Doctor Michael Williams

Doctor Michael Williams

Adjunct Professor,
Australia-China Institute for Art and Culture

Adjunct Fellow,
Institute for Culture and Society


Michael Williams is a graduate of Hong Kong University, a scholar of Chinese-Australian history and a founding member of the Chinese-Australian Historical Society.

He is the author of Returning Home with Glory (HKU Press, 2018), which traces the history of peoples from south China’s Pearl River Delta around the Pacific Ports of Sydney, Hawaii and San Francisco.

Michael has taught at Beijing Foreign Studies and Peking Universities and is currently an Adjunct Fellow at Western Sydney University. His current research includes the Dictation Test, early Chinese Opera in Australia and a history of the Chinese in Australia.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Williams.


  • PhD University of Hong Kong


  • Chinese Australian history
  • Chinese diaspora
  • Chinese in the World

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Australia-China Institute for Art and Culture
  • Institute for Culture and Society



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  • Williams, M. (2018), 'Returning Home with Glory: Chinese Villagers Around the Pacific, 1849 to 1949', : Hong Kong University Press 9789888390533.
  • Williams, M. (2012), 'Entertaining Dungog: The James - More Than a Picture Palace', : Michael Williams 9780646575902.
  • Williams, M. (2011), 'Ah, Dungog: A Brief Survey of its Charming Houses & Historic Buildings', : Dungog Historical Society 9780987144003.

Chapters in Books

  • Kuo, M. and Williams, M. (2019), 'Why is polygamy poisonous? : an historical context', The Poison of Polygamy: A Social Novel, Sydney University Press 9781743326022.

Journal Articles

  • Williams, M. (2004), 'Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta qiaoxiang', Modern Asian Studies, vol 38, no 2 , pp 257 - 282.
  • Williams, M. (2003), 'In the Tang Mountains we have a big house', East Asian History, vol 25/26 , pp 85 - 112.
  • Williams, M. (2003), 'Anglo-Saxonizing machines : exclusion America, white Australia', Chinese America: History and Perspectives, , pp 23 - 33.

Other Publications

  • 2014, 'A History in Three Rivers: Dungog Shire Heritage Study: Thematic History', Report


Title: Mirroring the Past: Chinese-Australia in Historical Perspective
Description: Chinese have been in Australia for over 200 years but these two centuries have seen very different peoples arriving and settling under the label ???Chinese???. Cantonese, working class, non-white, a weak China and on the fringe of national history are all characteristics of Chinese-Australia for its first 100 years. While much of the last 50 years can be characterised as Mandarin, middle class, multicultural, with a strong China. This seminar gives a comparative perspective of Australia???s 19th and early 20th century Chinese-Australian history with its post-1949 history.

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