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Personal profile

Research interests


Twitter: @viviankonghk


I am a social historian of migration in twentieth-century Asia. I am most interested in issues such as diapsoric interactions, identity politics, cosmopolitanism, and colonial practices in the region. My research to date has largely focused on interwar Hong Kong, particularly how its global connections and multiethnic urban setting shaped identity politics there. I am completing a book manuscript based on my doctoral thesis. With the working title Multiracial Britishness: Exclusivity, Cosmopolitanism, and Global Networks in Hong Kong 1910-1945, the book explores the negotiations that multiracial inhabitants of colonial Hong Kong made with Britishness, and how such negotiations impacted their diasporic, urban, and national identities. 

I have embarked on a new project that studies the management of transnational destitute British subjects in four Asian port cities: Hong Kong, Manila, Shanghai, and Singapore. I am interested in understanding how local authorities, the British state, urban Asian's growing civil society, and other political regimes in the Asia-Pacifc region interacted with each other to govern and assist individuals with a British status who were mobile and impoverished, making them 'problematic' in the eyes of many. This project will explain how decisions were made when colonial governance involved international networks and institutions, and how a middle-class civil society affected colonial practices in twentieth-century Asia. 

An integral part of my work is public engagement. I work closely with the University's Hong Kong History Project. I am also the founder and administrator of the Hong Kong History Postgrads/ECRs Network



‘Exclusivity and Cosmopolitanism: Multiethnic Civil Society in Interwar Hong Kong’, The Historical Journal, 63.5 (2020). 

‘Whiteness, Imperial Anxiety, and the “Global 1930s”: the White British League Debate in Hong Kong’, Journal of British Studies, 59.2 (2020).

‘“Hong Kong is my Home”: The 1940 Evacuation and Hong Kong-Britons’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 47.3 (2019).


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