This blog is written by Kate Bagnall. I’ve been interested in Australia’s historical connections to China since I first lived there more than fifteen years ago – when, by coincidence, I found myself living in the overseas Chinese homelands of the Pearl River Delta.
My historical research focuses on the lives of Australians of Chinese descent in both Australia and China, the administration of the White Australia Policy and the cultural heritage of Australia’s Chinese communities.
My doctoral research was the first major historical study of intimate relationships between Chinese men and white Australian women, while other of my work focuses on transnational Chinese Australian family and community histories.
I am further interested in using emerging technologies to uncover and understand the complex connections between China and Australia, particularly in tracing networks of clan and kinship over time and space.
My current projects include:
- writing a book, with the working title White Women, Chinese Men, on the history of Chinese-European couples and their families in colonial New South Wales
- co-editing (with Julia Martinez) a book on the history of Chinese Australian women
- researching and writing about Ham Hop, the wife of Poon Gooey, and the history of other Chinese wives in Australia under exemption, 1900–1920
- researching the 1908 High Court case Potter v. Minahan, which includes finding out about the history of the Chinese at Indigo, Victoria and its connections to Shiquli village, Xinhui
- intermittently working on Invisible Australians: Living under the White Australia Policy with Tim Sherratt
- slowly compiling ‘Threads of Kinship’, a database of Chinese marriages and births in New South Wales to 1918.