Richard Kunst

Brief Biography

Richard Kunst is Executive Director of the Humanities Computing Laboratory Inc. of Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A. and Adjunct Professor of Chinese in the Dept. of Asian Languages and Literature at Duke University, also in Durham.

Most recently (2003-2006) he was research assistant and programmer in the Wa Dictionary Project, Dept. of South East Asia, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, England, UK, where he was principal editor of a dictionary of the Mon-Khmer Wa language, spoken along the border between China’s Yunnan province and Myanmar (Burma), translating Wa into Chinese, English, and Burmese (

He holds a B.A. in Chinese Studies from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Chinese Language and Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught Chinese language and literature at Duke from 1975 to 1991 and Japanese language and literature as well from 1975 to 1981.

His experience with computers started while in graduate school at Berkeley in 1967, with a pioneering course taught by Laura Gould entitled "Computers in the Humanities." He has developed Computer-Assisted Language Learning software for personal computers since 1983. His previous projects include "Chinese Audio Flashcards" and "The Duke Chinese Typist" word-processing program for Chinese and English.

He has an ongoing parallel research interest in classical Chinese literature and paleography, especially in connection with the history of the Yijing, also know as the I Ching or "Book of Changes." He has lived abroad in China and Japan for a total of five years and has a lifelong interest in international cultural exchange. He founded the Duke Study in China Program in 1982. He is a member and former board member of the Chinese Language Teachers Association and a member of ACTFL, CALICO, and the Chinese Language Computer Society,

The Humanities Computing Laboratory is a nonprofit research organization which is dedicated to promoting global standards in the encoding, exchange, and preservation of written and spoken language data. It has also developed software for foreign language learning. It is the successor to the DUCALL (Duke University Computer-Assisted Language Learning) Project, which created the language learning and authoring system "WinCALIS Author" and the Unicode-compliant multilingual editor "UniEdit." The Humanities Computing Lab is also a resource for scholars and students throughout the world, providing technical assistance in a wide range of areas, including academic technology, document imaging and optical character recognition, data recovery, data conversion, and CD-ROM and DVD production.

Contact info:

The Humanities Computing Laboratory
109 Lariat Lane, Ste. B
Chapel Hill, NC 27517 USA
Tel: +1 919 656-5915

Rev. 2007-03-09