• Position: Associate Professor of Asian Languages
  • Phone: (616) 526-6363
  • Email: herz@calvin.edu
  • Department: Chinese
  • Office: Hiemenga Hall 458 | Map


Professor Herzberg’s love of literature led to a BA in English from Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin) in 1972. He then began his study of the Chinese language at Vanderbilt University, where he studied Chinese intensively for five years. Professor Herzberg’s Master’s and Ph.D. work in Chinese were done at Indiana University, where he also served as a teaching assistant for such notable scholars as Li Oufan, later Chairperson of the Chinese language department at Harvard University, and Philip West, now Director of the Mansfield Center for Asian Studies at the University of Montana. It was at Indiana University that he also began to study Japanese. In 1980, he began the Chinese language program at Albion College and taught Chinese there until 1984. Since 1984 he has been a professor at Calvin College. Professor Herzberg is the winner of the 2010 From Every Nation Award for Excellence in Teaching.


Cats, travel, cats, gardening, cats.

Additional Information

His wife, Xue Qin Herzberg, is an instructor of Chinese language for the Third and Fourth Year courses at Calvin College and a graduate of Beijing Normal University in Chinese language and literature.


  • B.A. Lawrence University 1972 (English)
  • M.A. and all Ph.D. course work Indiana University 1980 (Chinese)


  • Associate Professor, Calvin College (2000-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Calvin College (1984-2000)
  • Assistant Professor, Albion College (1980-1984)

Courses taught

Academic Interests

  • Language pedagogy: teaching Chinese language and culture
  • Writing books on Chinese language and culture for both students and the general public
  • Making documentary films on China today for the general public

Selected publications

Recent Activities

  • Author of “Chinese Proverbs:  A Window on Chinese Thought and Culture” (Stone Bridge Press, 2011)

  • Author of “Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar:  A Student’s Guide to Correct Structures and Common Errors” (Stone Bridge Press, 2010)

  • Author of “China Survival Guide:  How to Avoid Travel Troubles and Mortifying Mishaps” (Stone Bridge Press, 2008;  revised edition, 2011)

  • Produced documentary film on China today (63-minute DVD) entitled “China Today:  Issues that Trouble Americans at the Start of the 21st Century” (Calvin Media Foundation, 2008)