Dr Mei-fen Kuo
Dr Mei-fen Kuo


Research Fellow (DECRA)

Contact Details:

Office: E321, Forgan Smith Building (1)
Phone: +61 7 3365 3321
Email: m.kuo@uq.edu.au


MA, Fu Jen University (Taiwan)
PhD, La Trobe University

Research Interests:

Chinese Australian history, Chinese diaspora philanthropy, cultural nationalism, narrative identity, social mobilization, gender discourse.

Current Research Projects:

Enterprising Chinese Australians and the diaspora network, 1850-1949
(ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme, 2015-2018)
Drawing upon the newly discovered and accessible resources, the project will involve systemic analysis and interpretation of enterprising Chinese Australians from 1850 to 1949 in developing products and markets, supporting a new print culture, engaging with extensive diaspora networks. It will also tease out the implications of its findings for diaspora engagement with a developing China, and with the development of Australia’s own economy and culture and trading relationships.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Making Chinese Australia: Urban Elites, Newspapers and the Formation of Chinese Australian Identity, 1892–1912. 2013. Monash University Publishing. (Shortlisted for the W K Hancock Prize 2014)
  • Unlocking the History of Australasian Kuo Min Tang, 1911-2013. 2013. Australian Scholarly Publishing (with Prof Judith Brett)
  • ‘Diaspora Philanthropy and Patriotism in Early 20th Century China: Charity Innovator William Yinson Lee (Li Yuanxin)’, Twentieth-Century China (accepted and forthcoming) with Prof John Fitzgerald.
  • ‘Reading gender in the Chinese Australian Newspapers’, in Mobile Lives: Histories of Chinese Women in the Asia-Pacific, eds. by Julia Martinez and Kate Bagnall, processing.
  • ‘Invisible impact of women: philanthropic sociability and Chinese Australian voluntary organizations’, in Philanthropy and the Chinese Diaspora on the Pacific Rim, eds. By John Fitzgerald and Hon Ming Yip, processing.
  • ‘Confucian Heritage, Public Narratives and Community Politics of Chinese Australians at the Beginning of the 20th Century’ in Chinese Australians: Politics, Engagement and Resistance, eds. by Sophie Couchman and Kate Bagnall, 2015, Brill.
  • ‘From Alien to Australian Citizen: Transformation of Australia's Policy toward Chinese Immigration’, Citizenship and human right of Chinese Overseas, 2014, Overseas Chinese Association.
  • ‘Huaqiao’– Narratives and Political Alliances of Urban Chinese-Australian Communities in Early 20th Century’, Bulletin of the Institution of Modern History, 2011, Vol 71, pp 157-202.
  • ‘Gender Discussion and Social Identity in Chinese-Australian Newspapers in the Early 20th Century’, Research on Women in Modern Chinese History, 2010, Vol 18, pp 175-214.
  • ‘The Making of a Diasporic Identity: The Case of the Sydney Chinese Commercial Elite, 1890s-1900s’, Journal of Chinese Overseas, 2009, Vol 5, Number 2, pp 336-363.
  • ‘The Chinese Australian Herald and the shaping of a modern “Imagined Chinese Community” in 1890s colonial Sydney’, Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies, 2008 (2), pp 34-53.

Other Activities and Service:

  • Curator of exhibition: Leading by giving—history of Chinese Australian philanthropy, Museum of Chinese Australian History, Melbourne (2015)
  • Traveling Fellowship, Australian Academy of Humanities (2014)
  • Consultant of Australasian Kuo Min Tang Archives (ARC Linkage project 2010-2013)
  • Visiting scholar, Institute of Modern Chinese History, Academia Sincia (2011)


ABC National Radio’s Hindsight (2 February, 2014):

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