Researching the literary and intellectual traditions of medieval China, Jack Chen has examined, among other topics, the history of information management in traditional China, gossip and cats. He employs computational methods for literary analysis, and his ongoing work in the digital humanities involves two projects: one relating to a set of computational tools for the analysis of digitized East Asian language textual corpora; the other is examining the literary history of information management in China from the dawn of literacy to the contemporary period.
In addition to publishing articles in Early Medieval China, the Journal of Asian Studies and other publications, Chen has published a monograph titled The Poetics of Sovereignty: On Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty (Harvard University Asia Center, 2010) and co-edited a volume titled Idle Talk: Gossip and Anecdote in Traditional China (University of California Press, 2013).
He is currently writing a book on anecdotes and the representation of social networks in early medieval China.
Chen received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University (2002), his M.A. in comparative literature from the University of Michigan (1996), and his B.A. in literature from Yale University (1994). Before arriving at UVA, he taught previously at Wellesley College and at UCLA. Chen will teach courses in literary Chinese and surveys of East Asian intellectual and cultural history, as well as seminars in classical Chinese literature.