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East Asian Studies

This guide provides access to key resources for East Asian Studies at NYU and elsewhere.

Underground Warriors and Empress Wu's Fashion : Material Culture in China HIST- UA 536 or EAST-UA 300 (Prof. Yijun Wang)

This library guide is for use with course #HIST-UA 536 or EAST-UA 300 and is based on the syllabus, "Underground Warriors and Empress Wu's Fashion: Material Culture in China" provided by Prof. Yijun Wang, Spring 2022


Search with both keywords and subject headings to find your research materials.
Keyword searches
can be used to find items that are associated with your topic. A search for a keyword or keyword phrase will result in items that may contain the keyword in the record, but not necessarily about the topic you want.
If you don't know a standard subject heading that fits what you are looking for, starting with a keyword search can help you locate the relevant subject headings in the record. If you have incomplete title or author information about a specific item, using a keyword can help you find it.
When searching a web search engine like Google, for example, you are using a keyword search and your results will be the records that have that keyword somewhere in it.

Subject Heading searches
Subject headings are used to describe the content or topic of an item in a catalog or database. At NYU, we use Library of Congress (LC) authorized subject headings to describe content. Here are some sample subject headings for this class:

Material culture -- China
Material culture -- China -- History
China -- Commerce -- Europe
China -- Social life and customs
Cooking, Chinese -- History
Consumption (Economics)
Consumption (Economics) -- China

Consumption (Economics) -- China -- History
Europe -- Commerce -- China
Food habits -- China -- History
Wu hou, Empress of China, 624-705
Wu hou, Empress of China, 624-705 -- Fiction
Empresses -- China -- Biography
Calligraphy, Chinese
Painting, Chinese
Popular culture -- China

Library Catalogs

To find out what we have at NYU, search the NYU LIBRARY CATALOG :

To find out what is available elsewhere (and then you can request through Interlibrary Loan or EZBorrow), search these

Journals to Consider

To search for Journal articles, type the title of the journal in Bobcat's search box and limit material type to journal. (use Advanced Search screen). You can also use EBSCO Discovery Services (EDS) on the arch: and type the information you have - examples: author, title, journal, date.

Example Journals: 

Journal of Women's History
Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Press
print (record), from 1989-:
online access (record):

Fashion Theory
Abingdon, Oxon : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group 1997
online access (record):

Food and Foodways
Philadelphia, PA : Taylor & Francis, Inc. 2002-
online access (record):

Late Imperial China
Pasadena, Calif. : Society for Qing Studies 1985-
print (record):

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture = Zhongguo xian dai wen xue
Columbus, OH : Foreign Language Publications ©1999-
print (record):
online access (record):

Technology and Culture.
Society for the History of Technology.
Millwood, N.Y. : Kraus Reprint Co. 1959
online access (record) :
Society for the History of Technology.
Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago Press 1959-
print: multiple locations, including Bobst Main Collection (T1 .T4 ), offsite
1-46:2 (1959-2005)
(record) :


Reference Books:

New York: Oxford University Press, 2020

Hicks, Dan. Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies
New York: Oxford University Press, 2010

Material Culture in Europe and China, 1400-1800: the Rise of Consumerism.
print and online
take a look at the subject headings to find related books. Try material culture--China--History. This brings you to several options, including
Luxurious Networks: Salt Merchants, Status, and Statecraft in Eighteenth-Century China. The library has a physical copy as well as online. 
If not available in the stacks, request through EZBorrow. 

Chinese Language and China Specific Databases

Databases for Journal Articles or Images


Useful Reference Works


For Oxford Bibliographies, try the Material Culture bibliography under Chinese Studies.  Written and compiled by Anne Gerritsen, it has general overviews of material culture and China, journals, guides to primary sources, archaeological finds, museum collections, exhibition catalogs, digitized primary sources, methodological works, and a division by materials that include architecture, gardens and furniture, textile and embroidery, clothing and fashion, footwear, jade and metalwork, lacquer and ceramics, religious art and material culture, material culture by period, and goods produced for export. These are not full text, so the next step is to search the NYU Library catalog to see if we have the book. If not, you can request through EZBorrow or Interlibrary Loan.

For Dissertation and Theses Global, try Empress Wu, China, and material culture... take a look at the references 

Digital Collections

      World Digital Library China (Library of Congress)
      primary materials from countries and cultures around the world

Data, GIS, and Statistics

    China Historical GIS (Harvard University)