Cultural and Social Anthropology
Title of PhD Project:On
Gendered Identities and Mobilities Between Senegal and China
Prof. Dr. Dorothea Schulz
After finishing my studies in Geography, Social and Cultural Anthropology
and African Studies at the University of Cologne (2013), I started a PhD in
Social and Cultural Anthropology and have been a scholarship holder at the
a.r.t.e.s. International Graduate School for the Humanities in Cologne. In
my dissertational project - provisionally entitled Longing to Become – On
Gendered Identities and Mobilities Between Senegal and China, supervised by
Prof. Dorothea Schulz - I focus on the transnational dimensions of
Senegalese female migrants’ socio-economic trajectories in the city of
Guangzhou. I am interested in how Senegalese migrants negotiate gender
roles in the context of their translocal migration. Besides my PhD, I work
as a trainer for intercultural skills for ESE e.V. (Ethnologie in Schule
und Erwachsenenbildung) in Münster.
During the last few years, the GSSC offered me various opportunities to exchange with scholars from different disciplines and different parts of the world. Sharing an office space with international colleagues and being able to share ideas, thoughts and experiences has been very enriching and allowed me to gain deeper insights into other projects and perspectives. Moreover, I was lucky to get a scholarship in the thematical network "Remapping the Global South - Teaching, Researching, Exchanging" which enabled me to conduct parts of my research in Guangzhou.
The project explores the translocal implications of Senegalese activities in Guangzhou and Senegal. Since the 1990s, in the wake of the intensification of Sino-African political and economic relations, African businessmen and -women have started to set up businesses and homesteads in the economic free trading zone of Guangzhou, mainland China. The resulting emergence of African diaspora communities in the area has become the subject of a growing number of academic publications from various disciplines. The dissertation sees to complement the preoccupation of these studies with male migrants by taking Senegalese women, their experiences and activities as a starting point and thus opting for a gender-sensitive approach. Taking into consideration different categories such as class, gender, age, nationality, and religious affiliation, the project explores how notions of masculinity and femininity are negotiated in the context of translocal mobilities between Senegal and China.