Laboratoire d'Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains
Avenue Jeanne, 44
Université libre de Bruxelles
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 50 - CP 124
EU-funded Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Transnational Migrations (2019-2021) awarded by Université de Lille (France), Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai (Romania) and Universidad de Granada (Spain).
Working title: Crossing boundaries: everyday ethno-racial power dynamics in Sino-African intimate relationships in D. R. Congo
Drawing on multi-sited (online and onsite) ethnography, this research project explores the everyday ethno-racial power dynamics of Sino-Congolese couples living in D.R. Congo through the lens of critical race theory. It aims to use the interethnic intimate relationships as a primary site to understand the contextualised social construction of “race” in China-Africa spaces and examine how “Chineseness” and “Africanness” are constructed and challenged both in intimate spheres and in contemporary social life. Moving away from the White-Black binary in the Euro-American context, this project rejects “white logic” and “white methods” and calls for the new conceptualisation of reconfigured “race” and “racism” in a globalised world. On the one hand, using a queer and intersectional understanding of “race”, this project, including both heterosexual and homosexual couples, embodies the analytical triangulation between “race” and intersecting gender, social class and geopolitics in understanding the socially constructed “race” and its implications for partners from different racialised groups. On the other hand, from a postcolonial perspective, this project analyses Afro-Chinese “racialisation” processes in the triangulation between blackness, Chineseness and hegemonic yet invisible whiteness. Ultimately, it aims to highlight the mutual “racial learning” between partners and their agency to negotiate and challenge the ethno-racial boundaries within and beyond their union. This study will contribute to multiple emerging scholarships: a critical understanding of “race” and racialisation in non-Euro-American context, the unconventional cross-border marriage in/to Africa and the understudied gender and sexuality aspects of the Chinese diaspora in Africa. It will also serve as the springboard for future research to rethink postcolonial Congo and its tangled relations with the legacy of colonialism, its diaspora, its links with China and the West (especially with Belgium).
Keywords: Conjugal mixedness, “race”, racialisation, boundaries, ethno-racial power dynamics, China-Africa, D. R. Congo
Chen, C. (2022). Book review: Fresnoza-Flot, A., & Liu-Farrer, G. (Eds.). (2022). Tangled mobilities: Places, affects, and personhood across social spheres in Asian migration. Advances in Southeast Asian Studies, 15(2), 325-328. [Open Access]
03 February 2023 - “Negotiating sexuality and kinship: the multidirectional trajectories of Chinese gay students in France and their dilemma of 'return' or 'remain'", International Seminar "Chinese Educational Mobilities in Europe and Beyond" (WG5: Labour and Migration, China in Europe Research Network-CHERN) [Online]
09 February 2023 – “Between the ‘virtual’ and the ‘real’: benefits and challenges of using WeChat to research Chinese queer sojourners in France”, International Workshop "WeChat Ethnography: New Practices and Limits of an Emerging Research Method (Part-2)”, February 09-10, 2023, University of Geneva (Switzerland)
06 March 2023 – “La Chine oppressive versus la France libérale ? : mobilités des étudiants homosexuels d’origine chinoise en France”, Séminaire “Sexualités et genre dans le monde sinophone”, Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis (France)