African Diaspora: Special issue on the African Diaspora in China – Call for Papers

15 09 2009

Adams Bodomo
2009-09-10

This is a call for papers that address many issues involving all aspects of Africans in China: issues of history, society, culture, language, and Africa – China relations, among others. How are these Africans being influenced by their Chinese hosts and how do they in turn influence their hosts? How does their presence in China impact on trade between Africa and China and how do these Africans contribute to the economies of the countries they originate from? Is this new and emerging African diaspora different from other African diasporas? What theoretical and methodological insights does the study of these African migrants in China have on general theories of migration and diasporan studies?

The African Studies Program, University of Hong Kong is editing a special issue of the journal:

African Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Africa in a Global World (published by Brill: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=212&pid=26610)

This special issue is on the African Diaspora in China.

As an African resident in Hong Kong and China, and doing research work on this topic, I have witnessed a steady stream of visibility and interest in the African presence in China since 1997. With China’s entry into the WTO in December 2001, there has been a dramatic increase of Africans coming to China to buy goods for sale back home in Africa, and this has created a sudden and comprehensive presence of Africans in Guangzhou, which has been receiving a lot of coverage in daily news magazines on issues of immigration irregularities.

However, behind all these is a much more positive presence and impact of Africans in China, especially their robust though often little recognized contribution to the development of Africa – China relations.

It is necessary to do detailed and sustained in-depth on-site studies beyond some of the current rampant one-day journalistic coverage and fly-by academic writing to really come to a deeper, more reflective understanding of Africans in China. As we know, beyond the negative news coming out of Guangzhou, there are substantial numbers of Africans who are employed and engaged in both the formal and informal economies of China in major cities such as Hong Kong, Macau, Yiwu, Shanghai, and, of course, Beijing. What are these Africans doing in China? How are they received? And how does their presence contribute to a general understanding of larger issues about Africa-in-China and China-in-Africa?

I call for papers that address many issues involving all aspects of Africans in China: issues of history, society, culture, language, and Africa – China relations, among others. How are these Africans being influenced by their Chinese hosts and how do they in turn influence their hosts? How does their presence in China impact on trade between Africa and China and how do these Africans contribute to the economies of the countries they originate from? Is this new and emerging African diaspora different from other African diasporas? What theoretical and methodological insights does the study of these African migrants in China have on general theories of migration and diasporan studies?

These and many other issues can be covered in your contribution which must be limited to NOT more than 6000 words. We have space for only 6 to 8 articles, so no one, not even me the editor, is guaranteed a place. We all have to compete for a place, so please write as concisely as possible, present only original data/material and ensure that issues of literature review, methodologies, theories, among others are well-addressed.

We are working with a tight schedule. All papers must be received by January 2010 for internal review by me and a few colleagues. We will then select some and send to the editors of African Diaspora by May 2010. The editors say they will in turn send out papers for a rigorous peer review. Good luck to all of us!

To enable me to respond to the editors with a formal proposal, kindly send me a one-page write up of your intended contribution containing title of paper, name, address and affiliation, along with an abstract of no more than 500 words. This document should reach my editorial assistant, Ms Iris Yu, before 30th September at the following address:

Ms Iris Yu
Editorial Assistant
African Diaspora, Special Issue on Africans in China

African Studies Programme
School of Humanities
University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
irisss@hku.hk
Phone: +(852)22415148

I look forward to putting together a rich collection of articles that inform us about Africa’s newest diaspora.

Dr Adams Bodomo
Associate Professor of Linguistics and African Studies
University of Hong Kong


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