YCAR is a community of York University researchers who are committed to analyzing the changing historical and contemporary dynamics of societies in Asia, understanding Asia’s place in the world, and studying the experiences of Asian communities in Canada and around the globe. Our inter-disciplinary membership includes faculty, students and other research associates from across the social sciences, humanities, health, education, creative/performing arts, law and business.
Some common themes characterize much of the research that YCAR fosters and supports. First, we adopt an explicitly transnational approach to research, meaning that we seek to understand connections within Asia, between Asia and the rest of the world, and between Asia and its diasporas. Second, we value research that is based on extended field and archival research, language study and the long-term development of expertise. Third, we emphasize a critical and engaged model of scholarship, attentive to social justice agendas that seek to address exclusions or inequalities based class, gender, sexuality, ‘race’, caste, religion, region or environmental dispossession. Often, this involves collaboration with the communities being studied in the research process, and the mobilization of research findings to effect public education and social change.
The role of the Centre in the work of individual researchers is to create a space for interdisciplinary intellectual exchange, to provide administrative support for research projects, and to enrich student training through fieldwork and language awards and a graduate diploma programme. We also provide an access point for anyone interested in York expertise on Asia and Asian communities, and we actively seek to deliver research to the widest possible audience.
Founded in 2002, YCAR continues a strong tradition of internationally recognized research in Asian Studies at York, pioneered since 1974 by the Joint Centre on Modern East Asia, and the Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies (both in collaboration with the University of Toronto).