Africans in China Chinese in Africa Conferences

[CFP] CAAC2021: Precarious Futures?: Geopolitics, Mobility and Materiality

6th Chinese in Africa / Africans in China Research Network ConferenceLingnan University Hong KongHong Kong, Hong Kong, July 8-10, 2021

Submission link:

Note: This is a reopened CFP. Accepted participants for the postponed 2020 conference will have to resubmit their paper proposals to confirm their participation in the 2021 event. A reopened CFP allows for accepted participants to update their proposals (if they wish to do that). Accepted participants for the 2020 event will be automatically accepted even if they update/modify the topic of their proposal. 

By reopening the CFP we also hope that researchers who did not submit papers during the 2020 CFP will do so now.

Please see below for important dates re confirmation, updated abstracts, and registration. 

CAAC 2021 in Hong Kong

Hosted by the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, the 6th “Conference of the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network” will bring together scholars from all over the world to engage with the past, present and, perhaps more importantly, the future of China-Africa relations. ​​

​​Uncertainty about a future defined by serious environmental, geopolitical, health and financial crises is the condition that characterises the contemporary moment. The main theme of the conference, “Precarious Futures?: Geopolitics, Mobility and Materiality” aims to address the complex times we live in through the analysis of various aspects of China-Africa relations. The conference will take place from July 8 to 10, 2021 in Hong Kong, a unique city that offers a vibrant cultural and political backdrop and that lies at the crossroads of contemporary geopolitical struggles.  ​​

​​Over the last decade, the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network has contributed to move the global conversation about China-Africa forward in a critical and constructive way while developing a transnational community of scholars and practitioners who value dialogue, equity, and inclusiveness. The network has been crucial at facilitating intellectual exchanges, promoting academic research, and sharing information about engagements between China and the African continent and how this has been impacting geopolitics at a global scale. The conference is held every other year in different parts of the world. Previous conferences have taken place in 2018 Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), 2016 University of Nairobi (Kenya), 2014 Jinan University (China).​​

​​We hope that the 2021 conference will bring scholars into inter- and cross-disciplinary and institutional dialogues through conference presentations, film screenings, artist workshops, book launches and roundtables. Building also on existing research at Lingnan University, this event will contribute to the development of opportunities for networking and future research collaborations. Our goal is to provide a platform to promote the exchange of knowledge, research outputs and experiences, and encourage the creation of further links among scholars and practitioners.​​

We welcome contributions from PhD students and early career scholars. We particularly welcome participation from the African continent. The Organising Committee will offer a small number of grants to assist participants from under-represented regions with travel, accommodation and/or registration expenses. You may apply for the fund by sending an email with the subject line “CAAC Assistance Fund” directly at, after receiving the conditional letter of acceptance.

Conference format: Hybrid, with face-to-face sessions (conditions permitting) and online broadcasting. Socially distanced and hybrid plenary presentations will take place at Lingnan University of Hong Kong. 

​​Spread the news!​​ Please share this message with your colleagues and friends – we look forward to your participation!

Abstract submission: 15 Feb 2021

Acceptance confirmation (only for new participants): 1 March 2021

​​Registration opens: 1 March 2021

​​Early-bird registration deadline: 30 March 2021   


Submission Guidelines

How to apply?: Panels and Papers

Submission of individual paper proposals or pre-organised session proposals for a full panel are welcome. Please note:

Session duration: 90 minutes

Minimum number of presentations per session: 3

Presentation duration: Not exceeding 20 minutes per paper

Session format: Usually presentation of individual papers followed by discussion and Q&A. Other session formats may be proposed.

1) Updated individual paper proposals (15 February 2021 deadline)

Proposals must be submitted through our dedicated online platform (pls send updated individual paper proposals).

The following information is required:

  • name of author,
  • e-mail address,
  • name of associated institution; and
  • paper abstract of 350 words maximum.

2) Pre-organised sessions (even if there are NO modifications to your panels, pls (re)submit by 15 February 2021)

The conference welcomes full session proposals that include a chair, three paper presenters and discussants (if desired). Session proposals may also contain four papers but must adjust the presentation time to fit within a 90-minute session.

Pre-organised panels/sessions may also be proposed. Proposals must also be submitted through our online platform ( Only the corresponding author will need to create an account and should submit all details for all authors as follows:

The following information is required:

  • name of all author/presenters,
  • e-mail address of all author/presenters,
  • name of associated institution for all author/presenters,
  • session title in the “title” field; and
  • a list of at least three presenters, paper titles, and abstracts in the order they should appear in the program (maximum total word count 800).

Acceptance (1 March 2021)

The Organising Committee will issue a conditional acceptance of proposed individual papers and sessions by e-mail to the corresponding author. Upon completion of registration, the committee will issue a formal acceptance letter to registered participants and list it as “Confirmed” on the conference website.

All presenters (including all session organisers and participants) must be registered for the conference. An individual paper or session is considered “Proposed” rather than “Confirmed” if all its participants have not completed registration. The status of “Proposed” sessions or papers will be updated to “Confirmed” once all registration is completed. In cases where not all participants register, the Organising Committee may make arrangements to reorganise a session with other registered participants and may change the title of the session if necessary. If, for any reason, a Session Organiser is unable to follow through on the commitment of Organising a session, the Session Organiser should contact the Organising Committee immediately.

List of Topics

The conference is open to all topics relevant to Chinese Africa relations. Here are some suggested topics as food for thought, drawing on general themes in China Africa related research. However, all contemporary research is welcome at this conference: 

  • Everything related to Covid-19
  • Diversity, culture, governance
  • Borders and mobilities
  • Media and communication
  • Gender, sexuality, race and class in the Sino-African encounter
  • Digital technologies and infrastructure
  • Culture, gender and sexuality
  • Globalisation and culture
  • Migration/Mobilities
  • Public culture and cultural policy
  • Race and racism
  • Screen and media culture
  • Labour
  • Health
  • Infrastructure and connectivity
  • Urbanisation
  • Land-use
  • Environment
  • Waste and pollution
  • Innovation and technology transfer
  • Criminal network activities
  • Film and literature
  • Individual and collective local responses
  • Comparative historical approaches
  • Foreign policy and International Relations
  • African integration, regional integration
  • New political economic systems
  • Governing the Global South


All questions about submissions should be emailed to For further information about registration, accommodation, and travel visit:

Participants will be expected to cover their own transport and accommodation costs in Hong Kong. Lingnan University will provide on-campus hostel accommodation at affordable rates. More information on this will be published on

Organising Committee: Roberto Castillo (Lingnan University), Hairong Yan (PolyU), Barry Sautman (HKUST), Facil Tesfaye (HKU), Tu Huynh (Jinan University), Padmore Amoah (Lingnan University).  

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