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Personal profile

Research interests

Office: 1.38, 13 Woodland Road, Arts Complex

Email: vivian.kong@bristol.ac.uk

Twitter: @viviankonghk


I am a social historian of colonial Asia, and I am most interested in issues such as diasporic interactions, identity politics, cosmopolitanism, and colonial practices in the region. My research to date has largely focused on colonial Hong Kong, particularly how its global connections and multi-ethnic urban setting shaped identities and social dynamics there. I have published peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of British Studies, the Historical Journal, and the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, on the diasporas, civil society, and public debates in interwar Hong Kong.

With Cambridge University Press, I am completing a book manuscript based on my doctoral thesis. Entitled Multiracial Britishness: Global Networks in Hong Kong 1910-1945, the book uses Hong Kong as a case study to highlight the diversity of ‘races’ that lived in the British Empire, and how such diversity enriched and complicated notions of Britishness. It explores the negotiations that multiracial inhabitants of colonial Hong Kong made with Britishness, and explains how the global dispersal of cosmopolitan ideals and rising nationalism shaped the development of Britishness in the interwar years.

I am also working on a new book about an Anglo-Chinese Eurasian woman, and the web of family relationships she had in Hong Kong, Cornwall, London, China, and Singapore, 1887-1943. The book explores her and her family’s connections to colonial policing, Christianity in Republican China, overseas Chinese diasporas, and the illicit sex industry in London.


Multiracial Britishness: Global Networks in Hong Kong 1910-45 (forthcoming).

‘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).

Hong Kong History Project

Public and policy engagements have been an integral part of my work. Since my PhD I have worked closely with the University's Hong Kong History Project. I am also the founder and administrator of the Hong Kong History Postgrads/ECRs Network

I am keen in exploring ways to work with research partners and community groups to further my commitment to the public outreach of history and academia.

Research Supervision

I would be interested in supervising students who wish to work on topics relating to my research interests. These include: the social, political, and cultural histories of Hong Kong and modern China; Chinese migration and Chinese diasporas; the global networks and urban life of Asian port cities; diasporas, race, and identities in modern Britain and the British Empire.


I teach across our undergraduate and MA programs, including the first year ‘Modern Revolution’ unit, the second year ‘Global History’ and ‘Decolonisation’ units, the third year ‘Global Empires’ and ‘Internationalising Modern China’ units, and the MA unit ‘Oceans and Globalisation’. I have also designed and taught units on modern Hong Kong in the past, and in 2022-23 I am convening a new unit, 'Hong Kong and the World'. 



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