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Isabella Jackson
Basic Information
Trinity College Dublin
Assistant Professor in Chinese History
Department of History

College Green


Additional Information
About My Work
I research modern Chinese history and the global and regional networks that shaped China’s treaty ports. My monograph, Shaping Modern Shanghai: Colonialism in China’s Global City, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. It examines the International Settlement at the heart of Shanghai, defining the transnational form of colonialism in practice there and how it functioned on the ground in the form of the Shanghai Municipal Council.

I have worked on the interconnections between Chinese port cities and the British World, especially India, through my work on the Sikh policemen who worked in Shanghai’s International Settlement. I am also interested the evolving Chinese perspectives on and representations of the foreign presence in Shanghai, including the ways in which political authorities appropriate the past to serve conflicting aims. Shanghai’s colonial past is used to bolster its contemporary reputation as a ‘global city’ but also condemned as a humiliating blight on the city’s history.

My next major project explores social reform in late Qing and early Republican Chinese cities, focusing on support for and campaigns against the practice of keeping mui tsai/binü or purchased ‘adopted daughters’.
Shaping Modern Shanghai: Colonialism in China’s Global City (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)

Treaty Ports in Modern China: Law, Land and Power, ed., with Robert Bickers (London: Routledge, 2016), including co-authored ‘Introduction’, pp. 1-22 and single-authored chapter ‘Who ran the treaty ports? A study of the Shanghai Municipal Council’, pp. 43-60

‘The Shanghai Scottish: Scottish, Imperial and Local Identities, 1914-41’ in T. M. Devine and Angela McCarthy (eds), The Scottish Experience in Asia, c.1700 to the Present: Settlers and Sojourners (London: Palgrave Macmillan Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies series, 2017), pp. 235-57

‘Habitability in the Treaty Ports: Shanghai and Tianjin’, in Toby Lincoln and Xu Tao (eds), The Habitable City in China: Urban History in the Twentieth Century (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 169-91

‘Expansion and Defence in the International Settlement at Shanghai’, in Robert Bickers and Jonathan Howlett (eds), Britain and China, 1840-1970: Empire, Finance and War (London: Routledge, 2015), pp. 187-204

‘Chinese Colonial History in Comparative Perspective’, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 15:3 (2014) – online, 6,500 words

‘The Raj on Nanjing Road: Sikh Policemen in Treaty-Port Shanghai’, Modern Asian Studies 46:2 (2012), 1672-1704
Translated into Chinese: ?????????:??????????? Nanjing Lu shang de Ying-Yin tongzhi: tiaoyue kou’an Shanghai de Xike xunbu, ???????Shanghai shi guoji luncong (International Review of Shanghai History), No. 2 (2015), 63-92