Hi, I’m Kate Bagnall.
I’m a historian based in Hobart, Australia.
I’ve been interested in Australia’s historical connections to China since I first lived in Guangdong in the late 1990s – when, by coincidence, I found myself living in the overseas Chinese homelands of the Pearl River Delta.
My historical research focuses on:
- legal and administrative histories of migration and citizenship, including the White Australia Policy
- women, children and families in the early Chinese communities in Australia and New Zealand
- Chinese heritage in Australia and New Zealand
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 also interested in using digital technologies to uncover and understand the historical connections between China and Australia, particularly in tracing networks of clan and kinship over time and place.
I have a PhD in Australian history from the University of Sydney, and I was an ARC DECRA Fellow in the School of Humanities & Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong from 2016 to 2019.
Between 2017 and 2019 I ran the Chinese Australian Hometown Heritage Tour with Dr Sophie Couchman.
You can download a copy of my full CV (PDF, 234KB).
Kate Bagnall is a social historian whose research focuses on the intersections of migration, family and the law in the British settler colonial world. She is best known as a scholar of Chinese Australasian history, specialising in histories of women, children and families, and the history of the White Australia Policy and colonial anti-Chinese laws and policies. She has a background in public history and archives, completing her PhD in History at the University of Sydney while working at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra. Kate has published widely in her field, including her ground-breaking edited collection, Locating Chinese Women: Historical Mobility between China and Australia (HKU Press, 2021), co-edited with Julia Martínez. Before joining the University of Tasmania (UTAS) in 2019, Kate was an ARC DECRA Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Humanities at UTAS and coordinator of the Family History program.