Jessica Wang

Professor | Starting July 2022

Research Area

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995, PhD
Cornell University, 1988, BA

About

Joining UBC Geography in July 2022
On leave until June 30th 2023
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 history department website: history.ubc.ca/profiles/jessica-wang/


Publications

2022

“Knowledge, State Power, and the Invention of International Science,” in Knowledge Flows in a Global Age: A Transnational Approach, ed. John Krige (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press), 31-73, forthcoming, June 2022.

2021

Review essay of Andrew A. Robichaud, Animal City: The Domestication of America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019), in American Historical Review 126:2 (June 2021): 725-28.

2020

“Agricultural Expertise, Race, and Economic Development: Small Producer Ideology and Settler Colonialism in the Territory of Hawaii, 1900-1917,” special issue on “Development Interventions: Science, Technology and Technical Assistance,” ed. Gisela Mateos and Edna Suárez-Díaz, History and Technology 36:3-4 (2020): 310-36.

Review essay of Mario Daniels, “Controlling Knowledge, Controlling People: Travel Restrictions on U.S. Scientists and National Security,” Diplomatic History 43:1 (2019): 57-82, on H-Diplo, https://networks.h-net.org/node/28443/discussions/5761367/h-diplo-article-review-921-wang-daniels-“controlling-knowledge (posted 28 January 2020).

2019

“Empires of Knowledge: Constructing Global Order in the Twentieth Century,” co-edited with Axel Jansen and John Krige, Special issue, History and Technology 35:3 (2019): 195-363.

“Introduction,” co-authored with Axel Jansen and John Krige, “Empires of Knowledge: Constructing Global Order in the Twentieth Century,” Special issue, History and Technology 35:3 (2019): 195-202.

“Plants, Insects, and the Biological Management of American Empire: Tropical Agriculture in Early Twentieth-Century Hawai‘i,” special issue on “Empires of Knowledge: Constructing Global Order in the Twentieth Century,” ed. Axel Jansen, John Krige, and Jessica Wang, History and Technology 35:3 (2019): 203-36.

Mad Dogs and Other New Yorkers: Rabies, Medicine, and Society in an American Metropolis, 1840-1920 (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019; also published as an audiobook by Tantor Media, 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 (2019): 385-416.

2017

“‘Broken Symmetry’: Physics, Aesthetics, and Moral Virtue in Nuclear Age America,” in Epistemic Virtues: Towards an Integrated History of the Sciences and the Humanities, ed. Herman J. Paul and Jeroen van Dongen, Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 321 (Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2017), 27-47.

“Reckoning with the Spatial Turn,” review essay of Charles S. Maier, Once within Borders: Territories of Power, Wealth, and Belonging since 1500 (Cambridge, MA and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016), and William Rankin, After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2016), in Diplomatic History 41:5 (November 2017): 1010-18.

2016

“A State of Rumor: Low Knowledge, Nuclear Fear, and the Scientist as Security Risk,” in “Governing the Security State,” ed. William Bendix and Paul Quirk, Special issue, Journal of Policy History 28:3 (July 2016): 406-46.

2015

“Nation, Knowledge, and Imagined Futures: Science, Technology, and Nation-Building, Post-1945,” co-edited with John Krige, Special issue, History and Technology 31:3 (September 2015): 171-340.

“Introduction,” co-authored with John Krige, “Nation, Knowledge, and Imagined Futures: Science, Technology, and Nation-Building, Post-1945,” Special issue, History and Technology 31:3 (September 2015): 171-79.

“Colonial Crossings: Social Science, Social Knowledge, and American Power, 1890-1970,” in Cold War Science and the Transatlantic Circulation of Knowledge, ed. Jeroen van Dongen (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015), pp. 184-213.


Awards

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.


Jessica Wang

Professor | Starting July 2022

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995, PhD
Cornell University, 1988, BA

Joining UBC Geography in July 2022
On leave until June 30th 2023
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 history department website: history.ubc.ca/profiles/jessica-wang/

2022

“Knowledge, State Power, and the Invention of International Science,” in Knowledge Flows in a Global Age: A Transnational Approach, ed. John Krige (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press), 31-73, forthcoming, June 2022.

2021

Review essay of Andrew A. Robichaud, Animal City: The Domestication of America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019), in American Historical Review 126:2 (June 2021): 725-28.

2020

“Agricultural Expertise, Race, and Economic Development: Small Producer Ideology and Settler Colonialism in the Territory of Hawaii, 1900-1917,” special issue on “Development Interventions: Science, Technology and Technical Assistance,” ed. Gisela Mateos and Edna Suárez-Díaz, History and Technology 36:3-4 (2020): 310-36.

Review essay of Mario Daniels, “Controlling Knowledge, Controlling People: Travel Restrictions on U.S. Scientists and National Security,” Diplomatic History 43:1 (2019): 57-82, on H-Diplo, https://networks.h-net.org/node/28443/discussions/5761367/h-diplo-article-review-921-wang-daniels-“controlling-knowledge (posted 28 January 2020).

2019

“Empires of Knowledge: Constructing Global Order in the Twentieth Century,” co-edited with Axel Jansen and John Krige, Special issue, History and Technology 35:3 (2019): 195-363.

“Introduction,” co-authored with Axel Jansen and John Krige, “Empires of Knowledge: Constructing Global Order in the Twentieth Century,” Special issue, History and Technology 35:3 (2019): 195-202.

“Plants, Insects, and the Biological Management of American Empire: Tropical Agriculture in Early Twentieth-Century Hawai‘i,” special issue on “Empires of Knowledge: Constructing Global Order in the Twentieth Century,” ed. Axel Jansen, John Krige, and Jessica Wang, History and Technology 35:3 (2019): 203-36.

Mad Dogs and Other New Yorkers: Rabies, Medicine, and Society in an American Metropolis, 1840-1920 (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019; also published as an audiobook by Tantor Media, 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 (2019): 385-416.

2017

“‘Broken Symmetry’: Physics, Aesthetics, and Moral Virtue in Nuclear Age America,” in Epistemic Virtues: Towards an Integrated History of the Sciences and the Humanities, ed. Herman J. Paul and Jeroen van Dongen, Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 321 (Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2017), 27-47.

“Reckoning with the Spatial Turn,” review essay of Charles S. Maier, Once within Borders: Territories of Power, Wealth, and Belonging since 1500 (Cambridge, MA and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016), and William Rankin, After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2016), in Diplomatic History 41:5 (November 2017): 1010-18.

2016

“A State of Rumor: Low Knowledge, Nuclear Fear, and the Scientist as Security Risk,” in “Governing the Security State,” ed. William Bendix and Paul Quirk, Special issue, Journal of Policy History 28:3 (July 2016): 406-46.

2015

“Nation, Knowledge, and Imagined Futures: Science, Technology, and Nation-Building, Post-1945,” co-edited with John Krige, Special issue, History and Technology 31:3 (September 2015): 171-340.

“Introduction,” co-authored with John Krige, “Nation, Knowledge, and Imagined Futures: Science, Technology, and Nation-Building, Post-1945,” Special issue, History and Technology 31:3 (September 2015): 171-79.

“Colonial Crossings: Social Science, Social Knowledge, and American Power, 1890-1970,” in Cold War Science and the Transatlantic Circulation of Knowledge, ed. Jeroen van Dongen (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015), pp. 184-213.

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.

Jessica Wang

Professor | Starting July 2022

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995, PhD
Cornell University, 1988, BA

Joining UBC Geography in July 2022
On leave until June 30th 2023
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 history department website: history.ubc.ca/profiles/jessica-wang/

2022

“Knowledge, State Power, and the Invention of International Science,” in Knowledge Flows in a Global Age: A Transnational Approach, ed. John Krige (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press), 31-73, forthcoming, June 2022.

2021

Review essay of Andrew A. Robichaud, Animal City: The Domestication of America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019), in American Historical Review 126:2 (June 2021): 725-28.

2020

“Agricultural Expertise, Race, and Economic Development: Small Producer Ideology and Settler Colonialism in the Territory of Hawaii, 1900-1917,” special issue on “Development Interventions: Science, Technology and Technical Assistance,” ed. Gisela Mateos and Edna Suárez-Díaz, History and Technology 36:3-4 (2020): 310-36.

Review essay of Mario Daniels, “Controlling Knowledge, Controlling People: Travel Restrictions on U.S. Scientists and National Security,” Diplomatic History 43:1 (2019): 57-82, on H-Diplo, https://networks.h-net.org/node/28443/discussions/5761367/h-diplo-article-review-921-wang-daniels-“controlling-knowledge (posted 28 January 2020).

2019

“Empires of Knowledge: Constructing Global Order in the Twentieth Century,” co-edited with Axel Jansen and John Krige, Special issue, History and Technology 35:3 (2019): 195-363.

“Introduction,” co-authored with Axel Jansen and John Krige, “Empires of Knowledge: Constructing Global Order in the Twentieth Century,” Special issue, History and Technology 35:3 (2019): 195-202.

“Plants, Insects, and the Biological Management of American Empire: Tropical Agriculture in Early Twentieth-Century Hawai‘i,” special issue on “Empires of Knowledge: Constructing Global Order in the Twentieth Century,” ed. Axel Jansen, John Krige, and Jessica Wang, History and Technology 35:3 (2019): 203-36.

Mad Dogs and Other New Yorkers: Rabies, Medicine, and Society in an American Metropolis, 1840-1920 (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019; also published as an audiobook by Tantor Media, 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 (2019): 385-416.

2017

“‘Broken Symmetry’: Physics, Aesthetics, and Moral Virtue in Nuclear Age America,” in Epistemic Virtues: Towards an Integrated History of the Sciences and the Humanities, ed. Herman J. Paul and Jeroen van Dongen, Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 321 (Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2017), 27-47.

“Reckoning with the Spatial Turn,” review essay of Charles S. Maier, Once within Borders: Territories of Power, Wealth, and Belonging since 1500 (Cambridge, MA and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016), and William Rankin, After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2016), in Diplomatic History 41:5 (November 2017): 1010-18.

2016

“A State of Rumor: Low Knowledge, Nuclear Fear, and the Scientist as Security Risk,” in “Governing the Security State,” ed. William Bendix and Paul Quirk, Special issue, Journal of Policy History 28:3 (July 2016): 406-46.

2015

“Nation, Knowledge, and Imagined Futures: Science, Technology, and Nation-Building, Post-1945,” co-edited with John Krige, Special issue, History and Technology 31:3 (September 2015): 171-340.

“Introduction,” co-authored with John Krige, “Nation, Knowledge, and Imagined Futures: Science, Technology, and Nation-Building, Post-1945,” Special issue, History and Technology 31:3 (September 2015): 171-79.

“Colonial Crossings: Social Science, Social Knowledge, and American Power, 1890-1970,” in Cold War Science and the Transatlantic Circulation of Knowledge, ed. Jeroen van Dongen (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015), pp. 184-213.

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.