Africa-China Conference 2017: Infrastructure, Resource Extraction, and Environmental Sustainability

Africa-China Africa-China
Focusing on sustainability, infrastructural development, cultural practices, resource extraction, and new media usage, this conference provides a space for leading scholars across all disciplines to explore the social and environmental realities of Chinese engagement in Africa. The conference will explore China-Africa issues using interdisciplinary approaches to notions of nature, power, infrastructure, ownership, and belonging.

This conference will bring together leading scholars and practitioners to examine the political, economic, environmental, and cultural implications of 21st century China-Africa relations, and to share their research and expertise with the wider academic community. The conference will take place from Thursday, April 6th and Friday, April 7th, 2017.Free and open to the public. Please share widely and excuse cross-postings.

Thursday, April 6
Hatcher Graduate Library, First Floor Gallery

8:30 - 9:00 am
Opening Remarks
Judith Irvine, University of Michigan

9:00 - 10:30 am
Panel 1: Natural Resources and Environment
Panel Chair/Moderator: Damani Partridge, University of Michigan
• Seifudein Adem, Binghamton University: Shifting Focus in Sino-African Relations- Agriculture
• Buddy Buruku, African Center for Economic Transformation: China’s Role in Africa’s Natural Resource Extraction
• Katie Browne & Dannan Hodge, University of Michigan: Chinese Logging in Central Africa: Perspectives from Gabon and China

10:30 - 10:45 am: Break

10:45 am - 12:45 pm
Panel 2: Energy, Infrastructure and Markets
Panel Chair/Moderator: Adam Ashforth, University of Michigan
• May Tan-Mullins, University of Nottingham, Ningbo China: The Political Ideology of Rising China: Case Study of Chinese Hydropower Dams in Africa and Asia
• Omolade Adunbi, University of Michigan: Infrastructure, Oil and Special Economic Zones in Nigeria
• Bilal Butt, University of Michigan: Spaces of (In)Security and Development at the Frontier: A Case of the LAPSSET Project and Lamu Port

12:45 - 1:45 pm: Break

2:00 - 3:45 pm
Panel 3: Techno-Politics and Spaces of Engagement
Panel Chair/Moderator: Joyojeet Pal, University of Michigan School of Information
• Jamie Monson, Michigan State University: The Techno-politics of Transport Development in the 1960s and 1970s in China and Africa
• Helen Siu, Yale University: Financing China’s Engagement in Africa: New State Spaces Along a Variegrated Landscape
• Anita Plummer, Howard University: Kenya and China’s Labor Relations: Development for whom? By whom?

3:45 - 4:00 pm: Break

4:00 - 5:00 pm
Film Screening & Discussion
Melissa Lefkowitz, New York University: China Remix

Friday, April 7
Michigan League, Henderson Room (Third Floor)

8:30 - 10:00 am
Panel 4: Trade, Investment, and Public Perception
Panel Chair/Moderator: Laura Beny, University of Michigan Law School
• Yuen Yuen Ang, University of Michigan: Building Markets with Weak Institutions: The Cases of China and Nigeria
• Li Jie, Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone, Nigeria: Special Economic Zones in Africa: The Case of Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone
• Harry Broadman, Johns Hopkins University: Impact of China’s “New” Structural Challenges on Prospective Outbound Investment
• Ashley Fox, University at Albany SUNY: With Friends Like These…Public Perceptions of China’s Role in Africa: Evidence from Opinion Surveys

10:00 - 10:15 am: Break

10:15 am - 12:15 pm
Panel 5: Textile, Finance and New Trends in Infrastructure and Development Practices
Panel Chair/Moderator: Howard Stein, University of Michigan
• Nina Sylvanus, Northeastern University: Moving Chinese Goods: Container Logistics and Maritime Finance in Togo
• Howard French, Columbia University School of Journalism: Why Africa? How China’s Engagement with the Continent Has Driven Reform of its Economy and Shaped Globalization
• Elisha Renne, University of Michigan: United Nigeria Textiles Ltd and Chinese-Nigerian Textile Manufacturing Collaboration

12:15 - 1:30 pm: Break

1:30 - 3:30 pm
Panel 6: Race, Media, and Cultural Encounters
Panel Chair/Moderator: Mike McGovern, University of Michigan
• Melissa Lefkowitz, New York University: Chinese Media, Kenyan Lives: An Ethnographic Inquiry into CCTV Africa’s Head Offices
• Marie Helene Koffi-Tessio, Hobart and William Smith Colleges: Afro-Asian Encounters in Film
• Amanda Kaminsky, University of Michigan: Chinese Wildlife Tourism in Kenya
• Huamei Han, Simon Fraser University: “Small Racism” vs. “Severe Big Racism”: Middle-class Africans Making Sense of and Living with “Small Racism” in China

3:30 - 3:45 pm: Break

3:45 - 4:45 pm: Confucius Institute Music Performance

4:45 - 5:00 pm: Closing Remarks
Sandra Gunning, University of Michigan
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