'Brotherly strangers': Historicising and Disaggregating Kenya and Zambia's relations with China (1961-2000)
Supervisor: Miles Larmer
My doctoral thesis examines post-colonial Kenya and Zambia’s relations with China from ideological, political, economic and social perspectives, encompassing encounters between Kenyan, Zambian and Chinese states and people. China’s growing significance in Africa is a popular subject in the press and academia but hitherto little analysed from a historical dimension. Through the triangulation of the global Cold War, African history, and Chinese history, the study examines the entanglements, dependencies, and dynamics of China-Kenya/Zambia relations across a wide span of four decades, as well as how and why historical narratives on Chinese encounters with Kenyans/Zambians have been constructed. In doing so, it explains the on-going and development of these relationships and sheds light on the historical underpinnings – or lack of them – on contemporary China-Africa relations.
China-Africa relations, Kenya, Zambia, Cold War, socialism
DPhil History, Keble College, University of Oxford, since 2015
MSc African Studies, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, 2013-2014
BA hons. International Studies with French, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, 2009-2013
Selected Writings & Publications
“Historicising African socialisms: Kenya’s African socialism, Zambian Humanism, and Communist China’s entanglements”, International Journal of African Historical Studies, under review.
“‘Now the cry was Communism’: the Cold War and Kenya’s relations with China (1964-1970)”, Cold War History, under review.
‘Wahuriu Itote (General China)’, Key stage resources for GCSE course ‘Migration, Empires and the People’, Faculty of History, University of Oxford, September 2017.
“‘What Then Happened To Our Eden?’: The Long History of Lozi Secessionism, 1890–2013” [“那时我们的伊甸园发生了什么？”：洛齐分裂主义的漫长历史，1890-2013], translated and edited from Jack Hogan (2014), Oriental Historical Review [东方历史评论], forthcoming.
“Africa and Decolonisation workshop”, Global & Imperial History Research Seminar Hilary Term 2018, University of Oxford, February 2018
“Ambassador Jianhua Zhong with Yuzhou Sun: ‘China and Africa: A Diplomatic Perspective’, African Studies Seminar, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, October 2017
“Sino-African relations during the Cold War, with examples of Kenya and Zambia” [冷战时期中非关系：以肯尼亚与赞比亚为例], Department of History, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, June 2017
“Historicising African socialisms: Kenya’s African socialism, Zambian Humanism, and Communist China’s entanglements”, Georgetown University, D.C., March 2017
“Alternative Safari”: Ten snapshots of my trips to Zambia, Kenya and Namibia”, Hilary Postgraduate Research Seminars, China Centre, University of Oxford, January 2017
"Brotherly Strangers: Historicising the Chinese in Kenya and Zambia (1961-2000)", British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, August 2016
Selected Research & Conference Papers
“Historicising African socialisms: Kenya’s African socialism, Zambian Humanism, and Communist China’s entanglements”, African Studies Association of the UK biennial conference, Birmingham, September 2018
“Historicising African socialisms: Kenya’s African socialism, Zambian Humanism, and Communist China’s entanglements”, The Prelude to Decolonisation, Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Study, July 2018
"Vision of a Maoist Angola foreclosed: Viriato da Cruz and his exiled years in China', Association of African Studies in Germany biennial conference, Leipzig, June 2018
“How useful is African socialism in understanding China-Africa relations in the 1960s and 1970s?”, China-Africa in Global Comparative Perspectives, Brussels, June 2018
“‘Now the cry was Communism’: the Cold War and Kenya’s relations with China (1964-1970)”, LSE-GWU-UCSB Graduate Student Conference on the Cold War, London, May 2018
“‘History as destiny and history as knowledge’: Rethinking China-Africa relations and beyond”, Int'l Think Tanks Conference on BRICS, Xiamen, July 2017
“Maoism towards the independence of Angola: The early MPLA leader Viriato Da Cruz and his exiled years in China”, 58th Annual Meeting of African Studies Association U.S., San Diego, November 2015
I have taught FS23 ‘Imperialism and Nationalism: Sub-Saharan Africa, 1830-1980’ for history undergraduates and delivered a lecture on 'Africa and China' for MSc African Studies at Oxford.
Academic and Professional Experience
Co-convenor, ‘Studying Africa, Studying Anywhere: Area Studies for an Interconnected World’, Researching Africa Day 2017, University of Oxford, March 2017
Assistant Research Fellow, School of International Studies, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, 2014-2015
International Cooperation Intern, China Development Bank, Beijing Headquarters, 2014
Scholarships and Prizes
Beit Scholarship, University of Oxford, 2018-2019
China Scholarship Council-Oxford Scholarship, 2015-2018
Recent Graduate Award/UNNC Alumni of the Year, University of Nottingham, 2017
Beit Fund Travel Grant, Keble Association Travel Grant, Mavis Gibson Prize Fund, University of Oxford, 2015-2017
British Institute in Eastern Africa Small Thematic Research Grant, 2016
“Walk through Zambia: Experiencing the coexistence of Christianity and local belief system”[行走赞比亚：感受拜上帝和跳大神共存的精神信仰], China Radio International Africa [CRI行走非洲], Wechat Official Account, 1 November 2016.
“Watching the 2016 five-in-one Election of Zambia: The historical logic behind a political show” [围观2016年赞比亚五合一大选：一场政治表演背后的历史逻辑], Historical Research ［史学研究], Wechat Official Account, 5 September 2016.