Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995, PhD
Cornell University, 1988, BA
Cross-appointed to the Department of History
My research addresses the historical entanglements between science, knowledge, and power. I am currently exploring the interplay between biogeography and the spatiality of state and society through the study of agriculture and the biological management of colonial spaces within the U.S. insular empire of the early twentieth century.
A wide range of other projects—on science, cold war ideology, and nuclear age politics in the United States; social science and state power during the New Deal era; the social history of rabies in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century New York City; and the fraught interconnections between scientific and social knowledge, state power, internationalism, and colonialism–have produced this now-ongoing preoccupation with botany and entomology, agriculture, and the history of U.S. empire.
Questions of scale also inform my interests in human experience and interactions with the natural world, whether at the level of the interior space of the scientific self, the everyday social experience of the street, urban governance, national level policymaking, or the place of the United States within a global order.
I joined the UBC Department of History as an Associate Professor in 2006. More recently, my growing concerns with the spatial and material dimensions of science, environment, and state power have led me to the Department of Geography.
For a more extensive description of my past work and a list of my major publications from the 1990s to the present, please consult the UBC Department of History website.
Wang, J. 2023. Animals, Infrastructure, and Empire: Insects and Birds as Biological Control Agents in Early Twentieth-Century Hawai‘i. In Bellwether Histories: Animals, Humans, and U.S. Environments in Crisis, edited by S. Nance and J. Marks, 130-56. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Wang, J. Rabies, Medicine, and Culture: Dogs, Disease, and Urban Life in the United States, 1840-1920. In History of Rabies in the Americas: From the Pre-Columbian to the Present, vol. 1, edited by C. E. Rupprecht, 241-60. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.
Wang, J. 2022. Knowledge, State Power, and the Invention of International Science. In Knowledge Flows in a Global Age: A Transnational Approach, edited by J. Krige, 31-73. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
Wang, J. 2020. Agricultural Expertise, Race, and Economic Development: Small Producer Ideology and Settler Colonialism in the Territory of Hawaii, 1900-1917. History and Technology 36 (3-4): 310-336. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/07341512.2020.1859775
Wang, J. 2019. Mad Dogs and Other New Yorkers: Rabies, Medicine, and Society in an American Metropolis, 1840-1920. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Wang, J. 2019. Plants, Insects, and the Biological Management of American Empire: Tropical Agriculture in Early Twentieth-Century Hawai‘i. History and Technology 35 (3): 203- 236. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/07341512.2019.1680143
Jansen, A. J. Krige. and J. Wang. 2019. Empires of Knowledge: Constructing Global Order in the Twentieth Century. History and Technology 35 (3): 195-363. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/07341512.2019.1680141
Wang, J. 2019. Looking Forward in a Failing World: Adolf A. Berle, Jr., the United States, and Global Order in the Interwar Years. Seattle University Law Review 42 (2): 385-416.
Faculty Fellow, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University, 2018-19
Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Faculty Research Fellowship, UBC/Killam Trusts, 2016-17
Faculty Fellow, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University, Spring 2012