Founding Director

Professor Emeritus Jan Walls

After completing his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Chinese and Japanese languages and literatures, Dr. Walls began his academic career teaching Chinese language and East Asian cultures at the University of British Columbia (1970-78) and the University of Victoria (1978-85). In addition to teaching, he founded and directed the Centre for Pacific and Oriental Studies at Victoria (now the Department of Pacific and Asian Studies). From 1981 to 1983 he served as First Secretary for Cultural and Scientific Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, and from 1985 to 1987 he was Senior Vice President of the newly established Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, where he founded and developed their first Education and Cultural Affairs programs.

In September, 1987, he joined Simon Fraser University, where he founded and directed the David Lam Centre for International Communication at the Harbour centre campus of Simon Fraser University. He was also Founding Director of the Asia-Canada Program at SFU, which was an interdisciplinary minor or intensive minor program for undergraduate students.

Now an octogenarian and Past-President of the Canadian Society for Asian Arts, he continues to be active as an advisor to a number of community organizations such as the Chinese Canadian Writers Association, The Asian Heritage Month Society, the Chinese Canadian Artists Federation of Vancouver, and the International Arts Gallery. He has published literary and cultural studies and translations, and lectured widely in the fields of East Asian languages and cultures, East-West intercultural communication, and the theory and practice of cross-cultural translation. In addition to teaching, research and administration, he also gives public performances (in Mandarin and English) of a form of popular entertainment called the "kuai ban shu / bamboo clappertale," which is somewhat comparable to "rapping" with the accompaniment of two sets of bamboo castanets. Video examples of kuai ban shu can be viewed on Professor Walls' website.


  • Co-translator (with Yim Tse and Yvonne Li Walls), 100 Passages from The Analects. Tianjin: Nankai University Press, 2004.
  • (with Rosalie L. Tung and Michael Frese) "Cross-Cultural Entrepreneurship: The Case of China", in J.R. Baum, M. Frese, and R.A. Baron (Eds), The Psychology of Entrepreneurship. (The Organizational Frontiers Series).  Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.  2007, pp. 265-286
  • Co-editor (with Kwok-Bun Chan and David Hayward), East-West Identities: Globalization, Localization, and Hybridization.  Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2007.
  • "Yu Xuanji", article in Bonnie G. Smith, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. 4 vols. Oxford University Press, USA, 2007.
  • Co-editor and co-translator (with Yvonne Li Walls), Paintings by Chinese Masters (30 of planned 60 painters published). Beijing: People’s Fine Arts Publishing House, 2007-2008.
  • Co-author (with Yvonne Li Walls), Using Chinese. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009 (publication scheduled for April).

A more comprehensive list can be found on Professor Walls' website.