A naturalized American citizen with bases in the Boston area, Massachusetts, the Lower Rhine of Germany, and Shanghai—born in Luoyang, capital of thirteen Chinese dynasties—Dr. Wang left home on her first train ride at the age of sixteen to pursue a B.A. in history at Shandong University in the early-late 1980s. Since then, with two Ph.D.s from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (1993) and the University of Kansas (1998) under the aegis of the Pew Charitable Trusts, she has worked at the level of full professor in the United States, Europe, and China. A director of a 2014-15 U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities program and the immediate past president of the Historical Society for Twentieth Century China based in the United States, Dr. Wang currently serves on the editorial board of Association for Asian Studies (U.S.), American Foreign Relations Since 1600: A Guide to the Literature (U.S.), the Journal of American-East Asian Relations (Netherlands), China Information (Britain), Twentieth-Century China (U.S. and Britain), the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs (Germany), and Zongjiao yu Meiguo shehui (Religion and American Society, Fudan University).
On average, each year she peer-reviews about 60 articles and book manuscripts mostly in English, serving more than 30 academic journals and publishers. She also provides counsels to the major news media including BBC Radio 4 (e.g. The Deal) and the Washington Post.
Centering on China’s multi-faceted engagement with the outside world, Dr. Wang conducts original research in Chinese, English, French, German, and Japanese. Her book, The United States and China: A History from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), has won the "Choice Outstanding Academic Titles 2013: Top 25 Book" award (out of nearly 7,000 books and across 54 fields) in the United States. Other acclaimed books that she single-authored include China's Unequal Treaties: Narrating National History (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) and Managing God's Higher Learning: U.S.-China Cultural Encounter and Canton Christian College (Lingnan University), 1888-1952 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007). She edited Chapter 6 (300 pages): "The United States, Asia, and the Pacific, 1815-1919," in Alan McPherson, ed., The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) Guide: An Annotated Bibliography of American Foreign Relations since 1600, Brill, 2017 (over 2,300 pages), Christianity as an Issue in the History of United States-China Relations (a special volume of the Journal of American-East Asian Relations, vol. 13, 2008) and Restructuring Governance in Contemporary Urban China: Perspectives on State and Society (the Journal of Contemporary China, vol. 20, no. 72, November 2011).
Her latest work includes: "Between Tribute and Unequal Treaties: How China Saw the Sea World in the Early Nineteenth Century," History: The Journal of the Historical Association (U.K.) 103, no. 355 (April 2018): 262-285; "Xin shiqi yingwen shijie zhong de jindai zhongwai guanxishi yanjiu," [新时期英文世界中的近代中外关系史研究 Modern China in world affairs: A historiographical essay] Shehui kexue pingjia [社会科学评价] (Beijing, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) 10, no. 2 (June 2017): 65-75. An excerpt appeared in Zhongguo shehui kexue wenzhai [中国社会科学文摘], no. 10 (2017): 24-25; "US-China Economic Relations," in Andrew Tan, ed., A Handbook of US-China Relations, (Surrey, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016, pp. 155-177); "The Unequal Treaties and the Treaty Ports," in Tim Wright, ed., Oxford Bibliographies in Chinese Studies, and "The 'Letter Should Not Beg': Chinese Diaspora and Philanthropy in Higher Education," in John Fitzgerald and Hon Ming Yip, eds., Philanthropy and the Chinese Diaspora on the Pacific Rim, 1850-1949.
She is presently completing a book manuscript on Luoyang's World Heritage site, the Longmen Grottoes, in Chinese and global history.