Thursday, October 18, 2012
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
2315 N. Kenmore Ave., Room 410
Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public
Group: Program of African Studies
Category: Lectures & Meetings
Red Lion Lecture:
Chinese in Africa, African Responses
Yoon Jung Park, PhD
DePaul University, Arts and Letters Hall, 2315 Kenmore Avenue, Room 410
Cosponsored with the University of Chicago's African Studies Workshop (ASW)
Thanks to the Center for Black Diaspora at DePaul University for the space.
Abstract: Recent headlines from Africa would lead readers to believe that Africa has a huge problem with Chinese workers, traders and criminals. Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Angola have recently featured in articles covering incidents involving Chinese in their midst. Based on both quantitative and qualitative research in southern Africa carried out over several years, Dr Park argues, however, that African responses to Chinese migrants are wide-ranging, varying from country to country (and even within countries) and change rapidly in response to local circumstances. African perceptions of and responses to Chinese migrants must be seen as socially embedded and historically rooted. She illustrates some of the different responses with stories of encounters from Lesotho, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
Bio: Dr. Yoon Jung Park is currently a freelance researcher. She has affiliations with the Sociology Department at Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa) and the African Studies Department at Howard University (Washington, DC). She also serves as the convener/coordinator of the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China (CA/AC) Research Network, an international network of scholars, researchers, graduate students, journalists, filmmakers and practitioners, which she helped to establish in 2007.
Widely considered an expert on Chinese in South Africa and Chinese migration in Africa, Dr Park is currently working on a new book on Chinese migrants in Africa for ZED books. She is the author of A Matter of Honour. Being Chinese in South Africa (Jacana/Lexington Books) and dozens of articles and book chapters in scholarly publications including Les Temps Modernes, African Studies, African & Asian Studies, Transformation, and the Journal of Chinese Overseas. Her current research interests include Chinese in southern Africa and perceptions of Chinese by local communities; migration; race, ethnicity and identity; race, class and power dynamics; affirmative action and Chinese South Africans; and xenophobia.
She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand (or Wits, in South Africa); she holds an MA in International Relations from The Fletcher School (Tufts University); and a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Pitzer College. Home, for her, is multiply-sited: She was born in Seoul, Korea; grew up in Los Angeles, California; and has lived in Cuernavaca (Mexico), San Jose (Costa Rica), Boston, Washington, DC, Johannesburg and Nairobi. She returned with her husband and 10 ½ year old daughter to the DC area in August 2010 after nearly 17 years in Africa.