Albert Wu

Associate Professor

  • Department: History and Politics
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    On Leave

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Professor Wu joined the American University of Paris in Fall 2013 after completing his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. His first book, From Christ to Confucius: German Missionaries, Chinese Christians, and the Globalization of Christianity, 1860-1950 will be published by Yale University Press in November 2016. It offers a revisionist history of European missionary work in China, telling the story of how European missionaries went from outspoken opponents of Confucianism to ardent defenders of it. The book also investigates how how German missionaries and Chinese Christians jointly established an indigenous Chinese Church. 

His second book project, a history of global health governance written through the lens of European and East Asian interactions, further engages with the transnational and global turn in historical studies. In 2016-2017, he will be conducting research for the book on an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Free University Berlin. 


  • PhD (December 2013), Department of History, University of California, Berkeley. Dissertation: “German Missionaries, Chinese Christians, and the Globalization of Christianity, 1860-1950”
  • MA (2008), Department of History, University of California, Berkeley
  • BA (2005), Department of History (Honors), Columbia University, New York


  • From Christ to Confucius: German Missionaries, Chinese Christians, and the Globalization of Christianity, 1860-1950 (Yale University Press, November 2016).
Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • “The Quest for an ‘Indigenous Church’: German Missionaries, Chinese Christians, and the Indigenization Debates of the 1920s,” American Historical Review 122, no. 1 (February 2017): 85-114.  
  • “Forever a Patriot: Chinese Christians and the Repudiation of American Liberal Protestantism,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 85, no. 1 (February 2017): 112-135.
  • “Ernst Faber and the Consequences of Failure: A Study of a Nineteenth Century German Missionary in China,” Central European History (Cambridge University Press) 47, no. 1 (March 2014): 1-29. DOI:
  • “Catholic Universities as Missionary Spaces: Wilhelm Schmidt, Chen Yuan, and the Catholic University in Beijing.”Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften 24 no. 2, special edition on “Missionsräume,” edited by Christine Egger and Martina Gugglberger (June 2013): 92-112.
  • “Catholic and Protestant Individuals in Nineteenth-Century German Missionary Periodicals.” In a forum on “The Form and Function of Nineteenth-Century Missionary Periodicals,” Church History 82, no. 2 (June 2013): 394-398. DOI:
  •  “Converting Individuals, Saving the State: Narratives of Conversion in Nineteenth-Century German Missionary Periodicals.” In Missions and Media: The Politics of Missionary Periodicals in the Long Nineteenth Century, edited by Felicity Jensz and Hanna Acke (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2013).
  •  “ 'Unafraid of the Gospel': Johann Hinrich Wichern and the Battle for the Soul of Prussian Prisons.” Church History 78, no. 2 (June 2009): 283-308. doi:10.1017/S0009640709000493
  • “The Secularization of the Chaplaincy: A History of the Columbia University Chaplaincy, 1908-1968.” History of Universities (Oxford University Press) 21, no. 1 (Winter 2006):178-210.
Review Essays and Journalism
Book Reviews
  • Review of Seeing Things Their Way: Intellectual History and the Return of Religion, edited by Alister Chapman, John Coffey, and Brad S. Gregory, in Religious Studies Review 7, no. 3 (September 2011): 223-224.
  • Review of The Second Disestablishment: Church and State in Nineteenth-Century America, by Steven K. Green, in Religious Studies Review 37, no. 1 (March 2011): 74-75.
  • Review of The Civic Life of American Religion, ed. by Paul Lichterman and C. Brady Potts, in Religious Studies Review 36, no. 3 (September 2010): 240.
  • Review of America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity, by Robert Wuthnow, in Religious Studies Review 36, no. 1 (March, 2010): 96.
  • (From Chinese to English) Exploring History: Museum of the Institute of History and Philology (Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, 2007).
Other Writing
  • “Taiwan’s Gold.” In The Magazine:
  • “In Hell, 'We Shall Be Free': On Breaking Bad and Paradise Lost.” Co-written with Michelle Kuo. Review of the television series Breaking Bad, in the Los Angeles Review of Books (July 13th, 2012)
  • “Between History and Mystery: Imaging ‘The Synagogue of the Chinese Jews’ (1827),” guest post for the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life Open Source Blog:

Conferences & Lectures

  • “European Religious and Secular Visions of the Chinese Body,” European Congress on World and Global History, Budapest, Hungary, 2 September, 2017.
  • “Quackery and Superstition: Scenes from a Global History,” Global Cultural Encounters, 1750s-1950s – Between the Material and Immaterial, held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2-4 August 2017.
  • “Quackery and Superstition in Europe and China: Scenes from a Global History, c. 1880-1960,” Global History Colloquium at the Freidrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, 12 June 2017. 
  • “From Christ to Confucius,” Ostasiatisches Seminar, Freie Universität Berlin, 4 May 2017.
  • “From Christ to Confucius,” Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, 9 February 2017.
  • “German History, Global Christianity, and the Transnational Encounter,” Paper for the German Studies Association Seminar on “Global History, Literature, and Culture from a German Base,” Denver, CO, 3-6 October, 2013.
  • “Should We Think of a Missionary Society as a Multi-National Corporation?” Paper for the Conference “Actor Networks Between Global Markets and the Nation, 1650-1950,” Freie Universität, Berlin, 1-3 August, 2013.
  • “How China and the U. S. Can Better Achieve Healthy Interactions in the Asia-Pacific,” Roundtable Discussion with Representatives from the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, Institute of East Asian Studies, Berkeley, CA., 18 October, 2012.
  • “Ernst Faber and the Consequences of Failure,” German Historical Institute Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar, Invited Participant, Washington D. C.,  2-5 May, 2012.
  • “In the Wake of Empire: German Missionaries in China and the Consequences of Failure,” invited lecture for the Thyssen Lecture Series: The History of German Colonialism and Imperialism, UC Irvine, Monday, 5 March, 2012.
  • Discussant, Roger Thompson, “Re-building Local Sovereignty in Late-Qing China: Li Hongzhang, Christianity, and the Disestablishment of Religion at the Village Level,” Center for Chinese Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 30 September 2011.
  • “Chen Yuan, Cultural Imperialism, and Historical Revisionism,” Paper at the Annual World History Association Conference, Beijing, China, 9 July 2011.
  • “德國傳教士, 中國基督徒, 與基督教的全球化:以陳垣和 Wilhelm Schmidt 為例” (German Missionaries, Chinese Christians, and the Globalization of Christianity: Examining the Cases of Wilhelm Schmidt and Chen Yuan), Presentation at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, 5 July, 2011.
  • “德國傳教士, 中國基督徒, 與基督教的全球化” (German Missionaries, Chinese Christians, and the Globalization of Christianity), Presentation at the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, 22 June 2011.
  • “German Missionaries, Chinese Christians, and Shifting Conceptions of the Sacred in Shandong, 1890-1940,” Paper at the Annual Association for Asian Studies Conference, Honolulu, 3 April 2011.
  • “Narrating Redemption: Autobiographies and Biographies of Converts in Late Nineteenth-Century German Missionary Periodicals,” Paper at the Conference on “Politics within Nineteenth-Century Missionary Periodicals,” Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, 3 December, 2010.
  • “The Consequences of Failure: German Missions in China after World War I,” Paper at the German Studies Association Annual Meeting, 10 October, 2010.


Professional Society Membership
  • American Historical Association, Member
  • German Studies Association, Member
  • Conference for Central European History, Member
  • Association for Asian Studies, Member
  • World History Association, Member
  • American Society for Church History, Member
Major Awards and Fellowships
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers. 2016-17 
  • “Professor of the Year” Award, Given by the Students Government Association of the American University of Paris. 2015-16         
  • The American University of Paris Board of Trustees Distinguished Teaching Award. 2014-15         
  • Friends of Cal History Dissertation Prize, Awarded to the Best Dissertation Completed in the 2013 calendar year in the UC Berkeley History Department.
  • Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2012-2013.
  • Haas Junior Scholars Program for Doctoral Candidates, UC Berkeley, 2012-2013.
  • Academia Sinica, Taiwan, Fellowship for Doctoral Candidates in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2010-2011.
  • Fulbright IIE for Germany, 2009-2010.
  • DAAD Graduate Scholarship 2009-2010 (Declined).
  • UC Berkeley Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, 2008-2009.
  • DAAD German Studies Award, Summer 2008.
  • Foreign Language and Areas Studies Fellowship (FLAS), Summer 2007, for Japanese.
  • UC Berkeley History Department Fellowship, 2006-2007.
  • Columbia University History Department, Departmental Honors, 2005.

Curriculum Vitae