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Joanna Waley-Cohen Edit Profile

officer , provost , chief

Joanna Waley-Cohen, British humanities educator. Fellow International Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 1999-2000, Postdoctoral Fellowship, New York University, 1994, Fellowship Military Strategic History, Yale University, 1990-1991. Member of Royal Asiatic Society, Association for Asian Studies, American History Association.


Waley-Cohen, Joanna was born on June 10, 1952 in London, England. Daughter of Bernard Nathaniel and Joyce Constance Ina Waley-Cohen.


Bachelor, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1974. Master of Arts, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1977. Doctor of Philosophy, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1987.


As Provost, she serves as NYU Shanghai’s chief academic officer, setting the university’s academic strategy and priorities, and overseeing academic appointments, research, and faculty affairs. Her research interests include early modern Chinese history, especially the Qing dynasty. China and the West; and Chinese imperial culture, especially in the Qianlong era.

Warfare in China and Inner Asia. Chinese culinary history. She has received many honors, including archival and postdoctoral fellowships, including those from the American Council of Learned Societies.

Goddard and Presidential Fellowships from NYU. And an Olin Fellowship in Military and Strategic History from Yale. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Chinese Studies from Cambridge University, then took a degree in law.

Waley-Cohen's books include The Culture of War in China: Empire and the Military under the Qing Dynasty (IB Tauris, 2006). The Sextants of Beijing: Global Currents in Chinese History (WW Norton, 1999). And Exile in Mid-Qing China: Banishment to Xinjiang, 1758-1820 (Yale University Press, 1991).

Her current scholarly projects include a revised history of imperialism in China, a study of daily life in China c.1800, and a history of culinary culture in early modern China. Nicholas D. Kristof welcomed Sexants in the New York Times as "sensibly organized and engagingly told" but "In the end, I disagreed with much of the thesis of this book, but that is not to say that I disliked it. On the contrary, I probably liked it more for disagreeing with it.

Partly because of the boldness of the argument, it is stimulating and refreshing..."\r\nHer 2003 article "New Qing History" summarized American revisionist scholarship in history of the Qing dynasty and gave it the name New Qing History which has come into widespread use.



Member of Royal Asiatic Society, Association for Asian Studies, American History Association.


  • Other Interests

    Reading, swimming, classical music, cooking.


Married Keith Bradoc Gallant, May 30, 1977. Children: Christopher Gallant, Isabel Gallant.

Bernard Nathaniel

Joyce Constance Ina Waley-Cohen

Keith Bradoc Gallant

Isabel Gallant Waley-Cohen

Christopher Gallant Waley-Cohen