Abstract

As African communities start to assert a more visible presence in Chinese cities and vice versa, highly racialized discourses have appeared online with regards to a new Yellow Peril in Africa and correspondingly, an unprecedented Black Peril in China. On one hand, such malicious sentiments manifest in unofficial realms that stand in stark contrast with the official rhetoric of South–South Cooperation championed by the Chinese and African states. On the other hand, cultural production, especially fictional narratives, has emerged as another unofficial realm that seeks to humanize China–Africa relations from different angles. This article focuses on Mukuka Chipanta's A Casualty of Power, a novel with a unique focus on Chinese involvement in Zambia's mining industry. Based on contemporary incidents of interracial conflicts between African mine workers and their Chinese supervisors, the novel offers a multiplicity of critical perspectives and background stories concerning the role of Chinese migrants in Zambian society. Engaging China–Africa cultural production with the conceptual framework of the Global South, I point out the novel's achievements as well as limits in its humanization efforts and argue that these limits demonstrate the need to break away from narrow definitions of “the Global South Novel” determined by value positions.

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