A blond, white male academic who is the head of the Department of Oriental Studies at Occidental College. He is a serious man who lacks a sense of humor. He’s between the ages of seventy and eighty years old and enjoys engaging the narrator in long discussions about Vietnamese culture and language. His office is decorated with books and tchotchkes accumulated over a lifetime of exploring the Orient. He has “an elaborate Oriental rug” on his office wall and a Chinese wife, between one-half and two-thirds his age, named Ling Ling, whom he met in Taiwan. They have a son together who is much older than he is in the family photo on the professor’s desk.
The Department Chair Character Timeline in The Sympathizer
The timeline below shows where the character The Department Chair appears in The Sympathizer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...of defense against students” who want to talk to the secretary of the department or the Department Chair . He becomes a minor celebrity on campus after a feature runs in the school... (full context)
...soon begin an intimate relationship. The narrator also spends a great deal of time with the Department Chair , who enjoys talking to the narrator about Vietnamese culture and language, though he mistakenly... (full context)
Initially, the narrator thinks that the Department Chair is playing a trick; it’s April Fool’s Day. However, the academic is serious. The narrator... (full context)
The Department Chair notes how “Oriental” qualities are “diametrically [opposed]” to “Occidental” ones and that this is caused... (full context)
...the narrator during their first meeting, believing that he was a sellout. She complains about the Department Chair , who accuses her of having forgotten her Japanese heritage. She resents being told such... (full context)