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Labor, Displacement, and Minority Experiences in Contemporary China


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Far from a monolithic population, the contemporary People’s Republic of China is host to a vast array of ethnic and linguistic minority cultures. Minority groups are found in China’s borderlands and recognized autonomous ethnic regions, but also in the factories, fields, mines, and other workplaces that symbolize China’s recent economic boom. This economic expansion is intertwined with migration: both internally within China’s borders, and drawing migrants from the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. According to official statistics, there were more than 245 million internal migrants in 2017, with thousands of foreign-born migrants now working in China as well. Few Americans are aware of the minority experiences embedded within China’s economic and political rise. This panel presentation brings together emerging scholars from a variety of disciplines who focus on migrant and minority groups in China. The panel will help students, faculty, and community at the University of Kentucky become aware of the underlying stories of diaspora and migration beneath the surface of modern China.