Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Guggenheim Fellow returns to give scholarly lectures

Courtesy of the New York Times

Editor’s note: This story was updated to clarify that, although Yunte Huang completed some graduate coursework, he did not graduate from The University of Alabama. Additionally, a change was made to update the location of the event.

University of California, Santa Barbara professor and New York Times bestselling author Yunte Huang will visit the University this week to host discussion-based lectures, a Q&A and a book signing. 

On Monday, Huang’s visit will begin with a lecture titled “Life as a Scholar.” According to UA Professor Emeritus Hank Lazer, Huang will speak on his own fascinating life story to detail the path to scholarship.

Lazer and Huang met while the latter was completing his undergraduate studies at Peking University, one of China’s foremost universities. Lazer was so impressed with Huang’s perspective and analysis of American poetry that he helped secure Huang a fellowship at UA to begin his graduate studies. 

“[Huang] did his Ph.D. work at Buffalo, and perhaps the equivalent of Vanderbilt football winning the SEC, he landed a tenure-track job in English at Harvard,” Lazer said. “His scholarly path is unusual: he has produced three very prestigious scholarly books with the best academic presses: Harvard, Chicago [and] Berkeley.” 

According to the Department of English’s event press release, Huang has also worked as a restaurateur and translator during his unique career path. During his graduate studies, he co-founded Swen, a highly rated Chinese restaurant in Tuscaloosa. 

“In telling his lived experiences, [Huang] will stand as an instructive paradigm of the diverse yet intersectional career possibilities that a liberal arts scholar can tap into,” the release stated. 

Later in the day, Huang will speak in another lecture at the University about his newest book, “Daughter of the Dragon: Anna May Wong’s Rendezvous with American History,” a biography of a Chinese American actress in the early 20th century. 

The New York Times listed it as one of the 100 most notable books of 2023, and it also received a National Book Critics Circle Award. 

Monday’s lectures will be formatted as informal conversations, where attendees can delve with Huang into the complexities of finding one’s place in the scholarly world and his literary work. He will also be available for book signings after both lectures.

On Tuesday, Huang will host a Q&A and book signing in the 115 Woods Hall. Attendees can speak to the author beyond the scope of the lectures, purchase his work from the Supe Store, and get their copies signed. There will also be free refreshments, courtesy of Monarch Espresso Bar. 

Huang’s visit is cosponsored by the University Honors Program, the Department of Gender and Race Studies, and the Department of English. His first lecture coincides with the Honors College course UH 200, also titled “Life as a Scholar.”

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