must be pertinent to UCRSEA’s focus on building urban climate change capacity, particularly in the Mekong region. The Fellowship will commence 1 July 2016, with an annual salary of C$40,500 plus benefits.

The Partnership addresses vulnerabilities to climate change in urbanizing areas of Southeast Asia with the goal of enhancing resilience and, hence, economic and social well-being. Individual and community vulnerabilities in the region are linked to global environmental change and to the rapid pace of urbanization and economic integration of the region. Specifically, we seek to provide vulnerable peoples in transitional states with the space to learn about and share in decisions about protecting themselves from the economic, social and physical impacts of climate change.

The successful applicant is expected to reside in Toronto, Canada during the term of the Fellowship, and will have the opportunity to participate in the intellectual life of the Munk School of Global Affairs and larger University of Toronto community during the 2016-2017 academic year. Support for conference and research travel in Southeast Asia is available.

Eligibility is limited to applicants who have received their PhD in a relevant discipline within the three years prior to the start date of the UCRSEA fellowship (i.e. July 2014 or later).  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

In addition to pursuing an intensive research project, the post-doctoral fellow is expected to participate as a member of the UCRSEA team.

Core responsibilities of the post-doctoral fellow include:
• Conducting research of relevance to the UCRSEA project;
• Presenting two research seminars at the Munk School of Global Affairs, with the first in the Fall of 2016 and the second in the Spring of 2017;
• Preparing an original, full-length research paper for publication as part of the UCRSEA Paper series;
• Participating in the UCRSEA Virtual Graduate Student Seminar.

Other responsibilities, to be identified with UCRSEA partners and directors based on the fellow’s interests and UCRSEA’s research agenda, could include:
• Planning UCRSEA conferences, events or workshops, in conjunction with UCRSEA partners;
• Preparing research papers for publication as part of the UCRSEA Papers series;
• Participation in other UCRSEA research projects and initiatives; and
• Providing research assistance and support to the UCRSEA Co-Directors.

The deadline for applications is 10 February 2016 at noon (EST). The committee will notify applicants of their decision by 10 March 2016.

Application instructions can be found at:…

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MA/PhD opportunities at York U on Canada/Phillippine issues

–Message on behalf of Philip Kelly —

Prof Philip Kelly is keen to recruit MA and PhD students to work with two projects at York University, Toronto, Canada on the following issues:
a) transnational economic ties between Canada and the Philippines, and
b) intergenerational socio-economic mobility and education in Filipino-Canadian communities.

I’d be very pleased to hear from students who are considering graduate research programs and who have an interest in the Philippines or Filipino-Canadian experiences.

Further details of the projects:

a) The Canada-Philippines Alternative Transnational Economies project is a recently funded SSHRC Insight Grant ( ) examining economic linkages between Canada and the Philippines that depend on the social networks created by migration, and which generate collectivized or non-monetized forms of material well-being. Topics might include diaspora philanthropy, humanitarian relief, transnational economic activism, unpaid care networks, cooperative enterprises, fair trade links etc.. Financial support for thesis/dissertation projects such as these will be available, in addition to York University’s standard funding package.

b) The Filipino Youth Transitions in Canada project is an ongoing series of collaborations with community groups, school boards and other organizations to examine inter-generational experiences of Filipino-Canadian communities in relation to workplaces, labour market outcomes and educational trajectories.

Please get in touch with me directly if you are interested in pursuing topics along these lines in the graduate program in Geography at York University (
The program’s application deadline is fast approaching but applications will continue to receive attention until all places are filled.

Thanks for your attention!

Philip Kelly

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CFP: 11th Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asia Studies

CALL FOR PAPERS (Deadline: 22 February 2016)

11th Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asia Studies

Date : 12-14 July 2016
Venue:National University of Singapore

This forum is organised by the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore; with funding support from the Henry Luce Foundation, USA.

The Asia Research Institute (ARI) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) invites applications from postgraduate (master’s and PhD) students who are engaged in research on Southeast Asia to attend the 11th Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asian Studies on 12-14 July 2015.

This three-day forum, the eleventh of an annual series of forums for graduate students who work on Southeast Asia, will be organised thematically. Themes broadly reflect (though not limited to) the core research strengths of the Asia Research Institute, including  the Asian dynamics of religion, politics, economy, gender, culture, language, migration, urbanism, science and technology, population and social change. Keynotes will be delivered by professors J. Neil Garcia (University of the Philippines), Mary Beth Mills (Colby College), and Henk Schulte Nordholt (Leiden University, KITLV).

Post-graduate students working on Southeast Asia are invited to submit abstracts based either on work in progress that is at an advanced stage (i.e. already completed data collection and analysis), or on completed work. NUS students are encouraged to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with students from ASEAN as well as those from other regions whose interests focus on Southeast Asia.

Partial or full funding may be available for students whose proposals have been selected. Funding will cover board and lodging for the duration of the three-day forum, and in selected cases, air travel to Singapore by the most economical means.

This event coincides with the Asian Graduate Student Fellowship Programme 2016, which brings some 35 graduate students to ARI for a two-month period. These students will also participate in the Graduate Forum.


Graduate students should submit a 300-400 words abstract of their proposed paper to Ms Tay Minghua at no later than 22 February 2016. Please click here for the Application Form. The abstract should clarify the substantive issues which your paper will address and be firmly grounded in your own research project. Please include information on objectives, methods, and findings, as well as explain the original contribution the research makes to the field of study. One confidential letter of recommendation from a supervisor should also be forwarded along with your form by the same date.

Successful applicants will be notified by mid March 2016. Those selected will have to submit full-length papers, of around 4,000-5,000 words in length, by 1 June 2016.


Dr Michiel BAAS, Asia Research Institute, NUS (Chair)
Dr Michelle MILLER, Asia Research Institute, NUS
Dr Maria Wendy PLATT, Asia Research Institute, NUS
A/P Titima SUTHIWAN, Centre for Language Studies, NUS
Dr Amelia FAUZIA, Asia Research Institute, NUS
Dr Bernardo BROWN, Asia Research Institute, NUS
Dr Celine CODEREY, Asia Research Institute, NUS
Dr Marie Anne Madeleine GIBERT, Asia Research Institute, NUS
Dr Nurfadzilah YAHAYA, Asia Research Institute, NUS
Dr Rita PADAWANGI, Asia Research Institute, NUS

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PhD Studentships at National Univ. of Singapore (NUS)

–on behalf of Henry Yeung–



The QS World University rankings (2014) place National University Singapore (NUS) in the top 25 universities in the world and number one in Asia.  In the same rankings, the Department of Geography, NUS, is ranked in the top ten Geography programmes globally.

Research in the Department of Geography, NUS, falls into three major themes (Politics, Economy and Space; Social and Cultural Geographies; and Tropical Environmental Change), with researchers also working together in a fourth, crosscutting theme (Nature and Society).  Graduate students have made a profound contribution to research activities in the Department; this contribution is projected to increase in coming years as the Department looks to build upon its reputation for world class research targeting major problems currently facing humanity across the range of geographical scales.

Fully funded PhD scholarships (fees and maintenance) of up to four years are currently available in the Department of Geography at NUS.  Opportunities also exist to apply for additional funding to support fieldwork and laboratory costs, if relevant, to participate in international conferences and to contribute to the Department’s teaching programmes.  Graduate research students in the Department follow a semi-structured programme, which involves a taught component in the first two years of registration.  For information on how to become a PhD student at one of the world’s top universities in one of the most culturally diverse and technologically advanced cities in the world, at the centre of an extremely dynamic and exciting region, see:

Information on research in the Department, including sub-themes accommodated within the main research groupings and the interests of individual members of faculty and current graduate research students, can be accessed via:

Please note that there are two application deadlines each year: 1 November and 15 May (for entrance in, respectively, August and January of the year following the application deadline).

For further information, please contact in the first instance Ms Pauline Lee (email ).  Pauline is the administrator in the Department with responsibility for providing support to the Graduate Studies programme in Geography.

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