Audrey Kobayashi

Region: Kingston ON


Audrey Kobayashi is a Professor of Geography at Queen’s University and a highly respected scholar in the Japanese Canadian community. Many know her for her book Memories of Our Past: A Brief History and Walking Tour of Powell Street. Kobayashi’s academic work has a longstanding relationship with the Japanese Canadian community, which she is continuing with her involvement in two research projects: ‘The right to remain’, about the residents of single occupancy residences (SROs) in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, many of which were constructed out of buildings originally built by Japanese Canadians in the former Powell Street area; and ‘Landscapes of Injustice’, which is documenting the dispossession of Japanese Canadians during the 1940s through archival research, GIS, interviews, and legal analysis. Kobayashi has also edited many volumes on human geography, often dealing with race, immigration, and gender; has taught in Geography, East Asian Studies, and Women’s Studies; and has won a number of prestigious academic positions and awards.

Artist Statement

"My research interests revolve around the question of how processes of human differentiation ? race, class, gender, ability, national identity ? emerge in a range of landscapes that include homes, streets and workplaces. I place strong emphasis on public policy, on the legal and legislative frameworks that enable social change, and on the cultural systems and practices through which normative frameworks for human actions and human relations are developed. I am particularly interested in the public negotiation of these issues."