My research focuses on material culture, gender history, and luxury consumption in late imperial China (1300-1800). My dissertation, titled "Tasteful Consumption: Huizhou Salt Merchants and Material Culture in Eighteenth-Century China," adopts the perspectives from scholarship on material culture to study Huizhou salt merchants, the wealthiest merchants in the Qing empire (1644-1911). It explores the relationship between social mobility, material culture, ethnic relations, and consumer society in eighteenth-century China. I teach China and East Asia history, with particular interests in material culture and gender study.
My current project studies the technology of manufacturing jade objects within the context of territorial expansion, economic revival, and the dissemination of technology under Manchu rule in eighteenth-century China. I am also a gender historian. I have studied the widow chastity cult and women's writing in late imperial China. I am also working on an article exploring masculinity and merchant culture in late imperial China. During the 2012-2013 academic year, I will be a postdoctoral fellow at East Asian Studies in Stanford University. I will begin teaching at the University of South Carolina in the fall of 2013.