Erin Y. Huang

Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies and Comparative Literature
Julis Foundation University Preceptor
Email Address:
Office Location: 
236 Frist Campus Center
  • Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine
  • M. Phil. in Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine
  • B.A. in Psychology, University of California, Davis
  • B.A. in Comparative Literature, University of California, Davis

Erin Yu-Tien Huang is Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies and Comparative Literature, and an executive member of Princeton’s Committee for Film Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with a Graduate Feminist Emphasis in Gender & Sexuality Studies from the University of California, Irvine (2012). She is an interdisciplinary film scholar and comparatist working on the intersections of urban studies and Chinese cinema studies. Her work focuses on the cultures of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. Actively deconstructing “Asia” as a geopolitical and economic formation, she is interested in approaches that problematize the disciplinary boundary between East and Southeast Asia(s). Her research interests broadly include film and media studies, Marxist feminism(s), the global imaginaries of socialism and (post-) socialism, urban theory, and phenomenology.
Her current book project, Capital’s Abjects: Chinese Cinemas, Urban Horror, and the Limits of Visibility, examines post-1980s transnational Chinese visual cultures through the interdisciplinary exploration of film, documentary, architecture, interior design, and other forms of visual media. This monograph studies the parallel emergence of the aesthetics of urban horror and a new species of illegible spaces – ranging from factory cities and science and industrial parks, to underground cities of migrants, construction sites, and abandoned ghost cities – produced during the expansion of neoliberal economic integration among China, its neighboring Sinophone countries, and beyond. Conceptualized as Capital’s abjected spaces, the urban forms examined in this project occupy a paradoxical role of being the primary locations that sustain the transnational postsocialist economy and the visual basis for cultural critiques of economic, gender, and ethnic violence that are embedded in the social unconscious of (post-)socialist China and its economic partners. In addition to completing her first book manuscript, she is preparing a second project on the cultural history of Chinese socialist industrial modernities. This project begins by examining representations of the “city” in 1930s leftist cinema, tracing the city’s shifting definitions and corresponding visions of Chinese modernities up to the era of economic reform.
Professor Huang has taught across multiple disciplines, including East Asian Studies, Comparative Literature, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Film & Media Studies. Before joining the faculty at Princeton University, she was Visiting Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies at New York University.
“Intimate Dystopias: Dreams of the Interior and Architectural Feminism in Li Shaohong’s Urban Cinema.” (forthcoming in positions: asia critique)
Book Chapter
“The De-Spectacular and Taiwanese Neo-Noir—Rebels of the Neon God and the Crime Cinema of Triviality,” in East Asian Film Noir, eds. Chi-Yun Shin and Mark Gallagher (London: I.B. Tauris, 2015)
“Level A” by Yongmei Huang, Words Without Borders: Special Issue, Olympic Voices from China, April 2008
Courses Taught:
Graduate Courses:
Seeing the Interior: Cinema, Media, Inverse Visuality (EAS/COM 594)
Undergraduate Courses:
Dangerous Bodies: Cross-Dressing, Asia, Transgression (EAS 314/COM 336/GSS 314)
Asian Urban Horror (Freshman Seminar) (FRS 169)
Spectral Thinking in Modern Chinese Literature and Film (COM 230/EAS 235)
East Asian Humanities: Tradition and Transformation (team-taught) (HUM 234)
Twentieth Century Chinese Literature: Affective Landscapes (EAS 330/COM 335)