UA to host Chinese American Author and Distinguished Professor Yunte Huang on April 15 & 16

From the Department of English | On April 15-16, 2024, The University of Alabama will host a lecture, book signing and discussions with Yunte Huang, author and distinguished professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The professor, who began his graduate studies at the University, will give a presentation and discussion on the topic, “Life as a Scholar” from 1-2 pm on April 15th in the Yellowhammer Room of Gorgas Library.

During the presentation, he will map out his very interesting path as a writer and professor. His rather unconventional career pathway led him to The University of Alabama for his graduate education in the English Department (during which time he also was a co-founder of the Chinese restaurant Swen). From a student at Beijing University (also known as Peking University) to an international scholar who started out at UA to a restaurateur to a translator, a Guggenheim Fellow and then an English professor at Harvard and UC Santa Barbara, Yunte, in telling his lived experiences, will stand as an instructive paradigm of the diverse yet intersectional career possibilities that a liberal arts scholar can tap into.

Yunte Huang will also be giving a talk at 5 pm on April 15th in the Yellowhammer Room.  This public lecture is aptly titled, “Daughter of the Dragon: The Story of Anna May Wong and the Asian American Rendezvous with America” after his recently published book. After the presentation and lecture on the 15th, a Q & A session will be held on April 16th from 10 am to 12 pm in the Anderson Room at the Student Center.

Yunte’s book titled Daughter of the Dragon: Anna May Wong’s Rendezvous with American History which will be the focal point of his lectureis a biography of Old Hollywood’s Chinese American actress Anna May Wong. The book is named by The New York Times as one of the 100 most notable books published in 2023. A work of cultural criticism at its finest, it was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. American actor Paul Giamatti equally celebrates the book as “a marvel of cultural history and biography and a loving celebration of an amazing woman”.

At the lecture, Yunte will provide insight into “Daughter of the Dragon” while discussing how it fits within his “Rendezvous with America” trilogy, which has included a biography of “rough-and-tumble… Hawaii cop, fictional hero, Hollywood detective” protagonist Charlie Chan and the story of the original Siamese Twins Chang and Eng Bunker. Yunte’s contribution to presenting globalist perspectives on Chinese culture and people is spotlighted in The Big Red Book of Modern Chinese Literature in the Norton anthology series. Ever the eclectic pop-cultural biographer, Yunte is currently writing a biography of Confucius, a writerly experience that he will be all too happy to share with participants of the main lecture and at the Q & A session.

The University Honors Program is co-sponsoring the event with Gender and Race Studies and the English Department. To learn more about Yunte as featured in news reports, articles, and reviews, see his website: Books will be available for sale and signing at all of his events courtesy of the UA SUPE Store.

Image credit: Yunte Huang in full frame. Image courtesy of New York Times.

The lecture and Q&A session is open to the public. Admission to Yellowhammer Room and Anderson Room is free. The room is located on the second floor of Gorgas Library, 711 Capstone Dr, University of Alabama campus, and the Anderson Room is located on the third floor of the Ferguson Student Center.

For additional information contact Hank Lazer: