Global African studies and locating China
This chapter explores China–Africa studies from the perspective of the author’s career, how it has evolved to date, and might evolve in the future. It considers the question: If scholars today were to ask a major foundation to fund a new fifteen-year global research initiative on Africa and China, what would it look like, and why? In part, African scholars, including those in the global African diaspora, and African universities would be central to any such future initiative. Epistemology would be a core primary starting point of inquiry for such a program. The history, current and future iterations of Area Studies would be a critical element in moving forward to post–Area Studies scholarship. This would go much further than merely reformulating Area Studies into a transregional framework. African Studies has the potential to become an Africa-led field that is truly global – indeed it can only become truly global – through the collaboration of interdisciplinary and global partners. Not only are new paradigms for the study of global Africa needed, but also new institutional models that are collaborative and consortial across national and regional boundaries.