Events in the Department of History

Events from 7 October, 2015

  • Date
  • 8th October, 2015

    Mobility, Intimacy and Decolonisation: The 'Chinese Australian problem' after 1949

    In the first half of the twentieth century, a significant number of mixed-race Chinese Australian families made use of imperial networks to establish families and businesses in both Australia and China, settling mostly in the treaty-port city of Shanghai. There they formed a unique community that traveled frequently between Australia and China up until the 1950s when 'frontiers slammed shut' after the Chinese Communist Party banned emigration and imposed strict entry/exit controls on the movement of people and capital; some husbands and wives would not be reunited until the relaxation of these restrictions in the 1970s. This moment of rapture caused a flurry of correspondence between families, Australian and British government officials and international agencies such as the Red Cross on the topic of Chinese Australian mobility. Correspondence written at this time, and reflecting back on decades of movement and inter-racial marriage, shows how Chinese Australian families shaped imperial networks and laid the foundations for Australia's economic engagement with China in the twenty-first century. This correspondence also reveals that thinking through the ‘Chinese Australian problem’ in the 1950s influenced Australian government policies towards decolonizing Asia at the tail-end of the British Empire.

    Sophie Loy-Wilson is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Laureate Research Centre for International History at the University of Sydney, currently writing a book entitled Australia and the China Trade: a Cultural History from 1850 (forthcoming with Routledge in 2015).

    After the Seminar
    To allow for informal discussion, the seminar will be followed by a dinner with the guest speaker at 6:15pm. The location of the restaurant will be announced at the seminar. All are welcome, though those who attend will need to pay for their own food and drinks. As reservations must be made at the restaurant, please RSVP by noon of the day before the seminar to

    The ANU China Seminar Series is supported by the China Institute, the Research School of Asia and the Pacific, and the Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University.

  • 15th October, 2015

    Professor Herman Lebovics Sydney Ideas Public Lecture

    The Future of France Foretold in Its New Museums

  • 16th October, 2015
    10am to 12pm

    Herman Lebovics Seminar

    Museum Controversies in Historical Perspective