Hi, I’m Kate Bagnall.

I’m a historian, writer and editor based in Canberra, Australia. 

My historical work focuses on Chinese migration and settlement in the British settler colonies of the Pacific Rim before 1940.

I have a PhD in Australian history from the University of Sydney, and from 2016 I’m an ARC DECRA Fellow in the School of Humanities & Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong.

My research expertise covers:

  • the White Australia Policy, immigration restriction and Chinese exclusion
  • overseas Chinese family life
  • Chinese transnationalism and qiaoxiang ties
  • Chinese Australian documentary heritage
  • Chinese in colonial New South Wales
  • New South Wales in the late colonial and Federation periods
  • 19th and early 20th century Australian women’s history.

I bring a unique perspective to the study of Chinese Australian history, having lived and worked in the qiaoxiang districts of the Pearl River Delta over many years. I first visited Guangdong more than 20 years ago and feel just as at home among the lush green rice fields or bustling cities there as I do in Australia.

My work has been published in acclaimed scholarly collections, including Australia’s Asia (edited by Professor David Walker and Agnieszka Sobocinska), as well as in leading academic journals such as Australian Historical Studies and History Australia.

My first book, Chinese Australians: Politics, Engagement and Resistance (co-edited with Sophie Couchman), was published by Brill in January 2015.

I enjoy sharing my work with the community. I have presented public talks and spoken at many family and community history seminars. I have written for family history publications such as Inside History, and I share my own research journey through my blog.

For details of my academic work, see my CV.

Kate Bagnall 2015