Jonathan Chaves

photo: Jonathan Chaves
Professor of Chinese
468 Rome Hall
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Chinese and Japanese culture and literature.

Professor Chaves received his B.A. from Brooklyn College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Chinese Literature from Columbia University. Before coming to The George Washington University, Professor Chaves taught Classical Chinese language and literature at Cornell University.

Professor Chaves was the invited curator of an exhibition, The Chinese Painter as Poet, to be shown at the Art Gallery of The China Institute in America in New York City, Sept. 14-Dec. 17, 2000. His book of the same name (China Institute in America, 2000) is a study of the interrelationships between poetry and painting in China, with comparative material from Japan and the West.


Ph.D., Columbia University


  • Every Rock a Universe: The Yellow Mountains and Chinese Travel Writing, Floating World Editions, 2013
  • West Cliff Poems: The Poetry of Weng Chuan (Ahadada Books, Tokyo)
  • Japanese and Chinese Poems to Sing: The Wakan Roei Shu, co-authored with J. Thomas Rimer, (Columbia University Press)
  • Singing of the Source: Nature and God in the Poetry of the Chinese Painter Wu Li (University of Hawaii Press)
  • Shisendo: Hall of the Poetry Immortals, co-authored with J. Thomas Rimer, Stephen Addiss, and Hiroyuki Suzuki, (Weatherhill)
  • Pilgrim of the Clouds: Poems and Essays from Ming China by Yuan Hung-tao and His Brothers (Weatherhill)
  • Mei Yao-ch'en and the Development of Early Sung Poetry, (Columbia University Press)
  • Heaven My Blanket, Earth My Pillow: Poems from Sung Dynasty China by Yang Wan-li (Weatherhill)

Professor Chaves' book Pilgrim of the Clouds was nominated for the National Book Award in Translation. His book Japanese and Chinese Poems to Sing won the US-Japan Friendship Commission Award for translations from Japanese literature.

Professor Chaves has also published and spoken in public on the current state of literary studies in general. His most recent contribution in this area has been "Soul and Reason in Literary Criticism: Deconstructing the Deconstructionists", published in America's oldest specialized scholarly journal, The Journal of the American Oriental Society (2002).

Classes Taught

CHIN 3109-10 Introduction to Classical Chinese

CHIN 3111-12 Chinese Literature in Translation

CHIN 3171-72 Poetry of the Tang and Song Periods

CHIN 4198 Proseminar: Readings for the Major in Chinese Language and Literature