Claire’s research focuses on the history of colonialism, migration and labour across northern Australia and Southeast Asia. Her first book, Masters and Servants: Cultures of Empire in the Tropics, 1880-1930, was published by Manchester University Press in 2016. The book explores the emergence of a shared colonial culture of domestic service in Singapore and Darwin. Claire shows how this shared culture was forged through the exchange of ideas, people and trade between the port cities and was marked the common preference for employing Chinese ‘houseboys’ in the homes of British and white Australian colonists.
Claire undertook further research on the culture of ‘houseboys’ and colonialism in the tropics as part of a collaborative ARC Discovery Project based at the University of Wollongong with Julia Martinez, Frances Steel and Victoria Haskins. The major outcome of this project, Colonialism and Male Domestic Service across the Asia-Pacific, was published by Bloomsbury in 2019.
She is a co-editor (with Haskins) of a volume on Colonization and Domestic Service: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge, New York, 2015). Claire has published her work in Modern Asian Studies, Labor History, The Pacific Historical Review, Gender and History, The Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History and History Australia.