and Institutes


The Munk School’s research and teaching centres cultivate deep, nuanced thinking about countries and regions that constantly shape world events in new ways. These centres of regionally focused expertise are vital complements to our academic programs and labs, and vice versa. Working collaboratively across disciplines and geographies, our students and researchers illuminate emerging realities with relevant contextual and historical insights.


asian institute

Asia is home to more than half the world’s population and to some of the fastest-growing economies on earth. Understanding this vast and diverse continent is key to understanding the international landscape. The Asian Institute at the Munk School conducts cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and teaching on Asia and its global impact. Balancing regional specialization with pan-Asian and global approaches, the institute has over 100 affiliated scholars whose work spans a broad range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

“Event of the Year”

“Worlding South Asia Beyond Borders,” a conference conceived and organized by the INDePTh (Interrogating Notions of Development and Progress) Student Group, was recognized by the University of Toronto Students’ Union as the 2017 Event of the Year. Students this year used “South Asia” as a regional frame for critical interdisciplinary discussions.

Global Careers Through Asia

This year once again, the Contemporary Asian Studies Student Union hosted an engaging conference that offered students from across the University guidance and inspiration on careers connected to Asia. The conference featured lectures on dynamics and opportunities across the region today, as well as networking opportunities and exposure to our own programs’ Asia-based alumni.

Leaders in Asia-Pacific and Contemporary Asian Studies

The leadership and engagement of Asian Institute students was highlighted again this year as:

  • Two students graduating from the Dr. David Chu Program in Contemporary Asian Studies, Kouroush Houshmand and Arnold Yung, won the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award.
  • Two undergraduate and 17 graduate students based in the Asian Institute and the Faculty of Arts & Science received Dr. David Chu Scholarships in Asia-Pacific Studies for research travel in the summer of 2016.

Asian Institute img 1 Asian Institute img 2 Arnold Yung
Top and middle: INDePth Conference 2017: “Worlding South Asia Beyond Borders,” organized by undergraduate students at the Asian Institute. Bottom: Arnold Yung, recipient of a Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award.

centre for european, russian, and eurasian studies

The Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES) at the Munk School is at the forefront of research, teaching and policy conversations on EU member countries, as well as countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The centre draws on the expertise of more than 15 departments as it promotes interdisciplinary work in the social sciences and humanities. Partnering with the European Commission, the German Academic Exchange Service, Toronto communities, and institutions of higher learning across Europe, Ukraine and Russia, CERES supports the exchange of ideas and scholars across the Atlantic.

Reflections on Europe Take on New Urgency

At a time when many Europeans are debating the value and meaning of EU membership, one remarkable opportunity CERES offered students was the course Expanding Europe. Each year, undergraduates accompany the instructor, Prof. Robert Austin, on a research visit to a prospective EU member country. This year students travelled to Georgia to meet representatives of government, civil society, industry and academia, hearing their perspectives on the EU and on Georgia’s experience at the intersection of East and West.

Supporting Academic Excellence

This year once again key funding bodies affirmed the value and relevance of CERES students’ research with substantial funding awards. Nine students received awards from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, which supports post-secondary-based research, training and knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities: Delila Bikic, Anna Heffernan, Aishe Jamal, Siobhan Kirkland, Emily Koller, David Lipsitz, Danijela Stajic, Daniel Graef and Eilish Hart. Two other CERES students, Carley Campbell and Alysha Zawaduk, received Ontario Graduate Scholarships, merit-based scholarships that support Ontario’s best graduate students in all disciplines.

Centre for... img 1 Centre for... img 2 Centre for... img 3
Top and middle: Undergraduate students from Expanding Europe course on a research trip to Georgia. Bottom: Danijela Stajic, a graduate student at the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. 

centre for the study of the united states

As America undergoes a period of social and political upheaval, the Munk School’s Centre for the Study of the United States (CSUS) acts as a vital centre of U.S.-focused research and instruction. Bridging the social sciences and humanities, CSUS represents the largest group of U.S.-focused scholars in Canada. In its contributions to public conversations about America’s domestic affairs and role in the world, this vibrant centre of expertise offers important context and delivers rare depth of analysis on some of the most urgent debates of our time.

New Fellowships for Outstanding Young Scholars

This year the first Bissell-Heyd Fellows in American Studies were recognized for their exceptionally promising research. The Bissell-Heyd faculty fellows program promotes research on the U.S. by younger scholars at U of T. CSUS is pleased to recognize the inaugural fellows:

  • Jooyoung Lee of the Department of Sociology researches gun violence, health disparities and urban poverty in the United States. In May 2017, Prof. Lee hosted a symposium on U.S. gun violence that attracted leading experts in the field; topics included gun violence and social media, and emergency and trauma care for gunshot victims.
  • Sara Hughes of the Department of Political Science (UTM) studies urban politics and climate change in North America (for more on her work, please see “Cities at Risk,” page 30).
Prof. Sara Hughes centre for US img 2
Prof. Sara Hughes (top) and Prof. Jooyoung Lee, the first Bissell-Heyd Fellows at the Centre for the Study of the United States.

Back to top

Share this page: Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn