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Personal profile

Research interests

Historian of modern China, focusing on the late Qing to the Republican period (broadly 1800-1949), an era of dramatic change in China as it was reluctantly forced to open up to foreign trade, ideas and technology. Principal interests are in Chinese modernisation and its engagement in globalisation from the 19th century onwards, in particular the role of the foreign-run Chinese Maritime Customs Service, as well as the creation of the Chinese Postal Service, and Chinese newspapers in the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. Her works include Reading Shenbao: Nationalism, Consumerism, and Individuality in China 1919-37 (2009), Print, Profit and Perception: Ideas, Information and Knowledge in Chinese Societies, 1895-1949 (co-ed., 2014), 'Breaking the ice: the establishment of overland winter postal routes in the late Qing China,' (Journal of Modern Asian Studies, 47:06, 2013). She is currently working on a monograph on the early history of Chinese Post Office. She is also working on a Leverhulme founded project on Chinese private letter hongs. Please visit the project website  https://letterhongs.com/