Joseph W. Ho



I am interested in 20th century East Asian history and Sino-US encounters, with my studies shaped by the fields of cultural history, transnational history, and visual culture. I am drawn to the ways in which vernacular photography and filmmaking translate vision and experience “on the ground,” as well as the effects of technology and materiality on such mediations across time.

My recent research focused on visual practices of American Protestant and Catholic missionaries in modern China as a broad historical phenomenon – a project of visual world-making. I examine diverse images and imaging experiences that framed modern perceptions, religious imaginations, and cross-cultural encounters in the lives of both missionaries and Chinese individuals. My work is based on a large body of previously unexplored photographs, films, documents, and oral histories – discovered and assembled during my research in institutional and private collections across the US and East Asia.

I am always delighted to share my interests and experiences, and look forward to hearing from you.

Michigan News Video: Forgotten Photos Provide Unique View of China

"Forgotten photos, film provide unique view of China"
by William Foreman, Global Michigan

by Debing Su, Michigan News