Kun Huang

Graduate Student


Kun Huang is PhD Candidate at the Department of Comparative Literature of Cornell University. Her research interests include comparative race theory, Afro-Asian intimacies, translation theory, and anti-racist movements in the age of global China. Her dissertation explores the afterlives of racial blackness in modern Chinese literature and culture in the long twentieth century. It argues that translations and figurations of blackness have crucially informed and continue to haunt articulations of Chinese modernity. Discourses and narratives of racial slavery, pan-African freedom struggles, and African modernity were profoundly entangled with the Chinese cultural projects of anti-colonial nation building, staging the socialist world, and globalization in the post-Cold War era.

In addition to teaching and researching about race and blackness in the transnational East Asian contexts, Kun has also written public-facing commentaries critiquing the gendered and sexual structures of anti-blackness in contemporary China; spotlighting the emergent forms of Chinese diasporic anti-racist activism in the wake of Black Lives Matter movement and Stop Asian Hate; and translated works of black literary and cultural criticism, e.g. Chinese translation of Saidiya Hartman’s “Venus in Two Acts.” Kun also convenes a semi-scholarly network dedicated to reading and discussion of race theory, black feminist writing, Afro-Asian solidarity, and decolonial movements among Chinese academics, artists, and activists.

Research Focus

Kun’s work has been presented at numerous major conferences, including at annual conventions of Modern Language Association (MLA), American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), Association of Asian Studies (AAS), National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA), African Studies Association (ASA), Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society (IACSS), and the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network (CA/AC).

Her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Graduate Fellowships at Society for the Humanities, the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies, the C.V. Starr Fellowship in East Asian Studies, among others. Her writings have appeared on positions politics, South of the South, 文学, and 澎湃思想市.