MSUToday
Published: Jan. 18, 2018

MSU to host world’s largest research hub on China-Africa engagement

Contact(s): Jamie Monson African Studies Center office: (517) 884-2152 monsonj@msu.edu, Rachel Warner International Studies and Programs office: (517) 884-2134 rawarner@msu.edu

Michigan State University will host the world’s largest independent, interdisciplinary research network dedicated to China-Africa engagement.

After being housed at the Social Science Research Council for the last four years, the China-Africa Knowledge Project Resource Hub will be maintained and further developed by MATRIX, the Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at MSU, which is devoted to the application of new technologies for teaching, research and outreach.

With more than 1,000 members, the network’s efforts to expand its reach and impact will continue at its new base, where it will strive to engage more researchers and institutions.

“Intellectual field building and capacity building are fundamental to our mission,” said SSRC President Alondra Nelson. “The transfer of this important collection of research resources to MSU, where it can be more readily accessed by the wider scholarly community, is a reflection of this mission. I am especially pleased that this development deepens our partnership with MSU, which is a member of the SSRC’s College and University Fund.”

As the digital platform for the SSRC’s China-Africa project, the resource hub builds generative connections between scholars across disciplines and regions by including syllabi, recent profiles, reports and think pieces, recommended reading lists and other opportunities for growing research on Chinese-African engagement.

Since 2013, with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation and in collaboration with the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network, the SSRC’s China-Africa Knowledge Project has maintained an expansive resource for researchers and practitioners working in this area.

“Our primary goal with the China-Africa Knowledge Project at the council has been to organize a growing but fragmented body of knowledge and connect it to important trends in the social sciences relevant for understanding China and Africa’s new international relationship specifically, and global transformations underway more generally,” said Tatiana Carayannis, who has led the China-Africa Knowledge Project in her position as program director at the SSRC.

The SSRC will continue to collaborate with the team at MSU, led by Jamie Monson, director of MSU’s African Studies Center and member of the SSRC’s China-Africa Working Group, and Siddharth Chandra, director of the MSU Asian Studies Center, to strengthen emerging transregional communities of research and practice.

“MSU is a leader in innovating approaches to cross-continent research and collaboration and this dynamic platform will help us further integrate and connect area studies in new and exciting ways,” Monson said.

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