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Africa, China, and Globalization

Semester and Year SP 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1952
Section 001
Instructor Duncan Yoon
Days T
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   GLOBAL


Offered previously as FIRST-UG 106. Students who have taken FIRST-UG 106 should not register for IDSEM-UG 1952—the course is not repeatable.


China’s controversial investment in Africa has caused reactions ranging from accusations of a “new colonialism” to celebrations of a collaborative “win-win” for development. Furthermore, immigration both by Africans to China and Chinese to Africa signals a fundamental shift in global power dynamics and an opening of a new era of multi-polar globalization after America’s dominance post-Cold War. Through an analysis of journalistic and historical accounts, literature, economics, art, film and blogs, this seminar will explore the multi-faceted nature of Africa and China relations. We will ask what are the connections between Cold War history and the contemporary moment? How do different African actors at state and individual levels engage with the Chinese presence? And finally, how does this shift to multi-polarity impact theories of globalization? Readings can range from diplomatic histories like O. Arne Westad’s  The Global Cold War , and studies in globalization like Giovanni Arrighi’s  Adam Smith in Beijing , to novels including In Koli Jean Bofane’s  Congo Inc.  and Kwei Quartey’s  Gold of Our Fathers.  We will read studies on immigration like Ufrieda Ho’s memoir,  Paper Sons and Daughters , Adams Bodomo’s  Africans in China  and Howard French’s  China’s Second Continent . In terms of media we will examine films such as  Cold Harbour , the documentary,  When China Met Africa , as well as paintings by Michael Soi,  China Loves Africa , photographs by Li Dong,  Baohan Street , and the blogs,  The Mind of a African-Chinese Guy,  and  Africans in China .

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)