I want to read more!

There are more books, articles, films and sites than we can possibly touch upon for all the topics we cover in this class. If you can’t get enough of a topic, here are a few hints for good reads.

General Background
  • Crone, Patricia. Pre-Industrial Societies : Anatomy of the Pre-Modern World. London: Oneworld, 2015.
    • A very useful introduction to the premodern/pre-industrial world if you feel a bit lost in how different things seem back then.


Lady Hao
Queen Mother of the West (=Xiwangmu, Hsi-wang-mu)
  • Carter, Martha L. “China and the Mysterious Occident: The Queen Mother of the West and Nanā.” Rivista Degli Studi Orientali 79, no. 1-4 (2006): 97-129.
  • James, Jean M. “An Iconographic Study of Xiwangmu during the Han Dynasty.” In Artibus Asiae, Vol 55, No. 1-2 (1995), 17-41.
  • Cahill, Suzanne Elizabeth. Transcendence & Divine Passion : The Queen Mother of the West in Medieval China. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1993.

Empress Wu

  • Barrett, Timothy Hugh. The Woman Who Discovered Printing. New Haven Conn.: Yale University Press, 2008.
    • A very interesting book, written in a very accessible style by a very respected scholar of the Tang dynasty. Worth your time if you are interested in Empress Wu and want to have a very different perspective on the history of printing as well.
  • Doran, Rebecca. Transgressive Typologies: Constructions of Gender and Power in Early Tang China. Harvard-Yenching Institute Monographs, 103. Cambridge, MA: Published by the Harvard University Asia Center, 2016.
    • Includes a few chapters on how later historians constructed the negative image, and how this fed into the fiction about Wu Zhao’s sexual exploits.
  • Rothschild, N. Harry. Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.
    • A scholarly study looking the divine element in Empress Wu’s legitimation of her rule.
  • Rothschild, N. Harry. Wu Zhao : China’s Only Woman Emperor. The Library of World Biography. New York: Pearson Longman, 2008.
    • A biography of Empress Wu aimed at a more general audience. There are some problems with the sensational nature of the stories and it is not always clear that the author rejects them.
  • Twitchett, Denis. “‘Chen Gui’ and Other Works Attributed to Empress Wu Zetian.” Asia Major 16, no. 1 (2003): 33-109.