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”

• Publications

♦ Book

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

• Interview with Aaron Schachter, produced by Traci Tong, “Photos of a forgotten China drop in one man’s lap,” Public Radio International (PRI) “The World,” March 17, 2015.

• Interview with William Foreman, “Forgotten photos, film provide unique view of China,” Michigan News, March 2, 2015. forgotten-photos-film-provide-unique-view-of-china