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Book Talk Series

Book talk #15 features Dr. Vivian Kong discussing her latest book, ‘Multiracial Britishness: Global Networks in Hong Kong, 1910-45‘.

(Cambridge University Press, 2023)

Book Abstract

What does it mean to be British? To answer this, Multiracial Britishness takes us to an underexplored site of Britishness – the former British colony of Hong Kong. Vivian Kong asks how colonial hierarchies, the racial and cultural diversity of the British Empire, and global ideologies complicate the meaning of being British. Using multi-lingual sources and oral history, Kong traces the experiences of multiracial residents in 1910-45 Hong Kong. Guiding us through Hong Kong’s global networks, and the colony’s co-existing exclusive and cosmopolitan social spaces, this book uncovers the long history of multiracial Britishness. Kong argues that Britishness existed in the colony in multiple, hyphenated forms – as a racial category, but also as privileges, a means of survival, and a form of cultural and national belonging. This book offers us an important reminder that multiracial inhabitants of the British Empire were just as active in the making of Britishness as the British state and white Britons.

Vivian Kong, University of Bristol

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Vivian Kong is Senior Lecturer in Modern Chinese History and Co-Director of Hong Kong History Centre at the University of Bristol. Vivian is a social historian of colonial Hong Kong, and has published on race, diasporas, civil society, and public debates in interwar Hong Kong. Her new book project explores the transnational life of a Hong Kong-born Eurasian woman in Britain, China, and Singapore, c. 1889-1942.

To obtain a physical copy of the book, please visit the following website:

Should you have any questions about this event, please feel free to email us at [email protected].

Book Talk #15 –
Date: June 19, 2024 (Wednesday)
Time: 5:00p.m. – 6:30p.m. Hong Kong time
Format: Hybrid
Language: English

Preview of the book talk series:

#15 Multiracial Britishness: Global Networks in Hong Kong, 1910-45 with Vivian Kong on June 19, 2024 (Wednesday) at 5:00p.m. GMT+8; Hybrid

Past book talks:

#1 Hong Kong Takes Flight: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Global Hub, 1930s–1998 by John D. Wong (HKU) on October 7, 2022 (Friday) at 5:00p.m. GMT+8; In-person

#2 Hong Kong Visual Culture: The M+ Guide by Tina Pang (M+) on November 4, 2022 (Friday) at 5:00p.m. GMT+8; In-person

#3 英國檔案中的香港前途問題 by Gary Cheung (CityU) on November 18, 2022 (Friday) at 5:00p.m. GMT+8; In-person

#4 Building Colonial Hong Kong: Speculative Development and Segregation in the City by Cecilia L. Chu (HKU) on November 25, 2022 (Friday) at 5:00p.m. GMT+8; Hybrid

#5 Political Censorship in British Hong Kong: Freedom of Expression and the Law (1842–1997) by Michael Ng (HKU) on December 9, 2022 (Friday) at 17:00HKT; Hybrid

#6 Hong Kong Foodways (Hong Kong Matters) by Sidney Cheung (CUHK) on January 13, 2023 (Friday) at 17:00HKT; In-person

#7 New Territories 界 by Justin Hui on February 3, 2023 (Friday) at 9:00p.m. GMT+8; Online

#8 Hilton Cheong-Leen ( 張有興 ): First Chinese ‘Mayor’ of Hong Kong by Gary Cheung & Oliver Chou on April 28, 2023 (Friday) at 5:00p.m. GMT+8; Hybrid

#9 Unsettling Exiles: Chinese Migrants in Hong Kong and the Southern Periphery During the Cold War by Angelina Chin (Pomona College) on 12 May 2023 (Friday) at 1:00p.m. GMT+8; Online

#10 Covert colonialism: Governance, surveillance and political culture in British Hong Kong, c. 1966-97 with Florence Mok (Nanyang Technological University) on September 15, 2023 (Friday) at 5:00p.m. GMT+8; Hybrid

#11 Hongkongers in the British Armed Forces, 1860-1997 with Chi Man Kwong (HKBU) on November 14, 2023 (Tuesday) at 5:00p.m. GMT+8; Hybrid

#12 Accomplice to Memory with Q.M. Zhang on November 17, 2023 (Friday) at 09:00a.m. GMT+8; Online

#13 香江佳城——香港華人古墓兩千年史 with 梁基永 on January 11, 2024 (Thursday) at 5:00p.m. GMT+8; Hybrid

#14 Hong Kong Pop Culture in the 1980s with Chu Yiu-Wai Stephen on April 18, 2024 (Thursday) at 5:00p.m. GMT+8; Hybrid

Dr. Vivian Kong
Date & Time
Talk #15 - June 19, 2024 (Wednesday) 5:00 - 6:30 pm HKT