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Personal profile


I am a historian working on the history of colonial communities, with a focus on East and Southeast Asian colonial-era port cities with connections to the British Empire. I was educated in the UK and taught in the UK and the US before joining Hong Kong Baptist University in 2012. My book, Empire Careers: Working for the Chinese Customs Service, 1854-1949, explores the life trajectories and experiences of the 11,000 foreign nationals who worked for the Chinese Maritime Customs Service and was the winner of the 2015 Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities First Book Prize. 

Ongoing projects include the social, cultural, and political history of marginal Europeans in colonial port cities, the history of colonial childhood and education, histories of colonial mobility, and constructions of race, nationality, and citizenship on the edges of the British Empire. My articles have been published in top-ranked journals such as the Journal of Social History, Historical Research, and the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.

Research Interests

  • History of colonialism
  • Colonial communities
  • Colonial constructions of race, citizenship, and nationality
  • Colonial mobility and migration
  • History of childhood and education
  • China and the British empire
  • Treaty-port history

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Bristol

Award Date: 1 Sep 2007

Master, University of York

Award Date: 1 Sep 2003


Award Date: 1 Sep 2002


  • D204 Modern History
  • History of Colonialism
  • Migration History
  • History of East Asia
  • History of Childhood
  • History of Nationality and Citizenship
  • Colonial Communities


Dive into the research topics where Catherine Frances LADDS is active. Topic labels come from the works of this scholar.
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