Friday, August 26 , 2016, 8:03 am | Overcast 63º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube
 
 
 
 

UCSB English Professor Yunte Huang Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

Yunte Huang, professor of English at UC Santa Barbara, joins 177 scholars, artists and scientists from the United States and Canada who were named Fellows this year in the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation’s 90th competition. Huang received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in the area of Creative Arts — General Nonfiction.

Appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishments, the 2014 Fellows were chosen from a field of almost 3,000 applicants.

“I am thrilled to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship,” Huang said. “I want to express gratitude to Dean David Marshall, who recommended I apply.”

Marshall is UCSB’s Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Huang grew up in a small town in southeastern China, where at the age of 11 he began to learn English by secretly listening to “Voice of America” programs on a battered transistor radio. After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Peking University, Huang came to the United States in 1991, landing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a struggling Chinese restaurateur in the Deep South, he continued to study American literature, reading William Faulkner, Ezra Pound and Emily Dickinson on the greasy kitchen floor.

In 1994, Huang attended the Poetics Program at the State University of New York in Buffalo, where, at an estate sale, he happened upon a pair of Charlie Chan novels. He was immediately hooked. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1999, he taught as an assistant professor of English at Harvard, where he began researching the story of the Chinese detective — both real and fictional — and the life of Earl Derr Biggers, the Harvard graduate who had authored the Chan novels.

Huang is the author of many books and translations, including the award-winning Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History (W.W. Norton, 2010), which received the Edgar Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. The book examines the evolution of Charlie Chan’s character, telling the story of both the rough-and-tumble Hawaiian cop on whom Chan was based as well as that of Chan’s creator.

Two additional works by Huang, Transpacific Displacement and Transpacific Imaginations, are key to the emerging field of trans-Pacific studies. Transpacific Displacement examines what Huang calls “the textural migration of cultural meanings across the Pacific.” The book explores American modernism and how it was influenced by East Asian literature, and also how Asian-American literature relates back to Asian literary traditions.

Transpacific Imaginations follows in a similar vein but takes a historical perspective, analyzing works by authors such as Herman Melville and Jack London but also Mark Twain, who, according to Huang, “advocated the future of the Pacific.” The book also looks at Asian countries and how different cultures and nations perceive the future of the Pacific as the new center of the world.

“Obama is the first president to acknowledge that the United States is a Pacific nation rather than an Atlantic one,” Huang noted.

Huang will use his fellowship to take a one-year sabbatical, during which he will finish researching and writing his next book, The Siamese Twins. “The original Siamese twins were very popular in the 19th century so that will get me into the field of 19th-century history, literature, cultural imagination, race and slavery,” he said. “So it’s a study of 19th-century America.”

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >