Research activity per year

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

Chinese Name


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Bristol

Award Date: 1 Sept 2007

Master, University of York

Award Date: 1 Sept 2003


Award Date: 1 Sept 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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