Mingwei Huang

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Dartmouth College

Grant number

Gr. 9948

Approve Date

October 24, 2019

Project Title

Huang, Mingwei (Dartmouth College) "Sino-African worlds: Race and Capitalism in the 21st Century"

In light of the PRC’s storied return to the African continent since 2000, ‘Sino-African Worlds: Remaking Race and Capitalism in the 21st Century’ explores the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of contemporary Chinese migration in Johannesburg, South Africa. Based on the analysis of media and cultural texts, in-depth interviews, and participant-observation, my project theorizes new configurations of power, capitalism, race, and world-making in the 21st ‘Chinese Century,’ while advancing the study of China-Africa engagements and racial capitalism within anthropology. It asks: how are Sino-African worlds constituted across disparate sites and scales of relation, and insofar as race shapes these worlds, how is race entangled with Chinese capital in South Africa? This study is sited in Chinatown and a ‘China Mall’ in Johannesburg, two connected microcosms of Sino-African worlds where Chinese and African actors live and work alongside each other. Transcontinental in scope, this project extends to villages in Fujian transformed by outmigration to Johannesburg and Yiwu’s famed markets where commodities begin their journey. Focusing on Sino-African encounters, I attend to interdependencies, inequalities, frictions, and attachments while breaking down the presumed boundedness of ‘China’ and ‘Africa,’ revealing their intimate connections at multiple scales.