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In Memoriam of a Life Well-Lived: James E. Dew

September 18, 2023

In Memoriam of a Life Well-Lived

James E. Dew

June 27, 1932 – July 11, 2023


We are saddened to announce the passing of friend and author James Dew on July 11, 2023 at the age of 91. 

  A consummate teacher and scholar, Jim was a pioneer in the development of Chinese language studies through inter-university programs in the US and abroad.  I had the good fortune to spend some time in Beijing with Jim and his wife Vivian Ling, who was then Director of the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP) based in Tsinghua University.  It was there that I witnessed Jim’s meticulous work on several  dictionary projects and understood how significant his contributions were to their quality and accuracy.

 Cheng & Tsui is the proud publisher of Classical Chinese: A Functional Approach, which Jim co-authored with Kai Li of Oberlin College.  Based on  decades of pedagogical experience, the authors focus this innovative textbook on key function words in carefully selected, thoroughly explained short  excerpts from classical sources to provide a functional approach to learning classical Chinese.  I can personally attest to this work’s incredible value and  effectiveness for the learner:  Only after I used Classical Chinese was I able to fully appreciate and understand some of the classic writings in Gregory Chiang’s Language of the Dragon

 Beyond his professional achievements, Jim was a kind friend and loving family man--to his devoted wife Vivian, their children, and grandchildren. Jim, I will miss your humor and smile, as will the many friends you made through your extensive academic engagements around the world!