John Price

Unique rock formations between Hamahiga Island and Yonashiro region on Okinawa island. Hamahiga was the setting of Darcy Tamayose’s novel Odori that won the Japan-Canada Literary Prize for 2008. Photo by J. Price, April 2009.

Upcoming

  • Seminar: A UVIC Alumni's Life in History and Film

    14:30-16:30 March 4, Clearihue A127, UVic

    Educator, filmmaker, scholar and writer, Dr. Anthony Chan reflects on his experience as a Uvic History student in the 1960s.

    E-mail me for more info: joprice@uvic.ca

  • Lecture: Intersections of History and Film in Asian-Canadian Contexts

    16:30 March 5, SSM A110, UVic

    Dr. Chan talks on writing history and making films in Canada and the United States.

    E-mail me for more info: joprice@uvic.ca

Orienting Canada: Race, Empire and the Transpacific (UBC Press, 2011)

Book Launch Sept 7 5:30 pm and UBC, Orienting Canada: Race, Empire and the Transpacific (Vancouver, UBC Press, 2011)

Colony to nation? Isolationism to internationalism? WASP society to a multicultural Canada? Focusing on imperial conflicts in the Pacific, Orienting Canada disrupts these familiar narratives in Canadian history by tracing the relationship between racism and Canadian foreign policy. Grounded in transnationalism and anti-racist theory, this study reassesses critical transpacific incidents, from the 1907 race riots to Canada’s early intervention in Vietnam. Shocking revelations about the effects of racism and war into the 1960s are tempered by stories of community resilience and transformation. As a transpacific lens on the past, Orienting Canada deflects Canada’s European gaze back onto itself to reveal images that are both provocative and illuminating.


Read Reviews and commentary of Orienting Canada


Buy Orienting Canada at Amazon.ca


Biography

Dr. John Price, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Victoria

I was born in Vancouver and after completing high school I went to Japan in 1968. I spent four years in the Kansai area before returning to Canada in 1973. I entered McGill where I...

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Publications

‘Orienting’ Canada: Race, Empire and the Transpacific, 1907-1956, (Vancouver, UBC Press, 2011).


Japan Works: Power and Paradox in Postwar Industrial Relations,(Ithaca: ILR Press, 1997).

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Digital Projects

  • E. H. Norman Digital Archive

    This site houses background information, select documents written by Japan Scholar and Canadian Diplomat Herbert Norman.

    Visit the Archive

  • Asian Canadian Studies

    A new interactive web site was created to bring together community and university researchers across Canada to promote Asian Canadian Studies.

    Vist the site

  • Victoria Chinatown Project

    Created by the UVIC Asian Canadian Working Group, this project began in January 2011 with the goal of creating a website museum to collect and preserve the photographs, documents and artefacts that tell the story of Victoria's Chinatown.

    Coming soon!

Recent Work

Confronting our shameful, racist history

70th anniversary of Japanese internment a reminder we have not always been tolerant

Times Colonist Monitor, February 26, 2012, Page D9

By John Price Times Colonist Feb 26, 2012

Seventy years ago, the federal government passed Order-in-Council P.C. 1486, authorizing the uprooting of all peoples of Japanese heritage from B.C.'s coast, regardless of age, gender or citizenship.

Sent to internment camps in the Interior or to places further east, Japanese-Canadians subsequently saw their properties seized and sold off, and a co-ordinated attempt to banish them permanently from B.C. and Canada. The federal government took these actions despite advice to the contrary from the RCMP, the General Staff and the Department of External Affairs.

In 1988, the Canadian government acknowledged its wrongdoing. Yet today, the events of those years remain peripheral to Canadian history.

Read more at the Times Colonist


Racism, Canadian War Crimes, and the Korean War: Shin Hyun-Chan’s Quest for Justice

Shin Hyun-Chan stands besides his father’s grave. Photo: J. Price

Scholars and journalists in Korea and the United States have worked hard over the past 15 years to bring to light the mass killings of civilians that occurred during the Korean War. These stories, including that of the strafing of civilians at No Gun Ri, have challenged the hegemonic narrative of the ‘good war’ that has dominated south Korean and US accounts of this tragic past. In the following revised excerpt of a chapter from his new book, Orienting Canada: Race, Empire and the Transpacific (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011), Canadian historian John Price documents the story of Mr. Shin Hyun-Chan, a survivor of a Canadian war crime committed during the Korean war.

Read more at The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus


Victoria Chung: A True Trail Blazer

Times Colonist Monitor, October 23, 2011, Page D6

Victoria Chung broke the mould for women and Chinese Canadians

By John Price and Ningping Yu, Times Colonist Oct. 23, 2011

She was one of the longest-serving medical missionaries in Canada's history.

When she died, thousands lined the route of her funeral in China and 3,000 flower wreaths adorned her casket as she lay in state. A statue of her adorns a hospital in Jiangmen, China.

But even though Toy Mea (Victoria) Chung was born and raised in Victoria, she's virtually unknown in this city. The only trace of the family is the lonely grave of three of her siblings at Ross Bay Cemetery.

Read more at the Times Colonist


Orienting Canada: Race, Empire and the Transpacific (UBC Press, 2011)

Book Launch Sept 7 5:30 pm and UBC, Orienting Canada: Race, Empire and the Transpacific (Vancouver, UBC Press, 2011)

Colony to nation? Isolationism to internationalism? WASP society to a multicultural Canada? Focusing on imperial conflicts in the Pacific, Orienting Canada disrupts these familiar narratives in Canadian history by tracing the relationship between racism and Canadian foreign policy. Grounded in transnationalism and anti-racist theory, this study reassesses critical transpacific incidents, from the 1907 race riots to Canada’s early intervention in Vietnam. Shocking revelations about the effects of racism and war into the 1960s are tempered by stories of community resilience and transformation. As a transpacific lens on the past, Orienting Canada deflects Canada’s European gaze back onto itself to reveal images that are both provocative and illuminating.

This deeply informed study of the intricate interplay of race and empire provides fascinating insights into the creation and contours of the post-World War II world and the background for the policies that evolved. Though the particular focus is Canada, the conclusions extend far more broadly, and reach directly to serious issues that must be addressed today.   A very significant contribution.

-- Noam Chomsky, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT

This is the most comprehensive treatment of race and empire in modern international relations and "transpacific" history ... One of the most important books on the history of Canada-Asia relations and Canadian foreign policy, Orienting Canada will be read for decades to come.

-- Kimie Hara, Renison Research Professor in East Asian Studies, University of Waterloo

Orienting Canada offers a proactive approach to the place of Canada and Canadian peoples in the "transpacific" sphere. Within the context of empire, it brings the impact of racialized thinking on Canadian foreign policy to the forefront, a dimension that has not been seen enough in the past. This book makes an important new contribution to the debate.

-- David Webster, International Studies Program, University of Regina

Download a Sample Chapter of Orienting Canada (pdf 1.1 MB)

Read more reviews and commentary of Orienting Canada

Buy Orienting Canada at Amazon.ca


Too Asian? Talk Back

Asiancanadianstudies.ca

Maclean’s feature article, ‘Too Asian’? in its special university rankings edition has prompted stinging criticism from Asian Canadian communities and many others across the country. For more information check out the Facebook page ‘Too Asian, Talk Back’. In the article “‘Too Asian?’ and the Firestorm it’s Fanning, published by the e-zine The Tyee last December I explain why those of us who come from families that historically have benefited from the racist past need to learn how to address that past.





Neil Burton Commemorative Fund

Established initially to support Neil Burton’s web site on China’s foreign relations (currently under construction), the terms of this fund have since been modified so that it can help sponsor lectures, conferences as well as the web site. To keep Neil’s spirit alive, and promote understanding among the peoples of Canada and China, please consider contributing to the fund, any amount will help. To contribute just write a cheque to the University of Victoria with the notation Neil Burton Commemorative Fund and it will go right into the account. All donations are tax deductible. The fund will be managed by the Department of History and the Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives.

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