University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Jack Chen

Director IHGC, and Professor, East Asian Languages, Literatures & Cultures


My research and teaching focuses on the literary and intellectual traditions of classical China, as well as broader issues in literary and cultural theory.  I am primarily interested in the medieval period, which is generally understood to span the periods between the Eastern Han and the end of the Tang, or from 100 CE to 900 CE, though I dabble with earlier and later periods on occasion.  I am also interested in computational methods for literary analysis, the history of information management in traditional China, gossip, and cats.  My current projects include the design of a macroscopic computing enviroment for East Asian script textual corpora, a history of Chinese literature as information management, a study of an early medieval anecdotal collection, and the problem of poems composed by ghosts (all of these are closely related, really). I taught previously at UCLA and Wellesley College.  I received my BA in Literature from Yale, my MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan, and my PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard.