Joseph Ho

Assistant Professor of History
East Asian History

Office: Robinson Hall 207
Phone: 517/629-0233


  • 2017 Ph.D., University of Michigan (History)
  • 2012 M.A., University of Michigan (History)
  • 2009 B.A., University of California San Diego (East Asian History, Honors with Highest Distinction)

Courses Offered

  • East Asia: Cultures and Civilizations
  • Modern China
  • Visualizing East Asia
  • American Encounters with China: Cross-Cultural Histories and Global Dynamics

Scholarly Activity

Current Research Project

"All Things Visible and Invisible: Photography, Filmmaking, and American Christian Missions in Modern China"



  • War and Occupation in China: The Letters of an American Missionary from Hangzhou, 1937-1938, co-edited with Charles Bright (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)

Book Chapter

  • "Imaging Missions, Visualizing Experience: American Presbyterian Photography, Filmmaking, and Chinese Christianity in Interwar Republican China," in China's Christianity: From Mission to Indigenous Church, Anthony E. Clark ed. (Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2017)

Selected Articles

  • "Cameras and Conversions: Crossing Boundaries in American Catholic Missionary Experience and Photography in Modern China," U.S. Catholic Historian, 34 (2016): 93-120
  • "Tracing Visions," in "Talking Shop" article series, Dissertation Reviews, March 1, 2016
  • "'In Our Image:' Visual Perception and American Protestant Missions in Interwar China," UCLA Historical Journal, 23 (2012): 43-61

Selected Invited Talks

  • "Visions of Violence: American Missionary Films and Visual Traces of the Nanjing Massacre," Pace University, New York (February 2018)
  • "Missionary Lenses, Windows to the Past: Visual Practices, Medical Missions, and Global Connections between Rye and Pre-1949 China," Jay Heritage Center, New York, (May 2017)
  • "Images and Afterlives: Missionary Photography and Visual Experience in Modern Chinese History," Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan (May 2015)
  • "Modern China through Missionary Lenses: Using Visual Materials in the Study of 20th Century Sino-American Encounters (透过传教士的镜头看近代中国:用可视资料研究 二十世纪中美文化碰撞)," Fudan University, Shanghai (December 2013)

Research Interests

  • Modern Chinese History
  • Sino-US Encounters
  • Cultural and Transnational History
  • Christianity in China
  • Global Visual Culture
  • History of Photography


  • Henry Luce Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, University of San Francisco (2017)
  • David M. Stowe Fellowship for Mission Research, Yale University Divinity School (2017)
  • Doris G. Quinn Foundation Fellowship in History (2017)
  • Seminar and Workshop Grant, Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan (2016)
  • Rackham Humanities Dissertation Fellowship, University of Michigan (2015-2016)
  • Frederick B. Artz Summer Research Grant, Oberlin College Archives (2012, 2015)
  • Lieberthal Family Fellowship, Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan (2015)
  • Albert Feuerwerker and Ernest P. Young Fellowship, University of Michigan (2014)
  • Knight Fellowship in American History, University of Michigan (2013)
  • Rackham Centennial Fellowship Award, University of Michigan (2013)
  • Rackham Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of Michigan (2013)
  • Rackham Merit Fellowship, University of Michigan (2010-2016)

Media Coverage