DLC Funded Research

SFU Researchers' Projects Funded by the DLC

SFU David Lam Centre (DLC) offers funding opportunities to continuing faculty DLC Members interested in organizing events and conducting projects that support the goals of the Centre. Besides projects listed below, also visit our events page for other events sponsored by the DLC.

Major projects

Taiwan Studies Group's Speakers Series
Weiting Guo, Department of History

Speakers Series

The Taiwan Studies Group is a working group that brings together scholars and students who are interested in studying Taiwan through diverse methodological and disciplinary approaches. Aiming to enhance the understanding of Taiwan, TSG hosts a regular monthly series of brown bag lunch meetings for members and interested scholars to share ideas and experiences related to studying Taiwan. Scholars and students are invited to present their works in progress and share innovative ideas and newly- discovered sources. TSG also invites researchers, artists, and scientists to present in its Speaker Series to foster intellectual and scholarly conversations.

Dialogue on Global Humanities Symposium
Paul Crowe, Department of Humanities


Leaders in the world-humanities movement (Canada, UK, Italy, China, US, India) share their ideas, successes, and challenges at an international conference that continues a discussion initiated in 2012 through leadership of the Institute for Humanities and supported by the DLC. The focus is on how to build alliances and learn from colleagues about how they are situating their humanities work in the context of global migration, continually shifting identities, and the rethinking of "home" as mobilties increasingly inform our lives. The 2012 conference titled, “Is there, can there be, such an activity as World Humanities?” was a resounding success. It included first nations' participation and several SFU units. It culminated in an entire issue of the prestigious Journal of Chinese Philosophy dedicated to its proceedings.

Pre-conference: North Korea and Communication at the International Communication Association
Dal Yong Jin, Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology


North Korea has been an under-explored area in communication research. Limitations on movement and communication, as well as physical isolation of the country in the global arena, has made it difficult for scholars to produce meaningful research about North Korea. In recent years, however, there have been major developments in the communication infrastructure, with the introduction of cellular phones to the general public, resulting in over 70% of Pyongyang citizens having access. Foreign correspondents from the US, Europe and South Korea have been allowed to set up permanent foreign bureaus. In 2018, the North Korean leader has engaged in fast-paced diplomacy with the US, South Korea and China. Taken together, these changes are leading to a new era in communication about, within and around North Korea.

Considering the historical and geopolitical significance of such developments, it is therefore crucial for scholars to pursue theoretically and methodologically sound research on North Korea. This one-day ICA preconference, supported by the Political Communication and Journalism Studies divisions at the ICA, aims to bring together leading and emerging scholars around the world to register this shift and examine causes, components and civic consequences of a uniquely isolated – but rapidly changing – country.

The pre-conference also aims to bring scholars together with practitioners including diplomats, journalists, policy makers and those from international organizations, NGOs, and business sectors for constructive dialogue. We encourage submissions from scholars from other disciplines such as political science, international relations, sociology and East Asian studies. Discussions are currently underway to publish presented works in a journal or edited volume.

Inter-Asian Indigenous Diplomacy in the Cold War
Michael Hathaway, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Research Project

My research trip to Japan will have several benefits for the DLC, SFU, my academic career and my graduate students. First, I aim to establish a formal collaboration between the DLC and the Centre for Ainu and Indigenous Studies at Hokkaido University --- in December, I met the leaders of this centre and will host them again in March. Second, I will spend 15 days in Hokkaido, where I will present a paper and conduct a number of interviews to expand and deepen my research. My project explores how, during the 1970s to 1990s, indigenous Ainu used repeated engagements with China to build new indigenous futures. Third, I will spend 3 days in Tokyo to present this paper, discuss future collaborations for myself and my graduate students, and lay the groundwork for an MOU with SFU. This trip will also provide the basis for two peer-reviewed articles and a SSHRC Insight Grant application.

While in Hokkaido, I will carry out further research on a series of Ainu trips to China. I co-authored a paper with Dr. Harrison from the Asia Pacific Foundation on this topic that we presented at the University of Toronto. I will present an updated version at the world’s main centre for Ainu studies at Hokkaido University. This is part of the little-known "Red Power" movement in the Asia Pacific; almost nothing has been published about these events in English, Chinese or Japanese. We are currently working on two articles, one for the Journal of Global History and one for Comparative Studies in Society and History, but need additional oral histories and archival material only available in Hokkaido.

I am eager to gain feedback and advice from members of the Centre for Ainu and Indigenous Studies, and then carry out two weeks of interviews with some of the surviving elders from these trips to China. Dr. Harrison and I have contacted the few scholars knowledgeable about these events, and I will visit them with a translator in Sapporo or Nibutani.

A June visit will be excellent timing as my research and networking will be facilitated by the presence of SFU’s Dr. George Nicholas. He has twenty five years of collaboration with Ainu communities and Hokkaido faculty, and will introduce me to some of the top scholars at Hokkaido and some of the key Ainu activists. Such a relation will benefit SFU as we have a growing number of scholars on Asian indigeneity, and I've organized two meetings attended by Andrea Geiger, Scott Harrison, Jen Spear and George Nicholas.