Will China Ever Have Its Own Barack Obama? Some Reflections on the African and Arab Diaspora in Guangzhou Faculty of Arts
Speaker: Prof. Gordon Mathews (Department of Anthropology)
Date: 17 April 2015 (Fri)
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: G24, Arts and Humanities Hub, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK
Language: English
Abstract: Guangzhou is today the most multi-cultural city in China, not least because of its large African and Arab populations. Unlike most Europeans and Japanese, some Arabs and Africans seek to stay in the city and make it their home, marrying Chinese and having children. But can they ever fully accepted, not as foreigners but as legitimate residents of China? In this talk, based on research conducted along with Lin Dan and Yang Yang in 2012-2014, the speaker explored the relations between these Africans and Arabs and the Chinese residents of Guangzhou, looked at such areas as legal/illegal residence status, low-end globalization in its Guangzhou manifestations, business relations and trust between Africans/Arabs and Chinese, romantic relations between Africans/Arabs and Chinese, and religious belief and its complications. The speaker did not answer the rhetorical question of the title, but he offered arguments for and against the prospect of a multicultural and global future China.


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