Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Mapping the New African Diaspora in China: Race and the Cultural Politics of Belonging

New Book by Shanshan Lan

19 May 2017

When one thinks of African diasporas, it is likely that their mind will automatically drift to locations such as Europe and America. But how much is known about the African diaspora in East Asia and, in particular, within China, where race is such a politically sensitive topic?

Based on multi-sited ethnographic research in China and Nigeria, Mapping the New African Diaspora in China explores a new wave of African migration to South China in the context of the expansion of Sino/African trade relations and the global circulation of racial knowledge.

Grassroots perspectives of China/Africa trade relations are foregrounded through the examination of daily interactions between Africans and rural-to-urban Chinese migrants in various informal trade spaces in Guangzhou. These Afro-Chinese encounters have the potential to not only help reveal the negotiated process of mutual racial learning, but also to subvert hegemonic discourses such as Sino/African friendship and white supremacy in subtle ways.

Lan demonstrates within this enlightening volume, the transformative power of such cross-cultural interactions is severely limited by language barrier, cultural differences, and the Chinese state’s stringent immigration control policies.

About the Author

Shanshan Lan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and a member of the Moving Matters research group. She received her Ph. D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She had worked as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University and Connecticut College in the United States. Before joining the University of Amsterdam, she was a Research Assistant Professor in the David Lam Institute for East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University.

Book Information

Publisher: Routeledge
Pages: 202
ISBN: 9781138673069
Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Published by  AISSR