Dr Elena Barabantseva

Senior Lecturer in Chinese International Politics

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Research interests

My research interests lie at the intersection of borders, identity, migration, intimacy, and citizenship in the context of globalizing China. I take inspiration from a diverse body of scholarship, particularly poststructuralist International Relations, Anthropology, Cultural Theory, and Feminist Studies. I experiment with post-positivist forms of inquiry, drawing on in particular on archival, genealogical, ethnographic, and audio-visual methods.

My current research focuses on marriage migration and governing issues in the context of China's borders with Russia. In the book-length study tentatively entitled Marriage, Migration, and Race across the Chinese-Russian Borders I argue that the focus on marriage migration as a site of geopolitical and intimate projects reveals complexity of the politics of desire, marriage, and race in China's struggle for national rejuvenation. I started developing this project as the coordinator of the AHRC-funded 'Borders of Migration' research network. This research interest also laid the foundation for a major internationally-funded collaborative project ‘Immigration and the Transformation of the Chinese Society’ (2015-2019) which I collaborated on with colleagues in Europe and China.

In 2014-15 I worked on the research project about the competing histories of Manchester's Chinatown and as part of this project produced a short video essay and a promotional film for Manchester Chinese Centre who I collaborated with on this project.

My filmmaking for research practice has resulted in the production of two documentary films: 'British Born Chinese' (2015, 47), and 'Border People' (2018, 14min). 'British Born Chinese' has been included in the Athens Ethnographic Film Festival's database of films.

I collaborated with Dr. Aoileann Ni-Mhurchu and Prof V. Spike Peterson on the 'Intimate Geopolitics' special issue that evolved from the Leverhulme Visiting Professorship awarded to Prof Peterson in July-Dec 2016.


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display