By Elizabeth Shaw

What does it mean for a person to be mobile in today’s world? And how does identity factor in global affairs?

Student researchers presenting at Internationalization in Action: Transformative Student Research at the Asian Institute on Friday, September 21, 2018, explored these themes as they shared their work conducted through two major student experiential research programs at the Asian Institute.

During the first half of the event, Richard Charles Lee Insights Through Asia Challenge (ITAC) 2017-18 recipients presented their projects, exploring this year’s theme of “Mobilities.” Opening remarks by Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Emily Hertzman and Richard Charles Lee Director Professor Rachel Silvey highlighted the diverse topics, approaches, and regions students explored, with projects using reflexive transnational frameworks to examine issues specific to China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and more. As Dr. Hertzman remarked, the ITAC cohort proved themselves “extremely brave, skilled, and fiercely intelligent” through the course of their projects.

ITAC presentations spanned topics from female (im)mobility in urban Pakistan, to humanitarian aid catering to the needs of Rohingya refugee women, to climate migration in Sri Lanka, and the queer socialities of Filipina migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong. The connection threaded throughout the presentations: that a person’s mobility in our hyper-globalized world is shaped by intersecting and often-inherited aspects of identity. Student presenter Kana Shishikura acknowledged the “asymmetrical mobility” that she and her research partner experienced as based on the intersection between global geo-politics and “the documents given to them at birth.”

The second half of the event continued to explore the role of identity through presentations from 2017-18 recipients of the Global Taiwan Studies Big Ideas Competition: Exploring Global Taiwan. Introduced by Professor Tong Lam, Director of the Global Taiwan Studies Program at the Asian Institute, the Big Ideas presentations highlighted students’ research into social, cultural, and historical topics relevant to Taiwan. Focalized through Taiwan, presenters connected deep, local understanding to broader contemporary issues.

Covering topics such as indigenous history, attitudes toward organ donation, workplace discrimination against lesbian communities, and decentralized identities and cultural production, students presented research exemplifying Taiwan’s diversity and strong emergent identity. In his presentation, Aaron Wytze Wilson shared how now, more than ever, young people in Taiwan identify themselves as Taiwanese rather than Chinese, and are involved in subversive creative pursuits to display new symbols of that Taiwanese identity.

Through these two experience-based international learning programs at the Asian Institute, students produced imaginative, timely, and impactful research. Not only did they conduct rigorous academic work, but ITAC and Big Ideas researchers brought the vivid complexity of their topics to life, producing their projects as outstanding documentary films, policy reports, journal articles, and photo essays. The Asian Institute is proud to support all student research teams, and we look forward to seeing these projects continue to develop in years to come.

The full list of presentations and students is below. Please visit the ITAC and Big Ideas Taiwan websites and click on the ITAC 2018 and 2018 Recipients tab (respectively) to read student reports and watch the videos they produced.

Event Photos from September 21, 2018, by Michael Tseng. Click to enlarge.

Richard Charles Lee Insights Through Asia Challenge Presentations

SEARCHING FOR SPACE: FEMALE (IM)MOBILITY IN URBAN PAKISTAN

  • Mashal Khan (Equity Studies, Sociology, Visual Studies)
  • Khalood Kibria (Political Science, Sociology, Human Geography)

THE COLONIAL PRESENT: (IN)SECURITIZATION OF NEW DELHI

  • Atif Khan (University of Toronto Graduate Student, Department of Geography and Planning with collaboration in South Asian Studies and Development Policy and Power; University of Toronto Alum: Contemporary Asian Studies)
  • Kana Shishikura (University of Toronto Alum: Peace, Conflict, Justice Studies and Contemporary Asian Studies)

THE COMBINED RESPONSE TO THE PHYSICAL HEALTH NEEDS OF ROHINGYA REFUGEES IN MALAYSIA

  • Braden Kenny (Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto; University of Toronto Alum: Global Health and Equity Studies)
  • Terra Morel (Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta; University of Toronto Alum: Global Health and Immunology)

WOMEN ON THE MOVE: INTERSECTIONS OF STATELESSNESS, DEHUMANIZATION, AND SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

  • Kassandra Neranjan (International Relations, Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies)
  • Sakshi Shetty (Health & Disease, Immunology)

LOOKING INTO THE INTERGENERATIONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LGBTQ YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES IN POST-ONE-CHILD-POLICY CHINA

  • Yujia (Jade) Shi (Political Science; Collaborative Program in East and Southeast Asian Studies)

ROAD TO COLOMBO: DOCUMENTARY FILM ON CLIMATE MIGRATION IN SRI LANKA

  • Ben Sprenger (Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering)
  • Jillian Sprenger (Faculty of Arts and Science, Global Health)

RETHINKING INTIMACIES BETWEEN FILIPINA MIGRANT DOMESTIC WORKERS

  • Wei Si Nicole Yiu (PhD Student in Gender Studies, University of California Los Angeles; former University of Toronto collaborative PhD student in Geography and Gender Studies)

 

Big Ideas Competition: Exploring Global Taiwan Presentations

OP ASIAN GAMER: WORK AND PLAY IN TAIPEI’S ESPORTS INDUSTRY

  • Jordan Ali (Department of Geography and Planning)
  • Fay Lin (Department of English; Diaspora and Transnational Studies)

INDIGENOUS HISTORY IN TAIWAN’S NATIONAL MUSEUMS

  • Natalie Bell (MA in East Asian Studies/Collaborative MA in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies)

TAIWAN IN TRANSITION: TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION

  • Siobhan Bradley (Munk School of Global Affairs, MGA)
  • Ayesha Bery (Munk School of Global Affairs, MGA)
  • Pemasal Banigan (Munk School of Global Affairs, MGA)

DESIRE FOR GENDER AND SEXUAL EGALITARIANISM AT WORK: TAIWANESE LESBIAN WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION

  • Hai-Wen Chen (Arts and Science)
  • Michelle Lee (Arts and Science)

ROADSIDE GEOLOGY OF TAIWAN

  • Stephanie Chen (Department of Earth Sciences)

TAIWAN, DUNHUANG AND THE NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR 1964-1965: THE AFTERLIFE OF JAMES AND LUCY LO’S ARCHIVE

  • Shasha Liu (East Asian Studies)

THE EXPERIENCE OF LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS IN TAIWAN

  • Adriana Marroquin Rodriguez (MEd Higher Education, Comparative, International and Development Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education)

KNOWLEDGE ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS ON ORGAN DONATION AND TRANSPLANTATION IN TAIWANESE CITIES

  • Jonathan Wang (BSc Candidate, Faculty of Arts and Science)
  • Derrick Lin (Research Trainee, Multi-Organ Transplant, Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto Alum)

DECENTRALIZED IDENTITIES AND CULTURAL PRODUCTION IN TAIWAN

  • Aaron Wytze Wilson (MGA Candidate, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy)

AGRICULTURE 4.0 IN TAIWAN: THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN FARMERS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS

  • Yu Hsuan Amy Yang (Master of Science, Sustainability Management)