Joseph W. Ho

Joseph HoAssociate Professor of History
East Asian History

Office: Robinson Hall 208
Phone: (517) 629-0233
Personal Website:


  • 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)


  • East Asia: Culture and Civilization
  • Visualizing East Asia
  • Modern China
  • Asian American History
  • Saints and Sinners: Histories of Christianity in China
  • World War II in the Pacific
  • STEM in East Asian History
  • (Honors) American Encounters with China

Scholarly Activity



Book Chapters

  • “Moving Visions: 16mm Filmmaking as Transnational Missionary Apparatus in Twentieth Century East Asia,” in Sixteen at 100: Histories of a Radical Film Format, Gregory A. Waller and Haidee Wasson, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2023)
  • “Visual Culture: The Convergence of Transnational Images,” in Visions of Salvation: Chinese Christian Posters in an Age of Revolution, Daryl R. Ireland, ed. (Baylor University Press, 2023)
  • “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. (Brill Publishers, 2017)

Selected Articles

Selected Invited Talks

  • “Visualizing Nostalgia: Postwar China, Missionary Imaging, and Memories of the Future,” Duke University (March 2023)
  • “Envisioning Encounters: Missionary Filmmaking as Transnational Documentary in Twentieth Century China,” Global China Humanities Lecture Series, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (March 2023)
  • “At Vision’s Edge: Modern China and American Encounters in Lost Photographs and Film,” Central Michigan University (February 2023)
  • “Framing Futurity: Photography, Religious Diaspora, and Transnational Imaginations of Cold War Taiwan,” Taiwan Studies Program, University of Nottingham (October 2022)
  • “Missionary Cameras and Modern China in Global Imaginations,” 21st Century China Center, University of California, San Diego (May 2022)
  • “Imaging History, Historicizing Images: Transnational Visualities in Cold War Taiwan,” Center for Taiwan Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara (April 2022)

Current Research Projects

  • Bamboo Wireless: Mediating the Cold War in Asia (book manuscript in preparation)
  • Time Exposures: Catholic Photography and the Evolution of Modern China, co-authored with Anthony E. Clark (under contract, Hong Kong University Press)

Research Interests

  • Modern China and Taiwan
  • Cultural and Transnational History
  • Global Visual Culture
  • Sino-US Histories
  • Christianity in China
  • Histories of Photography and Filmmaking
  • History of Technology

Selected Awards

  • Phi Beta Kappa Faculty Scholar of the Year, Albion College (2022)
  • Domestic Travel Grant, Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, University of San Francisco (2019)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Rackham Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of Michigan (2013)
  • Rackham Merit Fellowship, University of Michigan (2010-2016)

Selected Media Coverage