African Students and Chinese Soft Power: A View from Beijing’s Universities

  • Erika Siao, Geography
    Coach House, Green College, UBC

    Monday, May 6, 8-9pm
    in the series
    Green College Resident Members' Series
  • How has Chinese soft power manifested in spaces of Africa-China educational cooperation, and to what extent has it been successful? In this talk, Erika will discuss her BA honors thesis which addresses this question through in-depth interviews, ethnographic observations and supplementary reports. First, she examines the concept of Chinese soft power as a combination of cultural and market logic, and how African student entrepreneurs have blurred the two through becoming cultural and economic bridges between China and their home countries. Then, she analyzes the Chinese state’s narratives on development as another channel for soft power, and how the perception of an “alternative model” is received and acted upon by African students. Lastly, she sheds light on African students’ experience of “the global” in Beijing as a consequence of China’s soft power efforts, as well as integration barriers faced by the communities they have built.

    Erika Siao (she/they) is a queer, multiracial settler and MA student at UBC Geography. Having grown up across the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Beijing, they are a walking body of cultural influences that don't seem to make sense together. With a background in community organizing, their current research centers on community-based responses to climate change and queer conceptions of climate justice. Her other interests include long conversations, large bodies of water, writing creative non-fiction and the sun.

  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.

May 6th, 2024 from  8:00 PM to  9:00 PM
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