Joanna Waley-Cohen

Joanna Waley-Cohen

Julius Silver Professor of History; Provost, NYU Shanghai

Yale University, PhD 1987

Office Address: 

Bobst Library, Room 1252



Field of Study: 

East Asia

Areas of Research/Interest: 

Early modern Chinese history; China and the West; Chinese imperial culture.


Joanna Waley-Cohen, Provost at NYU Shanghai and Julius Silver Professor of History, has taught the history of China at NYU since 1992. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Chinese Studies from Cambridge University and her Ph.D. degree in History from Yale University. Her books include The Sextants of Beijing: Global Currents in Chinese History; The Culture of War in China: Empire and Military under the Qing Dynasty; and two forthcoming works: a study of culinary culture in early modern China and an account of daily life in China around 1800.

Selected Works:


TheCultureWarBOOK.jpgThe Culture of War in China: Empire and The Military under the Qing Dynasty. London:  I.B.Tauris, 2006 






TheSextantsBOOK.jpgThe Sextants of Beijing: Global Currents in Chinese History. New York and London: W.W. Norton, 1999, (reissued in paperback, 2000) translated into French and published as Les Sextants de Pékin, French translation of 1999 book. Montreal: Presses de l’Universite de Montréal, 2002 





ExileBOOK.jpgExile in Mid-Qing China: Banishment to Xinjiang, 1758-1820. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1991


(In Chinese)“Possessing All Things”: Qianlong Reconsidered,” in Hoyt Tillman, ed., History and Culture: Essays in Honor of Yu Ying-shih’s 80th Birthday. (Taibei, Taiwan: Lianjing Press, 2010) 

“Militarization of Culture in Eighteenth-Century China,” in N di Cosmo, ed., Military Culture in Imperial China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008) 

"China under the Wanli Emperor” in E. Lyoubimova, ed.,The World in 1607. (Jamestown, VA: Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, 2008) 

Taste and Gastronomy in China,” in P. Freedman, ed., Food: A History of Taste (London: Thames and Hudson; Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006) (published simultaneously in German, “Essen: Eine Kultur-geschichte desGeschmacks (Darmstadt: Primus Verlag) and since translated into Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish. 

“On the Militarization of Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Qing Empire,” in Common Knowledge symposium on “Imperial Trauma: The Powerlessness of the Powerful” 12.1 (Winter, 2006). 

“Diplomats, Jesuits, and Foreign Curiosities,” in Jessica Rawson and Evelyn Rawski, eds., The Three Emperors: Art and Power in Qing Dynasty China. London:The Royal Academy (2005). 

“The New Qing History,” in Radical History Review (winter 2004) vol. 88, 193-206, translated into Chinese and published in Qingshi Yanjiu (Research in Qing History), 2008.1.

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Updated on 10/02/2015