Treaty port China and its legacies, 1842-1999

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: School of Humanities


This project surveys the 'treaty port' world, the network of outposts of foreign residence established in China in the aftermath of the 1842 Sino-British treaty of Nanjing, mostly dismantled after 1943, but surviving down to the 1990s in the shape of the territories of Hong Kong and Macao. The research will be based on the new archives still opening up in China, but also available internationally, collating them to complete a book, 'The Internationalisaiton of China'. The work will be located in, and will contribute to, developing debates revisiting questions of identity and community in the formal and informal world of British and other empire, and historical geographies of colonialism. It will also engage with debates surrounding the internationalisation of China, China's experience of what is still often conceived of uncritically as a century of 'national humiliation', and ambiguous attitudes in China today towards this cosmopolitan past.