Mark Metcalf

Lecturer in Chinese Literature
Office hours: Monday and Wednesday 1:45 -- 3:15 PM

MPhil, Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge (2006); MA, East Asian Studies, University of Arizona (2001); BSEE/MSEE, Communications Engineering, US Naval Postgraduate School (1985); Defense Language Institute, Intensive Russian (47 weeks) (1980); BS, Far Eastern Studies, US Naval Academy (1976); HS Diploma, Taipei American School (1972)

As a missionary kid I experienced a peripatetic childhood which included two years in Hong Kong and four years in Taiwan. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy I served as both a Surface Warfare Officer (“ship driver”) and a cryptologist and ultimately retired as a Commander. Overseas assignments included Japan (twice), Turkey, and London.

Upon leaving the Navy I spent the next 25 years as, variously, a signals analyst, signal processing engineer, program manager, technical analyst, and translator for a variety of Government sponsors. My wife & I moved to the Charlottesville area from northern Virginia in 2013 and I have had the pleasure of teaching Chinese literature courses at UVA since 2014.



  • "New Perspectives on the Sunzi from Contemporary Chinese Military Writings”, Education about Asia, Spring 2016.
  • "People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Warship Construction and Standardization” in Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course, US Naval Institute Press, December 2016.
  • "Deception is the Chinese Way of War: Chinese military interpretations of the Sun Tzu are key to understanding their rationale for strategy and operations", US Naval Institute Proceedings, February 2017.


  • “People’s Liberation Army Navy Warship Construction and Standardization”. Presented at China’s Naval Shipbuilding: Progress and Challenges conference, US Naval War College, Newport, RI (May 2015)
  • “New Perspectives on the Sunzi from Contemporary Chinese Military Writings”. Presented at AAS-in-Asia, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan (June 2015)
  • “‘Warfare is a way of deception’: Chinese perspectives on applying Sunzian principles of artifice to modern warfare”. Presented at the joint US-UK-PRC Chinese and Western Approaches to Military Ethics conference, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland (October 2015)
  • “'Proactively ponder and audaciously explore': The PLA considers the relevance of the Sunzi (Sun Tzu) to modern warfare". Invited lecture at the US Naval War College, Newport, RI (May 2016)
  • "'In the Service of Military Combat Readiness" (): A Survey of 21st Century PLA Scholarship on the Role of Military Ethics in Warfare". Presented at the Military Ethics: China and the West In Dialogue conference at Florida State University (November 2016)
  • "Sun Tzu? Who Cares?! The relevance of Sunzi's Art of War to Modern Warfare: A People's Liberation Army perspective", University of Virginia NROTC Battalion, February 2017.



My current research interests include: Applications of Sunzian principles to modern warfare as reflected in contemporary Chinese military writings; Contemporary Chinese views regarding military ethics; Rhetorical practices in early Chinese (5c BCE-2c CE) texts

Department Faculty

Assistant Professor
Associate Professor of Chinese Literature
Lecturer of Korean
Lecturer of Chinese
Visiting Assistant Professor
Associate Professor of Japanese Literature
Lecturer of Chinese
Lecturer of Japanese
Lecturer of Korean
Professor of Chinese
Lecturer of Chinese
Ellen Bayard Weedon Chair Professor of East Asian Studies and Department Chair
Associate Professor of Chinese
Lecturer of Japanese
Lecturer in Chinese Literature
Lecturer Emeritus
Lecturer of Tibetan
Lecturer of Japanese
Associate professor of Chinese and Inaugural Director of the Institute of World Languages
Professor Emeritus
Assistant Professor