Jessica Wang works on nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. history and has pursued a wide range of interests related to the history of science and medicine, U.S. political and intellectual history, political theory, urban and social history, and the history of U.S. foreign relations. Her recently completed book manuscript, "Mad Dogs and Other New Yorkers: Rabies, Medicine, and Society in an American Metropolis, 1840-1920," is scheduled for publication by the Johns Hopkins University Press in the second half of 2019. The book uses the social history of a dread disease to explore urban social geography, the place of domesticated animals in the nineteenth-century city, the centrality of pathological anatomy to the American medical imagination, the institutional contexts of medicine, disease, and public health, and the ties between the public-private relationship, urban governance, and American state-building. This research also rests on Wang's longer-term engagement with questions about the social and political contexts of knowledge, ideas, and public authority, which she has also addressed through studies of cold war American science, science and democratic political theory, social science and New Deal political economy, internationalism and U.S. foreign relations, and social knowledge, state power, and American globalism. She will continue to develop these themes in two new book projects: one on tropical agriculture and American empire, 1898-1930, and a second, broader study of inter-imperial collusion and American empire in the early twentieth century.
Wang's publications include American Science in an Age of Anxiety (1999), as well as articles in the Journal of American History, Isis, Osiris, the Journal of Policy History, Historical studies in the natural sciences, History and Technology, the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, and other forums. Her research has earned support from the National Science Foundation (U.S.), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Killam Trusts, among other sources. She is also a two-time recipient of fellowships at Harvard University's Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, where she visited as a faculty fellow in the spring 2012 semester, and in the 2018-19 academic year.
Denzil Ford, “The Sea, the Ship, and I: Stories, Things, and Objects from Oceanography during the Cold War” (UBC, 2015).
Henry Trim, “Experts at Work: The Canadian State, Environmentalism, and Renewable Energy in an Era of Limits, 1968-1983” (UBC, 2014).
Melvin Lebe, “Diminished Hopes: The United States and the United Nations during the Truman Years” (UCLA, 2012).
James Burnham Sedgwick, "The Trial Within: Negotiating Justice at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, 1946-1948" (UBC, 2012).
Victor J. Rodriguez, "The Practical Man: John Dewey, the Idea of America, and the Making of the Modern Mexican, 1923-1934" (UCLA, 2009).
Megan K. Barnhart, “‘To Secure the Benefits of Science to the General Welfare’: The Scientists’ Movement and the American Public during the Cold War, 1945-1960” (UCLA, 2007).
Peter S. Alagona, “Transforming Conservation: Endangered Species, Biodiversity, and the Political Economy of Science in California” (UCLA, 2006).
Laura J. Gifford, “The Center Cannot Hold: The 1960 Presidential Election and the Rise of Modern Conservatism” (UCLA, 2006).
Amanda K. McVety, “Truman’s Point Four Program and the Creation of America’s Modern Diplomatic Vision” (UCLA, 2006).
Jessica B. Elkind, “The First Casualties: American Nation Building Programs in South Vietnam, 1955-1965” (UCLA, 2005).
Dexter Fergie, “Re-Imagining America: The Princeton Military Studies Group and the Cultivation of the National Security Imagination, 1933-1947” (UBC, 2016).
Glynnis Kirchmeier, “‘We know them all as men who shall receive the protection of the law’: Chinese Participants in the Courts of Port Townsend, Washington Territory” (UBC, 2013).
Elizabeth Knowland, “Learning Internationalism: NASA’s Switch from National Security to International Cooperation on the Space Station” (UBC, 2013).
Philip Dunlop, “Sideshow Revisited: Cambodia and the Failure of American Diplomacy, 1973” (UBC, 2010).