Christina E. Firpo


Research and Teaching interests

  • Vietnamese Studies
  • Women’s studies
  • Imperialism
  • History of Fashion
  • History of Family
  • History of Prostitution
  • Research and Writing Methods


  • Ph.D. Southeast Asian History, University of California - Los Angeles
  • M.A.  Southeast Asian History, University of California - Los Angeles
  • B.A.  The George Washington University




Beauty and the Nation: Race, Capitalism, and Modernity in Late Colonial Vietnam. Columbia University Press, forthcoming.

“Girlfriends and Housewives, Love and Modernity in Vietnam, 1900-1945,” Manuscript in preparation.

Black Market Business: Selling Sex in Northern Vietnam, 1920-1945. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2020.

The Uprooted: Race, Childhood, and Imperialism in Indochina, 1890-1980. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2016  (paper back 2017).*         

*Awarded the 2017 International Convention of Asian Scholars Colleague’s Choice Book Prize.

*Finalist for the 2017 International Convention of Asian Scholars Humanities Book Prize.


“Regulated Prostitution in French-Colonized Northern Vietnam and Its Failures, 1920-1945,” in

The Routledge Companion to Sexualities and Colonialism, edited by Dagmar Herzog and Chelsea Schields. NY: Routledge, forthcoming May 2021.

“On the Edge of Perversions: Race, Childhood, and Sexuality in Vietnam.” In Modern Times in Southeast Asia, 1920-1970, edited by Susanne Protschky and Tom van den Berge, 191-210. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2018.

"Taking Children, Ruling Colonies: Child Removal and Colonial Subjugation in Australia, Canada, French Indochina, and the United States, 1870-1950s," co-author with Margaret Jacobs. Journal of World History 29, no. 4 (2018): 529-562.

“Métis of Vietnam: An Historical Perspective on Mixed-Race Children from the French Colonial Period.” In Mixed-Race in Asia: Past, Present, and Future, edited by Zarine L. Rocha and Farida Fodzar, 52-64. London: Routledge Press, 2017.

“Sex and Song: Clandestine Prostitution in Tonkin’s Đào Music Houses, 1920-1940.” Journal of Vietnamese Studies 11, no. 2 (2016): 1-36.

“Giải pháp người lai ở Đông Dương.” (Trans. Đặng Thị Vân ChiTạp chí Nghiên cứu Lịch sử 446, no. 9 (2013) : 44-53.

“La traite des femmes et des enfants dans le Vietnam colonial (1920-1940)," (Trans. Agathe Larcher Goscha). Le Vingtième Siècle 120 (2013) : 113-124.

  • Received special recognition for innovative methodology in L’Histoire 394 (December 2013): 86

“Phụ nữ và trẻ em thời thuộc địa và chương trình phúc lợi xã hội của chính quyền thực dân.” Giới và Xã Hội 10 (2013). 

“Shades of Whiteness: Petits-Blancs and the Politics of Military Allocations Distribution in World War I Colonial Cochinchina.” French Historical Studies 34, no.2 (2011): 279-297.

 “Hierarchies of Race and Gender in the French Colonial Empire, 1914-1946,” co-authored with Jennifer Boittin and Emily Musil. Historical Reflections/Réflections Historiques 37 (2011): 60-90.

“Crisis of Whiteness and Empire in Colonial Indochina: The Removal of Eurasian Children from the Vietnamese Milieu, 1890-1956.” Journal of Social History 43 (2010): 587-613.

“Lost Boys: ‘Abandoned’ Eurasian Children and the Management of the Racial Topography in Colonial Indochina, 1938-1945.” French Colonial History 8 (2007): 203-224.

“’President Ho Speaks to the Children’: Thiếu Sinh Magazine and the New Child in 1945 Revolutionary Vietnam,” Southeast Review of Asian Studies 27 (2005): 37-48.  

Grants, Fellowships & Honors


  • 2016  Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society
  • 2014  Residential Writing Fellowship, Dutch Royal Institute (KITLV) Leiden, The Netherlands
  • 2013 Residential Research Fellowship, International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • 2012 Bernadette Schmitt Research Grant, American Historical Association
  • 2011-2012 Senior Research Fellowship, Center for Khmer Studies, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • 2011 Summer Research Stipend, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • 2011 Research Grant, Society for French Historical Studies
  • 2009 Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society

    Professor Firpo is currently assembling a team of undergraduate researchers for a project on fashion in early 20th century Southeast Asia. Undergraduate and graduate students of all majors are welcome, particularly those with advanced tech skills. First-generation students and students from under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. Please email












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