Recent histories of the Chinese in Australia: New ideas and new directions

April 06 2017

On April 6 2017 the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at the University of Technology Sydney, presented a seminar on Chinese historiography in Australia. 

Chinese history scholars Dr Sophie Loy-Wilson, University of Sydney; Professor Wanning Sun, University of Technology Sydney; Dr Michael Williams, Western Sydney University; and Professor Kam Louie, University of New South Wales, discussed the current state of Chinese history scholarship and the new directions it is taking.

Audio of the discussion available below.


About the panellists:

Sophie Loy-Wilson

Dr Loy-Wilson is an Australian historian based at the University of Sydney who specialises in the history of Australia's engagement with China. She spent her teenage years in Beijing in the 1990s and early 2000s and also studied at Chinese Universities. Since then, she has been struggling to understand the long and complex history of Sino-Australian relations. Her first book, Australians in Shanghai: Race, Rights and Nation in Treaty Port China was published this year.

Wanning Sun

Wanning Sun is Professor of Media and Communication Studies at UTS. She is the author of Leaving China: Media, Migration, and Transnational Imagination (2002). Two of her edited volumes—Media and the Chinese Diaspora: Community, Communication and Commerce (2006) and Media and Communication in the Chinese Diaspora: Rethinking Transnationalism (2016)—document the history and development of Chinese language media in Australia, North America, Europe, Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. Her latest research on the history of the Chinese in Australia is "From Multicultural Ethnic Migrants to the New Players of China’s Public Diplomacy: The Chinese in Australia' (co-authored with John Fitzgerald and Jia Gao).

Michael Williams

Dr Michael Williams is an historian of the Chinese Diaspora and is a founding member of the Chinese Australian Historical Society. His dissertation at the University of Hong Kong employed oral history and archival research to examine the links of the villages of the Pearl River Delta with the Pacific Ports of Sydney, Hawaii and San Francisco. His current research involves a history of popular perceptions of the Dictation Test, a history of Chinese Opera in Australia, and a comparison of Australia’s pre-1949 Chinese-Australian history with its post-1989 history.

Forthcoming in early 2018 is his study of Overseas Chinese links around the Pacific - Returning Home with Glory, to be published by the University of Hong Kong Press.

Kam Louie

Professor Kam Louie was Dean of the Faculty Arts and MB Lee Professor of Humanities and Medicine at the University of Hong Kong until his retirement in 2014. He is currently Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales. His diverse research interests cover interdisciplinary studies of language, literature, history, and philosophy in modern China. After graduating from the University of Sydney, Kam Louie carried out further research in Hong Kong and Beijing, and in 1992 spent a year as professorial fellow at the Center for Chinese Studies, Taipei.

He has taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Nanjing, Auckland and Murdoch Universities. He has also served as Chair Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Queensland and the Australian National University. He is a member of the Australia-China Council and Chief Editor of Asian Studies Review, and was elected President of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities at its inauguration in 2011.

Event Gallery


Event Information
April 06 2017
ACRI conference room
Level 18, Tower Building, University of Technology Sydney
15 Broadway
Ultimo NSW 2007