Thank you!

31 Oct

The Working the Frame Conference has come and gone, and we’re glad to be able to look back on those hectic few days with a sigh of relief and a sense of success.

Many thanks are due to the conference volunteers who gave their time freely; to Sophie Goellnicht, Aurelia Gatto and Antoinette Somo for all their hard work and forethought; and, to panel chairs: Anne Savage, Gena Zuroski-Jenkins, Lorraine York and Rick Monture.

We must also congratulate all of the presenters on their papers. The careful scholarship on display on a diverse range of subjects and from a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches prompted lively discussion and much thought. Thank you.

Of course, the conference owes much of its success to the work of those people who so kindly agreed to deliver plenary talks and presentations. Richard Fung’s Dal Puri Diaspora introduced conference attendees to many of the themes that would arise in paper presentations the following day, and Richard’s thoughtful discussion with audience members following set a wonderful tone for the conference on its opening night. Lisa Lowe brought her seminal work on “The Intimacies of Four Continents” to bear on the field of Asian Canadian Studies with an insightful and beautiful reading of Richard Fung’s documentaries in her opening keynote lecture, and in the second keynote lecture of the day, Lily Cho asked us to reconsider how we frame subjects of loss in her intriguing analysis of temporality in Judy Fong Bates’ The Year of Finding Memory. Finally, we would like to thank each member of the artist-activist panel that closed the conference on Friday evening: David Chariandy, for sharing a reading of his work; Lee Maracle, for her spell-binding and thought-provoking storytelling; Larissa Lai, for her thoughtful talk on the field of Asian Canadian Studies; and, Chantria Tram, for a presentation on her work on reconciliation and oral history performance. The room was held rapt even as the 10pm close of the conference crept nearer, thirteen hours after its start.

A special thanks is due to Thy Phu, Roland Coloma and Eleanor Ty, who stayed an extra day to be a part of the second Asian Canadian Studies Graduate Workshop, and who provided a lot of important feedback and advice to the workshop participants.

Finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to the Taylor family for their continuing support of the Department of English & Cultural Studies’ annual John Douglas Taylor Conference, and to Lorraine York, Senator William McMaster Chair in Canadian Literature and Culture, for her generous sponsorship of the artist-activist plenary session.

Thank you again to all who participated!

The 2012 John Douglas Taylor Conference Organizing Committee.


Getting to The Staircase (not to mention the conference…)

23 Oct

We want to clear up any confusion that might arise regarding the venue for the preview screening of Richard Fung’s new video, Dal Puri Diaspora, as well as for the conference itself:

The film screening will take place on Thursday at The Staircase Theatre, an off-campus theatre & cafe located at 27 Dundurn St North, Hamilton. To be clear: the Staircase is not located at McMaster University. Directions are available on their website. The screening starts at 7pm with light snacks and a cash-only bar to follow.

For those of you staying at The Admiral Inn, The Staircase is an easy walk (5 mins) and it’s easily accessible by bus or taxi from downtown Hamilton.

The conference events on Friday will take place on McMaster campus, on the 3rd floor of the McMaster University Student Centre.

To see McMaster University, The Staircase, the Admiral Inn and the Sheraton all marked on one map, click here:

We’re all immensely excited about seeing you all soon. Please do not hesitate to send us an email at if you have any questions or concerns.

Dal Puri Diaspora

16 Oct

We’re excited to share with you a glimpse of Richard Fung’s latest film, Dal Puri Diaspora, a preview of which will kick off the conference next week:

The recipe for dal puri traveled with indentured workers from India’s Gangetic plain to southern Caribbean colonies of Britain and the Netherlands in the 19th Century. In the 1960s the wrapped roti migrated from Trinidad to North America, where it is known as Caribbean or West Indian roti and is popular in cities like New York and Toronto. As the dish moved from home fire to street stall to restaurant chain, and from festival to fast food, the flatbread was radically transformed in ingredients, cooking method, ways of eating and identity. Shot in Toronto, Trinidad and India, this documentary tracks dal puri’s remarkable passage across space and time, linking colonialism, migration and the globalization of tastes. The documentary features interviews with leading food writers and scholars including Pushpesh Pant, Naomi Duguid, Brinsley Samaroo, Radhika Mongia and Patricia Mohammed.

We welcome all conference attendees to join us and Richard on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7:00pm at The Staircase Theatre. A cash-only bar, light hors-d’oevres and lively conversation are to follow.

Dal Puri Diaspora, 2012, Richard Fung, 80 min., HD video, Canada, dialogue: English and Bhojpuri with English subtitles.

Two and a Half Weeks!

9 Oct

Click here to download our conference registration form. Please print and mail your registration form to the address provided.

Only two and a half weeks remain until scholars, artists and activists arrive in Hamilton, Ontario for our Working the Frame conference. We’d like to take this time to ask you to register for the conference as soon as possible (preferably by October 11) in order to assist us in organizing the conference lunch and dinner.* As you will see on the form itself, we have a lot to look forward to! Richard Fung will be previewing his latest film, Dal Puri Diaspora, on the eve of the conference; Lisa Lowe and Lily Cho will deliver keynote addresses; a panel of artists and activists will close the conference with discussion; and, of course, scholars from near and far will be sharing their scholarship throughout the day. We hope you join the discussion on October 25th & 26th!

*Please note that dinner tickets for the evening of Friday, Oct. 26th must be purchased in advance. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a dinner ticket for those who choose to register after October 11.

More Registration Info!

31 Jul

Our conference is now only a few months away, so don’t let the date creep up on you unexpectedly.  We’re encouraging conference attendees and presenters to register by September 30, 2012.

How do you register?

Print, fill out, and mail the following Registration Form (word .doc), along with payment in cheque/money order in Canadian funds (made payable to McMaster University, Department of English and Cultural Studies) to the following address:

2012 John Douglas Taylor Conference (Working the Frame)

c/o Department of English and Cultural Studies

Chester New Hall, Room 321

McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L9, Canada

New Snazzy Conference Poster!

31 Jul

Hey, check out the poster for our conference:

Since Richard Fung will be opening our conference with a special preiew screening of his latest video documentary Dal Puri Diaspora, we chose a screen image from his classic Sea in the Blood (2000) for the background–of course, with his permission.
Are you getting excited about this conference?  We sure are!

For future updates regarding the conference, follow our blog!


22 Jun

The Admiral Inn, conveniently located near campus, has set aside a block of rooms from October 25th-26th for conference attendees. When making your reservation please mention that you are attending the Taylor Conference (group #148884) to get the special group rate ($109/night).

Visit the hotel website ( for more information. Bookings can be made online, by telephone (local: 905-529-2311, toll-free: 866-236-4662), or through email (

The deadline for bookings at the group rate is SEPTEMBER 25th, 2012. After that date any rooms remaining unreserved in the block will be released and guests can make a reservation based on availability at the best rate of the day.

For a list of additional Hamilton accommodation options, please visit:


For more information,  (including detailed maps, accommodation info, places to eat, and travel options), click on the “Hamilton, ON” tab, above.

Program & Registration Information Updated

11 Jun

We are excited to announce that the program for Working the Frame: Comparative Approaches to Asian Canadian Literature and Culture is now availabe. Click on the “Program” page above to view our preliminary program, or to download a PDF.

Program highlights include: the Opening Reception on the eve of the Conference, featuring a flim screening with Richard Fung, a full day of panels and two keynote addresses from Lisa Lowe and Lily Cho the following day, and, to close the conference, an evening of discussion at the Artist-Activist Plenary Panel with David Chariandy, Larissa Lai, Lee Maracle and Chantria Tram.

Please also take a look at the “Registration” page to find out how to register, and to learn more about what is included in your registration fee.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, and be sure to check back here in the following weeks to find more information about visiting Hamilton. We will have maps of the city and campus available soon, as well as accommodation information.

All the best,

The John Douglas Taylor Conference 2012 Organizing Committee.

Deadline Extended

18 Jan

Call for Papers — Extended Deadline: February 15, 2012.

John Douglas Taylor Conference 2012

“Working the Frame: Comparative Approaches to Asian Canadian Literature & Culture”

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

October 25 & 26, 2012

We will now be accepting paper proposals (500 words maximum) and a brief CV (one page) until February 15, 2012. Proposals should be sent to

To view (or download) our full Call for Papers, please take a look at our “CFP” page, listed above.

All the best,

The John Douglas Taylor Conference 2012 Organizing Committee.


6 Nov

This site is dedicated to Working the Frame: Comparative Approaches to Asian Canadian Literature and Culture, the John Douglas Taylor Conference to be held at McMaster University on October 25 & 26, 2012.

We are excited to launch this site in conjunction with our Call for Papers (which can be found under the “CFP and Submissions Guidelines” tab), and we look forward to keeping this site updated with everything conference presenters and attendees might need to know as we gear up to the conference itself, including information about accommodations in Hamilton, maps of McMaster campus, speaker bios, the conference program, and more. And while we will work to make this site as comprehensive as possible, please do not hesitate to contact us, the organizing committee, with any inquiries you might have.

Working the Frame Organizing Committee