Our Mission

The Cheuse Center is a global community of writers, translators, and readers. We send emerging writers abroad, bring established and new voices to America, and curate public programs to deepen global civic engagement. We are a home for international writers and for American writers who face out into the world. By enriching public life through reading, writing, and translation, we actively pursue a just society.

The Alan Cheuse International Writers Center cultivates a global community of writers, translators, and readers. Through a variety of curated programs and events, we bring world literature to America and American literature to the world. The Center was founded in 2016 at George Mason University and named for the late American writer and cultural commentator, who taught at Mason for nearly 30 years. In the words of Alan Cheuse, we “read as much as we can, write as much as we can, and love as much as we can.”

By connecting the global and the local, we aim to spark new and meaningful conversations. We pursue a deep commitment to a just society and a shared humanity. To this end, we amplify and celebrate marginalized voices around the world. Many of the writers we bring to audiences are at risk; some live in exile from their homeland. 

We believe that world literature is essential for meaningful lives. We read to connect with others. We read to understand. We read to survive. 

We accomplish our mission in four main ways:  

We CULTIVATE opportunities for emerging writers to pursue international creative projects through travel fellowships and access to a life-long literary community. Read their essays here.

We CONNECT writers and translators from around the world and host them in the U.S. The active support of literature in translation, and of publishers of these works, forms a pillar of our mission. 

We COLLABORATE with American and international writers, translators, artists, academics, and readers alike. Working with about thirty partner organizations, the Cheuse Center annually hosts dozens of free programs that enrich civic and public life. See an example here.

We CURATE these events specifically to bring audiences marginalized and historically excluded voices, both abroad and at home, through an immersive, collaborative community model. Compassion, curiosity, and communication lie at the heart of our mission. 


At George Mason University, located in Fairfax, Virginia, students speak 80 languages and trace their roots to 130 countries, making it one of the seven most diverse public universities in America. From its base at Mason, the Cheuse Center serves the metropolitan region of Washington, D.C., and literary culture around the globe. 



The Cheuse Center is part of Watershed Lit: Center for Literary Engagement and Practice at George Mason University. Please read Mason’s Land Acknowledgment Statement here


Azar Nafisi and Jacki Lyden at the Cheuse Center's Busboys and Poets Lecture, "THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION," April 2023.
Azar Nafisi and Jacki Lyden at the Cheuse Center's Busboys and Poets Lecture, "THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION," April 2023.