History, imperial eyes and the ‘mutual gaze’

Narratives of African-Chinese encounters in recent literary works

Authored by: Ying Cheng

Routledge Handbook of African Literature

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN:
eBook ISBN: 9781315229546
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315229546-7

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Abstract

Relations between Africa and China have changed rapidly in the past decades and scholars, artists and writers are seeking new ways of conceptualising relations and encounters between Chinese and Africans both in Africa and China. Travel writing, novels, biographies, adaptations and online blogs have become important forums for representing these encounters and interactions. These texts have started to document and comment on the growing engagement between Africa and China, and have complicated discussions about ‘otherness’. This chapter explores the representation of African–Chinese encounters in contemporary literary works and analyses the ways in which ‘otherness’, difference and emerging identities have been represented, constituted and debated in African and Chinese literature.

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