Convergences and Divergences: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Media and Communications in Africa-China Engagement

Tu Huynh's picture
Call for Papers
February 15, 2016
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Chinese History / Studies, Communication, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Race Studies

The 4th Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Conference, Nairobi, 18-20 August 2016

The fourth conference convened by the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China (CA/AC) Research Network will take place in Nairobi, Kenya on 18-20 August 2016. The event will be co-hosted with the Aga Khan University at their School of Media and Communications (Westlands) campus. Other event partners include: Fahamu, China House, the Sino Africa Centre for Excellence (SACE) Foundation, The Nation Media Group, African Media Initiative, the Wits China-Africa Reporting Project, the African Studies Center at Michigan State University, and the School of International Studies/Academy of Overseas Chinese Studies at Jinan University.

The aim of the CA/AC conference is to bring together a small group of scholars who have been engaged in  empirical research and whose work focuses on the people-related aspects of China-Africa engagements from across the world. This year the conference also has a special focus on media, communications, and related issues of representation, perception and images. This is meant to be a working conference for participants to share knowledge, receive constructive comments to further develop their research, and connect with one another in an intimate setting.

In addition to the working conference, the Aga Khan University will be hosting a symposium on “Getting Heard” in order to bring together scholars and media practitioners, and a public seminar on the two days preceding the conference.

The list of panels is now ready and can be found below. The panels fall into several broader thematic areas:

A. Race, Perception, Culture, and Representation

B. Media Practices and Practitioners in China-Africa Engagement

C. Politics, Public Policy, and Diplomacy

In addition to the panels listed below, early career scholars are encouraged to present their work in progress;  these papers will receive careful reading and feedback from a panel of senior scholars. We hope to contribute to capacity building and informal mentoring for those who desire the guidance of senior scholars in the field. Depending on the number of abstracts received we will organize 1-2 panels especially for this purpose. These papers can focus on any aspect of Africa China relations and need not be focused specifically on media & communications.

We invite scholars to submit paper abstracts that will fit into these panels; please ensure that you specify the panel that best accommodates your paper topic. Paper proposals (abstracts) are due no later than 15 February 2016. Please email the conference organizersa at for the submission form.

The conference organizing committee will select the papers for the conference in consultation with the panel chairs. Each panel can accommodate at least three but no more than four papers; if a panel does not receive at least three papers, we reserve the right to cancel said panel. Feel free to contact the chairs queries about specific panels. For all other questions, please contact the conference organizers at  Notifications will be sent out by Friday 4 March. Those whose abstracts have been accepted will be expected to submit full draft papers to the panel chairs by 1 August 2016.

Practical information: 

There is a registration fee for conference attendance this year. The registration fee is US$120; PhD students and  those who can demonstrate need will pay a reduced fee of US$60. Attendance of those not participating directly  in the conference will limited and determined on a case-by-case basis; anyone wishing to attend the conference and not presenting a paper will be asked to pay the full registration fee. Registration fees will go toward covering costs of tea/coffee, lunches, and materials. We regret that we cannot cover accommodation or travel costs. Information about accommodation as well as evening and side activities will be forthcoming. Participants will be responsible for their own travel arrangements, hotel bookings, airport transfers and visas. Further details regarding payment, accommodation, transfers, and side events will be sent to those whose papers are accepted in the coming months.

The local host will issue letters of invitation to all participants for the purpose of applying for a visa; please check with your Kenyan embassy to find out with you will require a visa for travel from your country and apply for these in a timely fashion.

Important dates:

Paper Abstracts Due: 15 February 2016

Notification of Participation: 4 March 2016

Draft Papers Due: 1 August 2016

Symposium & Public Seminar: 17-18 August 2016

Conference dates: 18-20 August 2016

Contact Info: 

Submitted by Tu Huynh on behalf of the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Conference Organizing Committee