The Alan Cheuse Center

The Alan Cheuse Center Image

Since its founding in 2016, the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center has made it its mission to celebrate international literature and translation in all its forms within the context of both George Mason University and Washington, D.C.

In order to achieve this mission, we have three intertwined branches of our programming:

  • We host emerging and established international writers for fellowships and residencies
  • We offer fellowships to our Master’s of Fine Arts in creative writing students for international travel in order to research creative writing projects and learn from the broader world
  • We produce events both at George Mason and in the Washington, D.C. area that showcase international writers, literature and the questions and issues they probe.

The Washington, D.C. area is known for its internationalism. Besides housing over 150 embassies, our nation’s capital is home to dozens of premier universities, think tanks, museums, news outlets, and non-governmental organizations whose focus lies in international and cultural affairs. Additionally, George Mason University is full of thinkers, scholars, artists, and centers with global or artistic missions.

The Cheuse Center merges the resources of our university campus with the resources in the DC-area to become a dynamic hub of international and cultural conversation, to add the component of culture and writing into the policy discussions that drive this city.

We host events and partner with organizations from around the world to bring about this larger discussion of culture, identity, politics, and understanding within the Washington, D.C. and international literary communities. Events include:

  • Our annual Day of Translation in partnership with the Center for the Art of Translation. This day-long event showcases and celebrates translators, writers and works of literature from around the globe. This past year’s Day of Translation welcomed award-winning artists, like Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Forrest Gander and Man Booker International Prize-winning translator Jennifer Croft to George Mason University for an in-depth discussion of their craft and how translated literature bridges languages and cultures. 
  • Boundless: Africa, in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Carmago Foundation and the Caine Prize of African Writing. This special program combined performances, panel discussions, and readings held at the Kennedy Center’s REACH campus in Washington, D.C. and at George Mason University. Featuring playwrights, poets, and writers of African heritage living in Africa and the Diaspora including the United States, the series brought to the forefront relevant issues that inform the boundaries separating genres, art forms, geography, and time.
  • Participation in regional book festivals such as the National Book Festival, the Annapolis Book Festival, and Fall for the Book, the three-day literary extravaganza that takes place on George Mason’s campus each fall.

In addition to these events, past partners of ours include Washington literary and cultural organizations such as The Library of Congress, PEN/Faulkner, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Solid State Books, and Little Salon, D.C.; and government organizations like the Embassies of Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Spain, and the Mexican Cultural Institute. These institutions have been instrumental in our mission to not only highlight international literature and writers, but also to connect us through open dialogue, stories, and experiences.             

The Cheuse Center’s mission stems from this desire for connection—a desire to connect our George Mason and Washington, D.C. communities to international thinkers, artists, and scholars from around the world. A desire to connect us as individuals and global citizens through the literary arts.

From events that educate and challenge us, to experiences that broaden our understanding of our world, the Cheuse Center seeks to be a hub of international and cultural conversation that celebrates and uplifts literature in all its forms.