My research focuses on sexuality, gender relations, chosen kinship, and law during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) and the main sources for my work are legal cases from central and local archives in China. The main local archives I have used happen to be located in Sichuan, which is my favorite part of China (the photo shows me eating Yibin-style “flaming noodles” at a restaurant in Chengdu). I also like to use popular fiction and other non-legal sources for historical research.
My first book, SEX, LAW, AND SOCIETY IN LATE IMPERIAL CHINA, is primarily a legal history, but more recent projects use legal cases to explore social historical topics as well. My second book, POLYANDRY AND WIFE-SELLING IN QING DYNASTY CHINA: SURVIVAL STRATEGIES AND JUDICIAL INTERVENTIONS, was published in September 2015. I am now completing my third book, which analyzes male same-sex relations and masculinity in eighteenth-century China on the basis of some 1700 relevant cases. Long-term plans include a fourth book, about criminal procedure in the Qing dynasty.