My research interests (which reflect my teaching interests) are pre-modern Chinese literature, gender studies, Chinese history, fashion theory, as well as Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism, contemporary Chinese fiction, cinema, and popular culture. In particular, I have been studying and writing about the ways in which women and men in fiction deal with desire, love, and sexuality in late imperial novels. To date, I have written extensively, among other subjects, about prostitution, female suicide, pornography, and spiritual resonance in pre-modern Chinese literature. In one of my current book projects, titled “Spellbound. Gambling in Chinese Fiction,” I look at fictional and non-fictional representations of gambling in a variety of pre-modern and modern sources. I am also working on early twentieth century Chinese women's magazines and journals. Gender remains central to all of my research.
I have also been working for a long time on the way in which fashion is represented in pre-modern and contemporary Chinese fiction and visual culture. Visual culture in China, past and present, as well as in the East Asian region has been one of my main research interests, and for the past four years I have been a member of the B-4 Group, run by Heidelberg University, on Transnational Visual culture http://www.asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de/en/research/b-public-spheres/b4.html.