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Sun, Jun 16, 2024

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Year of Global Africa: Eye on Africa - Tara Mock,  (Academic)

"Manufacturing Sameness:  Continuities and Expansions of Community Identity in Afro-Chinese Relations."

Tara Mock is a fifth year doctoral candidate in African American and African Studies at Michigan State University. Her dissertation, entitled "Manufacturing Sameness: Continuities and Expansions of Community Identity in Afro-Chinese Relations," explores cultural identity and community formation through the lens of Chinese nation branding in Africa. The project questions whether Africa's incorporation into Chinese cosmology encourages expansion of community identity beyond sanguine and geographical boundaries to include the "Global South" née Chinese. Prior to MSU, Tara received a MALD in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and studied international business at the HEC School of Management in Jouy-en-Josas, France. Her areas of research interest include Afro-Chinese relations, cultural political economy and globalization in Africa.

The talk will present an overview of the scholar's research project which examines the constitutive role of Chinese nation branding in the interconnected materialities of culture, economics and politics within Afro-Chinese relations. The project questions how people in Kenya, South Africa and the Gambia receive and reconstitute notions of 'community', 'self' and 'other' constructed through Chinese nation branding in Africa and how such constructions are diffused through one-on-one interaction.

Location: 201 International Center
Contact: Ann Biersteker