Ideological history of pre-modern China; Chinese religions, notably Taoism and Buddhism; history of the Buddhist canon in China; Manichaeism and Iranian influences in medieval China; Chinese cultural relations with Central Asia
Tibetan language from Old Tibetan to Modern Standard Tibetan; Tibetan historical and biographical literature; historical, descriptive and corpus linguistics, in particular with reference to Tibetan or other Tibeto-Burman/Sino-Tibetan languages; Chinese minorities; Mongolian
He is now focusing on the evidence in Indochina for the influence of tantric or esoteric Buddhism, developed in the great monasteries of the Ganges valley and diffused and developed in different ways through much of Asia.
Southeast Asian arts, aesthetics, literatures and cultural histories, with a focus on Cambodia, from the Angkorian to the post-Angkorian to the contemporary; Theravadin Buddhist arts, literatures and ritual; cultural heritage; sexual difference; deconstruction; memory and textuality.
Chinese and Buddhist art in museums; history of Yuanmingyuan (or ‘Summer Palace’) collections; museology; colonialism and material culture; post-colonial critiques of museum representations; history and theory of collecting; art and anthropology.