Here is the marketing blurb I read at 12:30 p.m. today:
PLEASE JOIN US FOR A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON WRITING, REPRESENTING, RESEARCHING, TEACHING IN THE TRANS/NATIONAL FLOWS BETWEEN
Asia and Canada / Asia hyphen Canada / Asia space Canada / Asian Canadian / Canadian Asian / Canada and Asia / Canada hyphen Asia / Canada space Asia /
Helen Leung (sfu), Kirsten E. McAllister (sfu) and Roy Miki (sfu, emeritus) in dialogue with Huamei Han (sfu), Christine Kim (sfu), Larissa Lai (ubc), Chris Lee (ubc), Ashok Mathur (tru), Miu Chung Yan (ubc) Davina Bhandar (trent), Mike Ma (kwantlen)
Wed. May 22, 2013
Room HC 7000
(take the elevator)
Simon Fraser University
515 W. Hastings St., Vancouver
The terms, “Asian and Canadian,” are far from stable, and even less so in these times of rapid social and economic transformations brought on by the shifting demographics of transnational flows especially in Canada where the so-called Asianization of social and cultural spaces is producing new forms of cultural anxiety and racialized conflicts.” (Miki 2011).The Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities has invited a panel of academics working across “Asia – Canada” to start a discussion to explore the paradoxical movements and containments of researching and writing between these two terms as they float as signifiers / metonyms / traces / tenuously held together with a hyphen, a tissue of possibility beyond how they are each discursively constituted in particular area studies.
Sponsored by the Centre For Policy Studies on Culture and Communities (SFU), the Department of English (SFU), the Dean’s Office, Faculty for Communication, Art and Technology (SFU) and the Asian Canadian Study Society. The event was organized by the CPCC Working Group on Asia – Canada, which includes Davina Bhandar, Christine Kim, Helen Leung, Roy Miki and Kirsten E. McAllister.
Here are the notes/quotes I took between 2 - 4 p.m.:
- What kind of Asian conference is this? It’s starting late and there’s only bran muffins?
- What is “Asian-Canadian” studies suppose to study?
- Investor limits to immigration in Canada have been raised to what?
- No limit to invest in Canada (businesses, properties), only limits if you want to live in Canada (fact check).
- Canada is a stable market to invest in, with low tax breaks.
- When we invoke “Asian-Canadian” what are we including/excluding? Asia is a big place.
- Language has political functions. In America, Asian-Americans was an assumed identity to mobilize. In Canada, language does not hold the same history, same utility.
- The umbrella of Asian-Canadian studies makes sense in the institution, but in reality/embodied experience of the everyday, is it useful?
- How do we understand the pluralities within language? Tempered by geopolitics, generational shifts and gaps, Asian-Canadian is incredibly diverse. (You mean, Not white-Canadian?)
- How do we do away with the nation state if we are trying to re-imagine it? Categories obscure diversity, branding Asian-Canadian as an object of study.
- The need to locate yourself (generation, origin, occupation) was done by the first generations. I am first generation, but I don’t relate.
- Asia is geography, situated as a place (not a body), influencing language and identity, loaded with social, economical, historical baggage.
- “Squarely situated particularity is the most universal.”
- “Globalization comes from above and from below.”
- “Sino Situated Schizophrenia”
- Subjection of otherness mirrored by self-identification of otherness
- Apology forthcoming for BC Head Tax (how do relate this to ethnic vote scandal? Invocation of race. Wielding the notion of racism as a tool.
- Anxiety of being other, anxiety in being a professional, anxiety in being a professional of otherness
- Writing Through Race symposium was when?
- How do we investigate ourselves and remain critical, de-privileging ourselves to understand ourselves differently.
- Professionalization of Asian-Canadian Studies is a conundrum. Professionalization is xenophobic (to the white imaginary standards) by default, so rather self-effacing here.
- There is no home anymore. Transnationalism is not a free flow. Those on top benefit, and those on the bottom suffer. Mimicking older colonial tactics into era of neoliberalism.
- The loudest man in the room is old and white.
- American Imperialism in critical thinking (Did Puar do this to Morgensen?)
- First Sinologist at Oxford was Scottish. James Legge came from Huntly, Aberdeenshire, where it was really racist.
- Hyphenation of Asian-Canadian leaves Canadian too static. How do we complicate both sides?
- “No matter how much tax I pay, I may never be the Canadian others feel they are and unable to see me as.”
- Specialization is a blackhole.
- Terms can disappear if the power of knowledge can still exist.
Some lingering questions I had between 4 - 4:15 p.m:
- How do we create solidarities with other “minorities” especially with Indigenous groups?
- Why was this conversation not more widely shared? The room booked could maybe fit 40 people.
- Too many big conversations are happening in small corners. How do we overlap them?
The news is very dramatic. A car exploding is very dramatic, sometimes. I walk around the block and yellow tape and flashing motorcycles block off the roads between here and there. Walking up Haro, shards of windshield were way down here. A firetruck and an ambulance, but for the most part, people were just walking their dogs and going to work with their earphones in, and I wonder if they heard anything at all.
What I heard: It didn’t sound like fireworks. I didn’t hear any screams. With a south facing window I thought something had crashed or exploded in English Bay. What was that? was all I heard from outside my window between neighbours maybe strangers. It looks like seven a.m. but I never know at this time of day. It’s real quiet and my mind wanders from where to what. It was a compact boom and it was near. I’m still in bed when the birds started chirping again and then the sirens and then the helicopters. In those first few moments, there was no news, not yet, and now it’s all over the place if you search west end car explodes.