In recent years, more and more blogs have appeared online exploring the historical and political context of the refugee plight, both then and now. There has also been an increasing interest in the history of Hong Kong, especially via nostalgic Facebook groups or politically active Twitter accounts.
Here’s a few of my recommended (online) reads:
This blog boasts an impressive panel of experts seeking evidence-based solutions to the current refugee crisis. Blog posts cover book reviews, news about forced migration and probing historical essays. Recent articles include: ‘Victims of Decolonisation? The French Settlers of Algeria’ and ‘Belonging and Alienation in the Greek Return to Imbros’. You can follow Refugee History for conference highlights and other academic updates via @RefugeeHistory.
The Refugee Research Network
This excellent and wide-ranging Canadian blog covers several bases, from educational courses on offer around the world (certificates and PhD programmes), a scholars network to an excellent and user friendly research database which pools articles from all corners of the web. Articles are wide-ranging and cover the plight of refugees and displaced persons in Gaza, Kenya and Lebanon, among many other places.
The Hong Kong History Project
Not to be confused with The Hong Kong Heritage Project, this excellent resource should be a first port of call for both budding and experienced Hong Kong history enthusiasts. It features a comprehensive historiography compiled by historian Vaudine England, much of it focused on race and identity, as well as guest blogs from PhD candidates around the world.
This blog has been a staple for Hong Kong history researchers since it was first launched in 2006 by the indefatigable David Bellis. With thousands of pages of research sourced and uploaded by David and his team of volunteer netizens, this blog has been invaluable for my own research, too. Highlights include census lists, GPS maps, oral histories and much, much more.
Far East Currents
This blog is the brainchild of Dr Roy Eric Xavier, whose aim is to: ‘understand the roles that Portuguese-Macanese people played in the development of Macau, Hong Kong and other regions of southeast Asia, and their migration to other countries after World War II’. Roy has interviewed hundreds of Macanese, Portuguese-Eurasians and others who have lived or worked in Macao. Many of these interviews are featured on his blog or are available on YouTube.
I’ve been a fan of Paul French since having read ‘Midnight in Peking’, his bestselling investigative thriller about the murder of a 19 year old English girl in Beijing’s ‘bad lands’. Paul’s blog, China Rhyming, covers a ‘gallimaufry of random China history and research interests’, and is well worth a read. As French (and Twain) say, ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme’.
And finally …
Here’s a few of my favourite Twitterstorians you might want to follow:
@jypersian is an active Twitterstorian, based in Australia, who posts mainly about post-war migration to Australia. @petergatrell is a giant in the field of refugee studies. He regularly posts about his work and other developments in the field. @hongkonghistory, The Hong Kong History Project’s Twitter feed, is a valuable resource for Hong Kong related conferences and general Hong Kong related news and info. Finally, @vischina, administered by Professor Robert Bickers at Bristol University, gives a glimpse into the collection of 20,000+ digitised images of China (1850 – 1950) which have been painstakingly collected by the Visualising China team.