The article is based on a series of seminars given at Tsinghua University in September 2008. It highlights major research themes and conceptual tools I (and the South China group) have explored in the past three decades. Focusing on ethnographic and historical research, I seek empirical answers for South China and at the same time address analytical frameworks and theoretical debates in history and anthropology. Key concepts highlighted are analytical pursuit of moving targets, structuring, human agency, social practice, the cultural language of power, locality and translocality, and inter-Asian connectivity. We explore self-reflective field methods and apply critical reading to historical and cultural texts. We might have started our intellectual journeys from South China, but our concerns have taken us far beyond, connecting oceans and landmasses across the globe in multi-disciplinary terms.