Meet the Fellows: 2016 Women’s Studies Fellow Joshua Hubbard

This is one of a series of posts featuring Fellows from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation network.

The Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies supports the final year of dissertation writing for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences whose work addresses women’s and gendered issues in interdisciplinary and original ways. The 2016 class of Fellows includes Joshua Hubbard, a doctoral candidate in history and women’s studies at the University of Michigan. Mr. Hubbard shares about the trove of sources he found in an archive much closer to home than anticipated:

The global scope of my dissertation has taken me to archives throughout Asia, Europe, and North America, but I didn’t expect to find a wealth of relevant, primary documents on campus at my university. Much to my surprise, the University of Michigan played an important role in the development of maternal and infant health programs in China during the early to mid-twentieth century. University of Michigan alumnus John Black Grant became a leading public health advisor to the Chinese Nationalist government and an early advocate for the founding of a midwifery training center in Beijing. When I went to the university’s Bentley Historical Library to search for Grant’s records among alumni files, I soon uncovered scores of Chinese women who graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in science and medicine. It took some work to transliterate their Anglicized names back into Chinese, but eventually I found that a number of these women (such as Me-Iung Ting, Ai Lan Giang, and Yi-Fang Wu) featured prominently in the Chinese-language documents I had collected from archives in Shanghai and Taipei. The university’s Barbour Scholarships for Oriental Women attracted students from various Asian countries to the University of Michigan during the 1910s and 1920s. Their alumni files in Ann Arbor have provided a richer picture of their lives that has been helpful for understanding the records of their later careers in China from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Mr. Hubbard’s dissertation title is Reproductive Subjects: Chinese Women and the Politics of Global Health. For more information on the 2016 Women’s Studies Fellows and a list of their dissertation titles, click here.


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