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Adetoro Olaniyi Banwo, Doctoral Research Student (Chinese History) at Xiamen University
How long have you been a member of AAS?
I have been a member since the beginning of 2015 and I have been fascinated, intrigued and excited with the opportunity of interacting other Asian Studies scholars.
Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues?
AAS affords me the opportunity to become more integrated and submerged with the Asian research community. I am able to get up to date information on research and career building opportunities within the Asian region.
How did you first become involved in Asian Studies?
My first contact with Asian studies came through the Confucius Institute at the University of Lagos where studies about Confucius, his thoughts and philosophy especially on humanity stirred up a desire which plunged me into further study and research.
What do you enjoy most or what have been your most rewarding experiences involving your work in Asian Studies?
AAS also affords me the opportunity to access the platform’s rich and unique academic base which has helped to enhance my knowledge and research work. I became formally incorporated with AAS through one of its numerous calls of Conferences and General Meetings. It was indeed a resourceful platform that offered a diverse and inclusive theme of events that encompasses concepts that suit my goal in the Asian region.
Tell us about your current or past research.
My current research delves into areas of understanding Chinese history and culture with a purpose of grasping how people’s perception can influence their behavior and interaction. The research is limited to the historical Qing dynasty and the early republican period, the purpose of choosing these periods emanates from the incursion of the West and the rest of the world into the Middle kingdom. This period offers the greatest exposure the Middle kingdom had with the world. My research here tends to examine the first and major interactions of the Middle kingdom and Africa, it examines the unique interaction they had in form of trade and vassal entities. Furthermore, my research work tends to examine the early Chinese perceptions that were formed about Africa which today has affected the behavior and attitudes of the Chinese towards Africans. It examines the roles of the “Kunlun Slaves”, the Chinese migrant workers in South Africa and also independent travel sojourns made by travelers in this particular era.
What advice or recommendation do you have for students interested in a career in Asian Studies?
My advice to foreign students who are interested in Asian studies is to avoid the trap of numerous generalizations and comments about Asia; furthermore their research should not be rhetorical, they should experience Asia to understand the culture and the norms of the people. They should engage in an objective and unbiased form of research and develop their own judgment of events around them.
Outside of Asian Studies, tell us some interesting facts about yourself.
I enjoy the company of good friends and find pleasure in hiking, biking and traveling.