Obituary: George C. Hatch, professor emeritus in Arts & Sciences, 85


George C. Hatch, who taught in the Department of History in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis for more than three decades, died Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He was 85.

Born and raised in Plymouth, N.H., Hatch earned a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies from Yale University in 1959 and served as a Fulbright Scholar from 1965-67. He earned a doctorate in history from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1972.

Hatch joined the WashU faculty as an instructor in Chinese history in 1969 and later was appointed assistant and then associate professor. His teaching and scholarship focused on early and premodern China, with particular interest in the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) and the work of poet Su Shih (1037-1100) and essayist Su Hsun (1009-1066). Hatch also taught courses in the East Asian Studies program (now part of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in Arts & Sciences). He was named a professor emeritus in 2003.

“My dad was really passionate about teaching,” said his son, Michael Hatch. “His greatest joy from being a professor at WashU was developing and mentoring his students.”

Hatch spent the 1974-75 year in Taiwan, thanks to a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies. His publications include translating Yoshiho Yonezawa and Michiaki Kawakita’s “Arts of China, III: Paintings in Chinese Museums, New Collection” (Kodansha International, 1970) and contributing to the collections “Sung Biographies” (Münchener Ostasiatische Studien, 1976), “A Sung Bibliography” (The Chinese University Press, 1978) and “Ordering the World: Approaches to State and Society in Sung Dynasty China” (University of California Press, 1993).

In addition to Michael, Hatch is survived by his wife, Grace, and a daughter, Eleanor. The family will hold a small private memorial service. Remembrances can be left at the Schrader Funeral Home & Crematory website.

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