Jack Chen headshot

Jack W. Chen

Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Office location and address
B059 New Cabell Hall
1605 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Ph.D., Harvard University, 2002
M.A., University of Michigan, 1996
B.A., Yale University, 1994

My work focuses on early and medieval Chinese literature and thought, with a particular emphasis on poetry and poetics, literary history, and anecdotal writings.  I am the author of The Poetics of Sovereignty: On Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty (2010) and Anecdote, Network, Gossip, Performance: Essays on the Shishuo xinyu (2021), as well as co-editor of Idle Talk: Gossip and Anecdote in Traditional China (2013) and Literary Information in China: A History (2021).  I've also published various articles and essays on the poet Du Fu, donkey-braying, and network visualization.  Recently I was co-director of the SIF-funded Humanities Informatics Lab (Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures; 2017–2020) and is broadly interested in lyric theory, computational approaches to literary analysis, information histories, questions of comparative and world methodology, and cats. My current book project is a study of poems composed by ghosts in medieval China, along with collaborative projects on reading practices in East Asia and literature as information systems.

EAST 1010: East Asian Canons and Cultures
Credits: 3
An introduction to conceptions of self, society, and the universe as they have been expressed in canonical literary, philosophical, and religious texts in East Asia from earliest times up through modern times. Readings will be in English translation, supplemented by reference.
EGMT 1510: Engaging Aesthetics
Credits: 2
In this class students will learn to identify, describe, and analyze aesthetic phenomena, understand the social role and ongoing evolution of human creative expression, and develop their own approach to creative expression.
EGMT 1540: Ethical Engagement
Credits: 2
In this class students will learn to reflect upon and evaluate human conduct and character, consider the ethical components of individual and collective behaviors, and engage in the articulation of ethical questions and moral deliberation.
CHTR 3559: New Course in Chinese in Translation
Credits: 3–4
New course in the subject of Chinese literature in translation
CHIN 4830: Introduction to Classical Chinese Prose
Credits: 3
Introduces the grammar and structure of classical Chinese prose. Requisite: Consent of Instructor
CHIN 4840: Introduction to Classical Chinese Poetry
Credits: 3
Introduces the grammar and structure of classical Chinese poetry. Requisite: Consent of Instructor
EAST 4991: East Asian Studies Capstone
Credits: 1
Capstone course required for all East Asian Studies majors in their final year. Pre-Requisites: Restricted to Fourth Year, Fifth Year East Asian Studies majors
EAST 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Independent study in special field under the direction of a faculty member in East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
CHIN 4993: Independent Study in Chinese
Credits: 1–3
Independent Study in Chinese.
RSC 6000: Research Methods in Regional Studies
Credits: 3
This course serves as the research methods seminar for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students in a variety of regional studies programs, including (but not limited to) European Studies, East Asian Studies, MESALC, and Contemporary Russian Studies. Coverage of specific regions and methods varies from year to year, depending on students' specialist areas of interest.


Director of Undergraduate Programs

Association of Asian Studies

Chair, China and Inner Asia Council

Modern Language Association

Secretary, Pre-14th Century Chinese Forum