- Chinese history and culture
- Comparative/global history
My research and teaching interests continue to be primarily in Chinese intellectual and social history, as well as comparative history (China and Japan).
My most recent book is The Qing Dynasty and Traditional Chinese Culture (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015). My other recently published books include: Mapping China and Managing the World: Cosmology, Cartography and Culture in Late Imperial Times (Routledge, 2013); The I Ching: A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2012); Fathoming the Cosmos and Ordering the World: The Yijing (I-Ching, or Classic of Changes) and Its Evolution in China (University of Virginia Press, 2008); and a co-edited volume (with Nanxiu Qian and Grace Fong) titled Different Worlds of Discourse: Transformations of Gender and Genre in Late Qing and Early Republican China (Brill, 2008.) I am currently working on several articles and book chapters as well as a book-length study tentatively titled Popular Science in Late Imperial China.
A note to potential graduate students: I will be on leave from Rice throughout the period from January 2016 to June 2017, after which I plan to retire. I will be out of town from May 20-22, June 1-8, and June 14-18.