Chinese Studies Public Lecture

April 16, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Mānoa Campus, Tokioka Room (Moore Hall 319) Add to Calendar

“Rethinking Han Colonialization: Contemporary Transformation of Akha Communities in Southwest China”

Kang Xiaofeng, UHM Geography

Since after 2008, violent attacks by ethnic minorities on Han civilians intensified rapidly in China. The tragedies were commonly interpreted as resistance toward Han Chinese colonization of the vast resource-rich areas, which are home to ethnic minorities, who are commonly religiously different from the Han, the majority Chinese. This paper argues that the Han-minority divide approach conceals the diversities of the ethnic minorities and the power dynamics among themselves, resulting in oversimplifying the complexities of the conflicts. A multi-ethnic framework is needed to rethink the ethnic relations in China: why is there the wide differentiation among the ethnic groups responding to the state incorporation? A case study of the transformation of Akha communities in Southwest China highlighted the significance of the multi-ethnic settlement characteristic in understanding the active state incorporation of some of the ethnic minorities in contemporary China.

Xiaofeng Kang is PhD candidate in Geography at UH Manoa. He received his undergraduate and master's degree in geography from Yunnan University in Kunming, China. He worked as a research assistant at the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Science before he beginning his doctoral studies.

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Center for Chinese Studies and Confucius Institute at UHM, Mānoa Campus

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