Remi Kanji, James Poborsa and Betty Xie awarded David Chu Leadership Awards
Remi Kanji is currently finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. In her final year, she founded and organized the INDePth Conference on International Development and Just Rights Radio, two organizations aiming to discuss causes of and solutions to socio-economic inequality. She also co-organized the Global Ideas Institute, a program pushing high school students to consider similar challenges. Remi is grateful to U of T for providing her the opportunity to conduct field research on international development and fashion in Indonesia, and mapping social innovation in Taiwan. While there in 2012-2013, she will also be working as an intern at the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei in addition to her research opportunity. Despite the two projects, she will be certain to take some time to feast on dumplings and enjoy Taiwan’s renowned cuisine.
James' doctoral research focusses on contemporary Chinese art, aesthetic theory, and the intellectual history of modern and contemporary China. He is currently working on his dissertation, which examines contemporary Chinese photography from the late 1970s until the present, and seeks to uncover the predominant conceptualisations of photography as an aesthetic intervention into the hegemonic politics of cultural production. His research questions how photographers, art critics, and institutions (art schools, museums, galleries, etc.) have contextualised the role of photography in society, and examines these narratives in light of the the prominent intellectual debates of the period. He is Editor in Chief of the Asia Pacific Reader, published through the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs, and has previously taught modern and contemporary East Asian art in the Department of Art. He holds an M.A. in East Asian Studies (2009), and a B.A. (Hons.) in Economics and Philosophy (2005), both from the University of Toronto.
Entering her third year in U of T, Betty Xie majors in Cinema Studies and Asia Pacific Studies. Her academic interest centers on cinema as an ideological apparatus in contemporary Asia. She has been active in student life involvement as the President of the Pan-Asia Student Society and Co-chair of the newly founded INDePth Conference. Aspired to become a filmmaker, she is currently directing and producing a short documentary on Taiwan identity issue. Behind these colourful scenes at school, Betty spends her time writing fiction, watching films and wondering from city to city to snap shot after shot. This summer, Betty is thrilled to be supported by the Dr.David Chu Traveling Scholarship to take two summer abroad courses: Comparative Chinese Politics in Shanghai and Beijing, and Chinese Cinemas in Hong Kong. After these programs end, Betty will concentrate on completing her first film production project - a documentary on Taiwan identity issue.