Sinafricology: A Paradigm Shift from African Studies to Chinese Africology/Africanology in Chinese Academia



Study Focus: The present article advocates an “Afrocentric study of Africa” in Chinese academia, examines the concepts of “Afrocentricity”, “Africology”, “Africanology” and finally proposes “Sinafricology” as a new the terminology expressing a Paradigm shift from the existing traditional African Studies to a sort of Chinese Africology/Africanology that should be promoted in Chinese Academia.

Methodology: The content of this paper relies primarily on written documents (including books, scientific journals, articles, and official reports) most of which are available online as well as on the author’s teaching experience in Chinese and African Universities.


1) The hundred years’ narrow and inert framework of “Sino-Western duality thinking” instilled into the Chinese scholarship circles by the Western ideological imperialism of the 19th and 20th centuries have somehow overshadowed African Studies in the today’s Chinese Academia.

2) With “Afrocentricity” as a theoretical foundation, “Africology” & “Africanology” reflect the historical specificities and cultural responses of Africans from Mainland and Diasporas with regards to the universal cultural imperialism that Africa throughout history has been confronted with.

3) An “Afrocentric study of Africa” in Chinese academia is a must. For, they will be no deep understanding of the “Africana phenomena” by the Chinese scholarship without the thorough exploration of the central concepts of “Afrocentricity”, “Africology”, and “Africanology”.

4) “Sinafricology” as a sort of Chinese “Africology”/“Africanology”, reflects a new horizon of African Studies in Chinese Academia with Africans as subjects rather than objects, while embracing the Chinese characteristics of modern academia. “Sinafricology” can achieve its goals through a 5-layers’ approach, namely the Theoretical, Methodological, Content Knowledge, Institutional and Governmental layers.

Conclusion & Suggestions:

Based on the aforementioned findings, this article holds that an “Afrocentric study of Africa” is of an urgent need for the domestic development of contemporary Chinese social sciences. The mainstream ideologies of Africanists of African origin should be the core lenses through which any in-depth study of Africa should be undertaken. Therefore, a Paradigm Shift from African Studies to Chinese Africology/Africanology or “Sinafricology” in Chinese Academia is strongly suggested, “Sinafricology” will aim at providing its learners with an Afrocentric approach of the African reality while embracing the Chinese characteristics of modern academia.

Keywords: Afrocentricity, Africology, “Africanology”, “Sinafricology”, Chinese Academia

DOI: 10.7176/JEP/11-9-02

Publication date:March 31st 2020

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