Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Asia Now Fall Lecture Series: The Fragmented Spectacle of Chinese Soft Power in Africa, September 27 at Pitt.

via Georgetown University.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center will host Dr. Maria Repnikova and her talk "The Fragmented Spectacle of Chinese Soft Power in Africa" on September 27 as part of the Asia Now Fall Lecture Series.
This lecture by Dr. Maria Repnikova, Georgia State University, presents the multifaceted story of China’s soft power campaigns in Africa, with a special focus on Ethiopia—one of China’s closest economic and political partners on the continent. Countering the claims of China’s authoritarian export, the analysis of China’s engagement with Ethiopian elites, youth and media audiences, showcases what I describe as a “fragmented spectacle” — a grand, but disjointed display of China’s prowess. In particular, China’s soft power appeal is rooted in generosity of scale or the large-scale access to its initiatives. And yet, when it comes to building relationships, it produces fragmented or contested Sino-African solidarities. The lecture will specifically highlight how performative, material and discursive solidarity works and the tensions that override these different Sino-African encounters. This talk, which draws on a larger book project, demonstrates that the idea of a moral competition is largely a product of the US insecurity about losing out to China, in what many US officials see as the last frontier, rather than an accurate depiction of Chinese activities in Africa.
The event runs from 4:30 to 5:45 at 211 Lawrence Hall (map) on the 27th. It is open to members of the university community who are following Pitt's COVID-19 safety guidelines. Registration is required.