Binghamton University

Fellowship : October 2018 to June 2019

Discipline(s) : Sociology

Pays : USA

Research project

Intimate Others recovers the translocal practices and imaginaries of two generations of Cantonese elites who migrated and settled in Peru between the 1880s and 1940s, while also maintaining social, economic and political connections to their native places. In the wake of the coolie labor trade (1849-1974), Cantonese migrated freely from the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong Province to Peru’s northern coastal agricultural provinces. At a time when Peruvian liberal elites began to regard Asians as potential settler colonists who could take up state-orchestrated plans to bring more land into production and natural commodities into circulation, Cantonese compradors became commercial intermediaries linking coastal, Andean and Amazonian regions to national and global commercial circuits. Some also became sugar and cotton plantation owners producing natural materials that fed the global capitalist economy and overseeing complex race-labor regimes. In the process, Cantonese built one of the largest Chinese commercial circuits in the Americas. Moving beyond transnational approaches that situate migrants between nations, Intimate Others adopts translocal, world historical and Third World frameworks to situate Cantonese migrations to Peru within a translocal diasporic world easily obscured by the fragmenting of the globe into bordered nation states, that of the Cantonese Pacific.


Ana Maria Candela is a historian of Modern China and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. Her research focuses on Chinese migrations to Latin America and on the global dimensions of Chinese history and China’s social transformations. Recently she has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and a Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Scholar Grant. Her areas of research interest include Transnational and Migration History, Nationalism, Region Making, Third World and Global South History, Settler Colonialism, Historical Sociology, and Spatial Imaginaries. Her publications include “Sociology in Times of Crisis: Chen Da, National Salvation and the Indigenization of Knowledge” in the Journal of World Systems Research (August 2015), “Qiaoxiang on the Silk Road: Cultural Imaginaries as Structures of Feeling in the Making of a Global China” in Critical Asian Studies (September 2013), and “Frontiers of Chinese Studies: A Review Essay" in Zhongguo xueshu (China Scholarship) (2011). She is currently completing her first book, provisionally entitled Intimate Others: Peruvian Chinese Between Native Place, Nation and World, 1880s-1940s. She has also begun work on a second book project focused on coolie labor and criminality. 

Major publications

CANDELA, Ana Maria. “Sociology in Times of Crisis: Chen Da, National Salvation and the Indigenization of Knowledge.” Journal of World Systems Research, Vol. 21, No. 2 (August 2015): 362-386.

CANDELA, Ana Maria. “Qiaoxiang on the Silk Road: Cultural Imaginaries as Structures of Feeling in the Making of a Global China.” Critical Asian Studies, Vol. 45, No. 3 (September 2013): 431-458.

CANDELA, Ana Maria. “Shuping lunwen: Meiguo zhongguo yanjiu zhong de bianjiang” (“Frontiers of Chinese Studies: A Review Essay”). Zhongguo xueshu (China Scholarship), Vol 8, No. 2 (2011): 315-332.

CANDELA, Ana Maria. “The Yangzi Meets the Amazon: Placing Peruvian Chinese Nationalism in the 1930s.” Yijiusanling niandai de zhongguo (China in the 1930s), Vol. 2. Beijing-People’s Republic of China, Social Sciences Academic Press, 2006. Pp. 864-884.