The resurgence of interest in the practices and legacies of colonialism has seen much attention paid to the insights comparative perspectives might draw. Nevertheless in practice, there has been very little empirically focused, detailed and truly comparative scholarship, especially with regards to Chinese cities.

A 3-year collaborative research project, led by Professor Robert Bickers (University of Bristol) takes advantage of the opportunities offered for a comparative analytical approach by the Chinese port city of Tianjin. Between 1860 and 1945, Tianjin was the site of up to nine foreign-controlled concessions, as well as, temporarily, a multi-national military government (1900-02), and a series of evolving municipal administrations.

The research aims at producing a comparative and trans-national analysis of the identities, practices and rivalries of five of the major powers established in Tianjin:

  • Britain
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Russia.

The project will provide new insights into the understanding of colonial history, as well as the history of China, and will produce work with crossover value between a variety of different subfields of history and political science. Three international conferences, three monographs, two edited collections of papers and a number of journal articles are promised.



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Italy’s Encounters with Modern China

Editor: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 01 November 2013 Book

Projecting Italianità on the Chinese Space

Author: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 01 November 2013 Book chapter

Philanthropy in modern Tianjin

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 25 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Bataillons d’Afrique : disciplining and punishing in the French empire

Author: Nicola Cooper Date: 25 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Shouts and whispers : statues and memorials in Shanghai's international settlement, 1860s-1940s

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 25 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

The politics of the Chinese weather, 1870s-1950

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 25 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Colonial circulations, colonialism in comparative perspective

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 25 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Moving stories : memorialisation and identity in treaty port China

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 25 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Moving stories : memorialisation and identity in treaty port China

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 25 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

British concessions and Chinese cities, 1910s-1930s

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 25 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Moving stories : memorialisation and identity in treaty port China

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Moving stories : memorialisation and identity in treaty port China

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Moving stories : memorialisation and identity in treaty port China

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

The 'city beautiful' movement and Tianjin's global ambitions : the past in the present

Author: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

The search for the real China : living in the port city of Tianjin in the colonial times (1860-1945)

Author: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Producing the city, consuming the nation : Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai between past and present

Author: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Tianjin’s spatial transformation and the Italian dream of empire

Author: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Italy’s encounters with China : ancient civilizations, imperial dreams, and strategic ambitions

Author: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Projecting ‘Italianness’ on the Chinese space : the construction of the 'aristocratic' concession in Tianjin (1901-1947)

Author: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

China’s urban revolution

Author: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Making concessions in Tianjin : from hyper-colonial (1860-1945) to globalising cityscape

Author: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 24 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

British concessions and Chinese cities, 1910s-1930s

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 01 January 2013 Book chapter

Incubator city : Shanghai and the crises of empires

Author: Robert Bickers Date: 01 September 2012 Journal article

The Italian production of space in Tianjin : heterotopia and emotional capital

Author: Maurizio Marinelli Date: 23 July 2012 Book chapter

Albert Sarraut : Grandeur et servitude coloniales

Editor: Nicola Cooper Date: 12 July 2012 Book

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Start date
31 August 2008
End date
30 August 2012
Grant holder
Professor Robert Bickers
Co-applicants
Professor Robert Bickers
Professor Nicola Cooper
Grant amount
£633,165.83
Grant reference
RES-062-23-1057
Discipline
Economic & Social History
Economic and Social History
Grant type