International Migrants in China: Infrastructures, trajectories and positionalities

Panel Proposal for the 2017 AAA Meeting: International migrants in China: “Infrastructures, trajectories and positionalities”.

Please consider submitting a paper for this panel on international migrants China and forward this call to others who might be interested.


  • November 29 – December 3, 2017


  •  Washington DC


  • Ka-Kin Cheuk (Leiden University)
  • Aldina Camenisch (University of Basel)

This panel explores the increasingly numerous and diverse international migration to China through the combined lens of infrastructure, trajectory, and positionalities. Drawing on ethnographic studies of several foreign migrant groups, the panel seeks to trace the intersecting forces shaping the migration trajectories and positionalities of foreigners in China.

Hereby, the panel unpacks 1) how they imagine, create and encounter opportunities and negotiate their position as international migrants in China, and 2) how these efforts are configured and mediated by an array of structural factors at work both in China and the sending countries; these forces can be understood as the « migration infrastructure » that takes on various forms and can lead to rather surprising consequences of migration (Xiang and Lingquist).

The panel looks at several frontiers of such migration infrastructure, including everyday local-global encounters, cross-border mobilities, grassroots entrepreneurship and international trade practices. Analyzing migrants, lifeworlds and the global change at the same time, our panel aims to capture the emerging dynamics and diversity of international migration to China.


American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting Call for Papers webpage

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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