Mondays: 3:00PM - 5:00PM
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.
- U.S. history, 19th and 20th centuries
- U.S. international history
- political and intellectual history
- history of science and medicine
- American political development
- social knowledge and state power
- knowledge and empire
J. Wang. American Science in an Age of Anxiety: Scientists, Anticommunism, and the Cold War. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.
J. Wang, “‘Broken Symmetry’: Physics, Aesthetics, and Moral Virtue in Nuclear Age America”, Epistemic Virtues: Towards an Integrated History of the Sciences and the Humanities, vol. 321, pp. 27-47, 2017.
J. Wang, “A State of Rumor: Low Knowledge, Nuclear Fear, and the Scientist as Security Risk”, Journal of Policy History (Special issue: Governing the Security State), 2016.
J. Wang, “Colonial Crossings: Social Science, Social Knowledge, and American Power, 1890-1970”, in Cold War Science and the Transatlantic Circulation of Knowledge, J. van Dongen Brill: Leiden and Boston, 2015, pp. 184-213.
J. Wang and Krige, J., “Introduction”, History and Technology (Special Edition: Nation, Knowledge, and Imagined Futures: Science, Technology, and Nation-Building, Post-1945), pp. 171-179, 2015.
J. Wang, “Dogs and the making of the American state: voluntary association, state power, and the politics of animal control in New York City, 1850–1920”, Journal of American History (Bloomington, Ind.), vol. 98, pp. 998-1024, 2012.
J. Wang, “Physics, Emotion, and the Scientific Self: Merle Tuve's Cold War”, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, vol. 42, pp. 341-388, 2012.
J. Wang, “The science of industrial labor relations and U.S. public policy: William Leiserson, David Saposs, and labor economics in the interwar years”, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, vol. Fall 2010, no. 46, pp. 371-393, 2010.
J. Wang, “Neo-Brandeisianism and the New Deal: Adolf A. Berle, Jr., William O. Douglas, and the Problem of Corporate Finance in the 1930s”, Seattle University Law Review , vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 1221-46, 2010.
J. Wang, “Condon, Edward Uhler”, in New Dictionary of Scientific Biography, N. Koertge New York: Charles Scribner and Sons, 2007.
R. Beyler, Kojevnikov, A., and Wang, J., “Purges in Comparative Perspective: Rules for Exclusion and Inclusion in the Scientific Community under Political Pressure”, Osiris, vol. 20, pp. 23-48, 2005.
J. Wang, “Imagining the Administrative State: Legal Pragmatism, Securities Regulation, and New Deal Liberalism”, Journal of Policy History, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 257-293., 2005.
J. Wang, “The United States, the United Nations, and the Other Post-Cold War World Order: Internationalism and Unilateralism in the American Century”, in Cold War Triumphalism: The Politics of American History After the Fall of Communism, E. W. Schrecker New York: New Press, 2004, pp. 201-34.
J. Wang, “Scientists and the Problem of the Public in Cold War America, 1945-1960”, Osiris, vol. 17, pp. 323-347, 2002.
J. Wang, “Merton's Shadow: Perspectives on Science and Democracy since 1940”, Historical studies in the physical and biological sciences, vol. 30, pp. 279-306, 1999.
J. Wang, “Liberals, the progressive left, and the political economy of postwar American science: the National Science Foundation debate revisited”, Historical studies in the physical and biological sciences, vol. 26, pp. 139-166, 1995.
J. Wang, “Science, Security, and the Cold War: The Case of E. U. Condon”, Isis, vol. 83, no. June 1992, pp. 238-269, 1992.
J. Wang and Krige, J. (eds), “Nation, Knowledge, and Imagined Futures: Science, Technology, and Nation-Building, Post-1945”, History and Technology, vol. 31, no. 3. pp. 171-340, 2015.
Doctoral dissertations supervised or co-supervised:
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).
M.A. theses supervised or co-supervised:
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).