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Howard Chiang

Education

  • Ph.D., Princeton University, 2012

About

Born in Taiwan and grew up in Canada, Professor Howard Chiang joined the faculty of UC Davis in 2017. He has written two monographs on China, forming a duology of queer Asian Pacific history through the lens of knowledge production. After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China analyzes the history of sex change in China from the demise of castration in the late Qing era to the emergence of transsexuality in Cold War Taiwan. Transtopia in the Sinophone Pacific proposes a new paradigm for doing transgender history in which geopolitics assumes central importance. A new monograph in progress is tentatively titled Trans Without Borders: Fragile Sovereignty and Historical Difference. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History, which was awarded the 2020 Dartmouth Medal by the American Library Association.

Chiang's recent work centers on the historical and conceptual foundations of the human sciences, especially psychoanalysis, cultural psychiatry, and racial science. This will culminate in a book called Mind Hunters (under contract with Columbia University Press), which explores the history of psychoanalysis and transcultural reasoning across the Pacific. He coedits (with James Welker) the "Global Queer Asias" book series published by the University of Michigan Press. An editor of Cultural History and Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, he also sits on the editorial boards of numerous book series and journals, including Gender & History, Journal of the History of Sexuality, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, and Journal of Women's History.

Between 2019 and 2022, Chiang served as the Founding Chair of the Society of Sinophone Studies. An affiliate of the East Asian Studies, Science & Technology Studies, Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, and Feminist Theory & Research programs on campus, he convenes the annual Liu Lecture in honor of KC Liu. Prior to coming to UC Davis, he taught at the University of Warwick in England and the University of Waterloo in Canada. 

Research Focus

Professor Chiang’s research focuses on the history of modern China and global Sinophone cultures, with an emphasis on the critical studies of science, medicine, race, gender, and sexuality. Grants and fellowships from, among others, Academia Sinica, the British Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, the Tang Prize Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust have funded his work. His writing has helped to advance the fields of transgender history, Sinophone studies, psychoanalysis, and the historical epistemology of East Asian science and medicine.

Selected Publications

Chiang, H. (2021). Transtopia in the Sinophone Pacific. New York: Columbia University Press.

Chiang, H. (Ed.) (2021). Queer Taiwanese Literature: A Reader. Amherst: Cambria Press.

Chiang, H., & Wong, A. K. (Eds.). (2020). Keywords in Queer Sinophone Studies. London: Routledge.

Chiang, H. (Ed.). (2019). The Making of the Human Sciences in China: Historical and Conceptual Foundations. Leiden: Brill.

Chiang, H. (Ed.). (2019). Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History (3 vols). Farmington Hills: Charles Scribner's Sons.

Chiang, H. (2018). After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China. New York: Columbia University Press.

Chiang, H. (Ed.). (2018). Sexuality in China: Histories of Power and Pleasure. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Teaching

East Asian Civilization: China (HIS 9A); Sex, Science, and Society: A Global History (HIS/STS 16); Undergraduate Proseminar in the History of Sexuality in Modern China (HIS 102H); Themes in World History (HIS 110); Global Freud: Psychoanalysis and the Politics of the Unconscious (HIS 135B); The Rise of Modern Science in China (HIS 135B); The Chinese Revolution (HIS 191E); History of the People's Republic of China (HIS 191F); Special Topics in Chinese History After 1800 (HIS 191H); Sex & Society in Modern Chinese History (HIS 191J); Sources and General Literature of History: Modern China (HIS 201G); History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Modern China (HIS 201S); Cross-Cultural Women's & Gender History: Global Intimacies (HIS 201Q); Global Sexualities: Theoretical and Historical Perspectives (HIS 201X/CST 204); Major Issues in Historical Interpretation: China (202F).

Awards

Member, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, 2022–2023

Finalist, Bonnie and Vern L. Bullough Book Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, 2022

Finalist, Lammy Award in LGBTQ Studies, Lambda Literary Foundation, 2022

Honorable Mention, Big Other Readers' Choice Award, Big Other Magazine, 2022

Henry Luce Fellowship, National Humanities Center, 2021–2022

Bonnie and Vern L. Bullough Book Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, 2020

Dartmouth Medal for Excellence in Reference, Reference and User Services Association, American Library Association, 2020

Best Book in the Humanities Prize (Biennial), International Convention of Asia Scholars, 2019

Yu Ying-shih Award in Humanities Research (Monographic Book Category), Academia Sinica and Tang Prize Foundation, 2018