Alexa Huang

Founding Co-Director of the GW Digital Humanities Institute
Director, Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Program
Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English
Professor of English, Theatre and Dance
     East Asian Languages and Literatures and International Affairs

Department of English
George Washington University


CV available upon request
Abbreviated version of this page

At a Glance

Prof. Huang's teaching and publications (in English, Chinese, and German) focus on a few principal areas:
     (1) Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, 20th-century interpretations, and critical theory;
     (2) modern literature, theatre and film of Asian America, China, and the Chinese diaspora;
     (3) theories and practice of digital humanities and cultural globalization.


Dr. Huang's teaching and publications are unified by a commitment to understanding the mobility of early modern and postmodern cultures in their literary, performative, and digital forms of expression. She is the author of Chinese Shakespeares: Two Centuries of Cultural Exchange (Columbia University Press), a study of the interactions between ideas of "Shakespeare" and "China" in fiction, film, and theatre in an age of globalization. The book received the Modern Language Association's (MLA) Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize, the Colleagues' Choice Award of the International Convention for Asian Scholars (ICAS), and an honorable mention of New York University's Joe A. Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama or Theatre.

Part of her work focuses on racial and national histories that connect imaginative writing to performances on stage and on screen, which led to the publication of Weltliteratur und Welttheater: Ästhetischer Humanismus in der kulturellen Globalisierung (World Literature and World Theatre: Aesthetic Humanism in Cultural Globalization), Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia and Cyberspace (Purdue University Press; co-edited), Class, Boundary and Social Discourse in the Renaissance (co-edited), and Sourcebook of Chinese and Sinophone Literary Studies in North America in the New Millennium (co-edited). She has served as the guest editor of special issues of Shakespeare (Journal of the British Shakespeare Association), Asian Theatre Journal, and Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, and has contributed to MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly, Shakespeare Survey, Shakespeare Bulletin, Theatre Journal, Shakespeare, Shakespeare Yearbook, China Review International, Shakespeare Studies, Comparative Literature Studies, The Shakespearean International Yearbook, Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen, World Literature Today, and Asian Theatre Journal, among other peer-reviewed journals and books from Oxford, Cambridge, Toronto, and other publishers.

Her research has been supported by several institutions and grant agencies, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, China Times Cultural Foundation, International Shakespeare Association, Folger Institute, George Washington University Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanities, Stanford University, and others. Further projects underway include a book on literary humor and a book on ethics and intercultural performance.


In addition to directing Honors, MA and PhD theses and working closely with directors, Professor Huang teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on early modern drama, Shakespeare, intercultural performance, film studies, race and gender identities, Orientalism, and global literary theory. Her teaching has recently been recognized by two teaching awards at Penn State.

As Research Affiliate in Literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she is involved in the Global Shakespeare curriculum initiative of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and co-founded, with Peter Donaldson, Shakespeare Performance in Asia (SPIA) and Global Shakespeare. Both open-access digital video archives have been included in the MLA Bibliography and World Shakespeare Bibliography.

Digital Humanities

To make films and performance videos a sharable resource for teaching and research, she has co-founded Global Shakespeare, an open-access digital project at MIT, and served as the video curator of "Imagining China: The View from Europe, 1550-1700," an exhibition at the Folger Library (curator: Timothy Billings). She has also edited a special issues of multimedia-enhanced essays for Borrowers and Lenders.

Working with students, directors and theatre artists creates a synergy between Prof. Huang's research, teaching, and outreach initiatives, which is why she has been involved in Cornell's Global Performing Arts Database (GloPAD) project, helped to create Stanford Shakespeare in Asia, and co-founded a number of other open-access digital video research projects including Shakespeare Performance in Asia (SPIA) and Global Shakespeare. She is currently at work on a number of collaborative digital research and archival projects including VITAL (Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning).


Professor Huang maintains connections with various academic institutions and theatre companies in East Asia, North America, and Western Europe as visiting professor, editor, archivist, author, and collaborator. Having published on Marlowe, Shakespeare, digital humanities theories, intercultural theatre, Lu Xun, Lao She, Gao Xingjian, and a broad range of topics, Huang has also contributed to Asian studies, theatre studies, and Shakespeare and early modern studies through her service to the field.

At George Washington University she is a member of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (MEMSI) and is affiliated with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies where she serves as co-editor of the Papers in the Asian Humanities series. She has served the theatre and Asian studies community in her roles as the Vice President of the Association for Asian Performance (AAP, 2010-2012), Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies (MAR/AAS, 2011-2012), editorial board member of Brill’s series on “East Asian Comparative Literature and Culture," and book review editor of Chinese Literature Today.

Huang has contributed to Shakespeare and early modern studies through her publications and service. She has been involved in the larger artistic and academic communities in the U.S. and abroad as the General Editor (with Tom Bishop) of the Shakespearean International Yearbook, member of the Modern Language Association (MLA) Committee on the New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare, MLA executive committee on East Asian languages and literatures since 1900, board member of the Internet Shakespeare Editions (based in Victoria, Canada), early modern studies faculty of the Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English (a summer graduate program), guest speaker at the Edinburgh International Festival, consultant for several other theatre festivals, and the video curator for an exhibition at the Folger Library in Washington, D.C.

She has appeared on BBC Radio, BBC TV, and other television and radio programs to discuss cultural globalization. In addition, stories about her work have appeared in media outlets in English and Chinese.


Latest Interviews



  • Distinguished visiting professor at Seoul National University (South Korea), 2010
  • Early Modern Studies Faculty, Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English at Lincoln College Oxford (summer graduate program), 2013
  • Early Modern Studies Faculty, Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English in Santa Fe (summer graduate program), 2011
  • ACLS visiting scholar, Beijing Normal University Institute for World Literature and Comparative Literature, 2010
  • Honorary Visiting Professor and Graduate Faculty at the Institute of Literary Theory and Aesthetics, Shandong University, China, 2007 --
  • Exchange scholar in Comparative Literature at Harvard University
  • Visiting scholar at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing


Chinese Shakespeares
MLA's Scaglione Prize
NYU's Joe A. Callaway Prize Honorable Mention
ICAS Colleagues' Choice Award

World Literature and World Theatre
---------BSA journal
Special Issue on Global Shakespeares
Shakespearean International Yearbook, general editor
Special Issue 28.1 (2011)
Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia and Cyberspace
Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia, and Cyberspace

Sourcebook of Chinese and Sinophone Literary Studies in North America in the New Millennium
---------Class, Boundary and Social Discourse in the Renaissance
Class, Boundary and Social Discourse in the Renaissance


Go to Page for students

LinkedIn Alex Huang

Huang :: GW English
Huang :: Elliott School
Huang :: EALL
Huang :: Sigur Center
Huang :: GW MEMSI

Alexa Huang at MIT
Global Shakespeares