Congratulations to Dr. Gaoheng Zhang, Associate Professor of Italian, for receiving a UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowship from the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Fund for Advanced Studies, and a Jean Monnet Fellowship based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute, to assist with his book project tentatively titled “Scrambles for East Africa: Public Perceptions and Cultural Debates between China, Western Europe, and East Africa”.
About the book project:
The Belt and Road Initiative is China’s most ambitious development strategy and governance project. While the empirical details of technological and economic change can be documented in other kinds of sources, the media becomes a nexus for the jockeying for global significance and reputation, especially through covering issues related to economic development and environment. Deploying theoretical tools from mobilities and postcolonial studies, the study dissects case studies from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, and Tanzania in order to shape an argument about the Chinese media’s intersection of commercial, capital, workforce, knowledge, and media mobilities and about the Italian, French, and British media’s focus on various aspects of mal d’Afrique, including neocolonialism, environmental degradation, and labour exploitation.