Imageries of Mao Zedong’s China in Ghanaian newspapers, 1957-1976


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of Political Science


Though there has been significant academic interest in Africa-China encounters driven by China’s growing influence and presence on the continent, the dominant historiography continues to favour an Afro-centric approach that prioritises actors (both Chinese and African) and their actions ‘within’ Africa. The approach is generally silent on how Africans imagine China ‘outside’ of Africa. This research project explores a Chinese-centric narrative of China in Africa that constructs the imageries of China through Ghanaian newspapers’ reports between 1957 and 1976 (a period when Mao Zedong was China’s leader). The project is interested in the frames, language and cartoons, context, and sources of reports about China as a country in the newspapers. Data for the research project will be collected at the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) in Accra, the Ghana Parliament library, and the University of Ghana’s Balme and Institute of African Studies (IAS) libraries. Discourse and thematic analysis of the data will be conducted using NVIVO, a qualitative research software.