Alexa Huang

Alexa Huang

Professor of English, Co-director of the Digital Humanities Institute, Director of the Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare, Director of Graduate Studies
Room 750
Address: Rome Hall
Phone: 202-994-6636

Areas of Expertise

Shakespeare, globalization, Sino-European cultural exchange, literary theory, early modern and postmodern literary and performance cultures, digital humanities, transnational, Sinphone, and Chinese theatre and film


Alexa Huang is Founding Co-Director of the GW Digital Humanities Institute, Director of the Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare (a signature program of GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences), Director of Graduate Studies in English, and Professor of English, Theatre and Dance, East Asian Languages and Literatures, and International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; and co-founder and co-director of the open access Global Shakespeares digital performance archive ( and research affiliate in Literature at MIT. 

Her 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. Her research has been funded by the Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, International Shakespeare Association, Folger Institute, and other agencies. 

Professor Huang's book Chinese Shakespeares: Two Centuries of Cultural Exchange (published by Columbia University Press) received the MLA’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize, an honorable mention of NYU’s Joe A. Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama or Theatre, and the International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS) Colleagues’ Choice Award. Her other books include Weltliteratur und Welttheater: Ästhetischer Humanismus in der kulturellen Globalisierung (Transcript Verlag, 2012); Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation, co-edited with Elizabeth Rivlin (Palgrave, forthcoming );  Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia and Cyberspace, co-edited with Charles Ross (Purdue University Press, 2009);Sourcebook of Chinese and Sinophone Literary Studies in North America in the New Millennium, co-edited (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Press, 2013); and Class, Boundary, and Social Discourse in the Renaissance (also co-edited, 2007). She is co-general editor of The Shakespearean International Yearbook and performance editor of the Internet Shakespeare Editions, and has guest-edited special issues of the journals  Shakespeare:  Journal of the British Shakespeare Association (“Global Shakespeares”), Asian Theatre Journal (“Asian Shakespeares 2.0”), and Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation (“Asian Shakespeares on Screen”). 

She currently chairs the MLA committee on the New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare and edits the Palgrave-Macmillan book series on “Global Shakespeares”. She has taught at Lincoln College, Oxford, as an early modern studies faculty of the Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English (a summer graduate program) and in South Korea as distinguished visiting professor at Seoul National University, and served as former Vice President of the Association for Asian Performance and video curator of an exhibition on early modern and postmodern Sino-European cultural exchange at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. 


Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Stanford University
Joint Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Studies of Humanities, Stanford University

Selected Honors

Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Global Shakespeare, Queen Mary University of London and University of Warwick, UK, 2014-2015

ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 2015-2016

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for A Web Edition of Shakespeare’s King Lears; PI: Michael Best; with Andrew Griffin and Lynne Bradley, 2012-2017

Stiftung Mercator grant for Weltliteratur und Welttheater, 2012

George Washington University Office of the Vice President for Research University Facilitating Fund research grant, 2012Short-term Fellowship, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., Spring 2012

Modern Language Association (MLA) Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Studies, January 2011 (Chinese Shakespeares, Columbia University Press)

New York University Joe A. Callaway Prize for the Best Book in Drama and Theatre--Honorable Mention, 2010 (Chinese Shakespeares, Columbia University Press)

International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS) Colleagues' Choice Award, March, 2011 (Chinese Shakespeares, Columbia University Press)

Faculty Teaching Award, Comparative Literature, Penn State University, Spring 2011

American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) research fellowship, 2010

Penn State University Institute for the Arts and Humanities research grant, 2010

Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, publication subsidy award for monograph Chinese Shakespeares, 2009



Book Series Editor: Palgrave Macmillan's "Global Shakespeares" series

Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation (co-edited with Elizabeth Rivlin, forthcoming from Palgrave)

Weltliteratur und Welttheater: Ästhetischer Humanismus in der kulturellen Globalisierung (Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript Verlag, 2012). 

Chinese Shakespeares: Two Centuries of Cultural Exchange (Columbia University Press, 2009)

Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia and Cyberspace, co-edited with Charles Ross (Purdue University Press, 2009)

Journal Special Issues

Editor, Special issue, "Global Shakespeare," Shakespeare: Journal of the British Shakespeare Association 9.3 (September 2013)

Editor, Special issue, Asian Theatre Journal Volume 28 No. 1 (2011)

Editor, Special issue, "Asian Shakespeares on Screen: Two Films in Perspective,"  Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation 4.2 (2009).

Recent Articles and reviews

Global Shakespeares as Methodology.Shakespeare: Journal of the British Shakespeare Association 9.3 (2013): 1-18.

"Chapter 3: Yukio Ninagawa." Brook, Hall, Ninagawa, Lepage: Great Shakespeareans 18 vols. Vol. 18. Edited by Peter Holland. London: Bloomsbury, 2013. pp. 79-112.

"'What Country, Friends, Is This?': Touring Shakespeares, Agency, and Efficacy in Theatre Historiography."Theatre Survey 54.1 (2013): 51-85.

"Global Shakespeare 2.0 and the Task of the Performance Archive." Shakespeare Survey 64 (2011), 38-51.

"The Locality of Cultural Identity and Knowledge Production." Chung Wai Literary Quarterly 43.1 (March 2014): 191-195.

Rev. ofShakespeare's Foreign Worlds: National and Transnational Identities in the Elizabethan Age; by Carole Levin and John Watkins. Comparative Literature Studies, forthcoming.

"Humor in den Werken Mo Yans," Chinas subversive Peripherie: Aufsätze zum Werk des Nobelpreisträgers Mo Yan, ed. Ylva Monschein. Bochum: Projekt Verlag, 2013. pp. 73-79.

"Comical Tragedies and Other Polygeneric Shakespeares in Contemporary China and Diasporic Chinese Culture,"Shakespeare and Genre: From Early Modern Inheritances to Postmodern Legacies, ed. Anthony R. Guneratne (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 157-172.

"The Paradox of Female Agency." The Afterlife of Ophelia, ed Kaara Peterson and Deanne Williams. New York: Palgrave, 2012. pp. 79-100.

"The Theatricality of Religious Rhetoric: Gao Xingjian and the Meaning of Exile." Theatre Journal 63.3 (2011): 365-379.

"Shakespeare and Translation." The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts, ed Mark Thornton Burnett, Adrian Streete, and Ramona Wray. Edinburgh University Press, 2011. pp. 68-87.

Rev. of Shakespeare in the Worlds of Communism and Socialism, ed. Irena R. Makaryk and Joseph G. Price. Shakespeare Studies 38 (2010): 232-236. 

"Asian American Theatre Re-imagined: Shogun Macbeth in New York." Weyward Macbeth: Intersections of Race and Performance, ed. Scott Newstok and Ayanna Thompson. New York: Palgrave, 2009. pp. 121-125.

"'No World without Verona Walls'? Shakespeare in the Provincial Cultural Marketplace." Re-Playing Shakespeare in Asia. Ed. Poonam Trivedi and Minami Ryutan London: Routledge, 2009. pp. 251-268.

"'A Tender Heir' to 'Bear His Memory': Shakespeare's Sonnets in Taiwan." William Shakespeare's Sonnets, for the First Time Globally Represented, a Quatercentenary 1609-2009. Ed. Manfred Pfister and Jürgen Gutsch. Dozwil, Switzerland: Edition SIGNAThUR, 2009. pp. 121 to 134. 

"Mo Yan as Humorist." World Literature Today 83.4 (2009): 32-35.

"Cosmopolitanism and Its Discontents: The Dialectics between the Global and the Local in Lao She's Fiction." MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly 69. 1 (March 2008): 97-118.

Rev. of Shakespeare, Memory and Performance, ed. Peter Holland. Shakespeare Quarterly 59.4 (Winter 2008): 500-503. 

"Asian Shakespeares in Europe: From the Unfamiliar to the Defamiliarised." Shakespearean International Yearbook 8 (2008): 51-70.

Rev. of Shakespeare and the American Popular Stage, by Frances Teague. Theatre Journal 60.4 (2008): 680-681.

"Shakespearean Localities and the Localities of Shakespeare Studies." Shakespeare Studies 35 (2007): 186-204.

Rev. of King Lear, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare: The Journal of the British Shakespeare Association 3. 2 (August 2007): 239-242.

"Site-Specific Hamlets and Reconfigured Localities: Jiang'an, Singapore, Elsinore." The Shakespearean International Yearbook 7 (2007): 22-48. 

The Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre. 2 vols. Ed. Samuel Leiter (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2007). 15 articles, approx. 7100 words.

"Shakespeare, Performance, and Autobiographical Interventions." Shakespeare Bulletin: A Journal of Performance Criticism and Scholarship 24. 2 (Summer 2006): 31-4.

“Hamlet als Denkfigur: China.” Hamlet Handbuch: Stoffe, Aneignungen, Deutungen, hrsg. Peter W. Marx. Stuttgart: Verlag J. B. Metzler, 2014; übersetzt von Susanne Stadler. pages 379-385.

Media: Television, Radio, Newspapers (selected)

BBC 2 Review Show, August 19, 2011

BBC Radio Scotland Classics Unwrapped, August 14, 2011

GW Hatchet: "Bringing Shakespeare to Life," August 25, 2011

GW English News, "All the World's a Stage: Alex Huang at GW," September 9, 2011

Feature story and interview, Research || Penn State, Fall 2010 issue

Feature story, World Journal (Shijie ribao), December 29, 2010

World Journal (Shijie ribao), January 8, 2011

Feature story, World Journal (Shijie ribao), March 26, 2011

WPSU-TV: "Reinventing Shakespeare: Lobby Talks with Actors from the London Stage, Penn State, Nov. 15 and 18, 2007

WPSU-TV interview, Pennsylvania Inside Out, Penn State, October 29, 2007

Advocacy Work and Outreach
Presentation during congressional briefing "National Security and Other Global Challenges through Cultural Understanding: A Briefing on the Humanities in the 21st Century," Rayburn House Office Building,  Capitol Hill,  Washington,  D.C.,  May 16,  2013; sponsored by the National Humanities Alliance in cooperation with the Congressional Humanities Caucus
Smithsonian’s Freer/Sackler Galleries: “Akira Kurosawa and Japanese King Lears, ” Washington,  D.C.,  March 2,  2014.
Cosmos Club Shakespeare Lecture,  Feb. 22,  2013. Founded in 1878, the Cosmos Club is a private social and intellectual club in Washington,  D.C.
Polytechnic School,  Pasadena CA,  Department of English: a series of four lectures on Global Shakespeare,  incl. sessions for community members,  parents,  teachers,  and students,  Dec. 12-13,  2012.
California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) English Professional Day at Menlo School,  Menlo Park CA: “Teaching in a Digital World, ” December 12,  2011.

Selected Keynotes and Lectures

Keynote, “Globe Theatres and Imaginations of the Globe.” Worlds Elsewhere: Globalization and Early Cultures conference, University of California Irvine, April 18-19, 2014.

Keynote, “Foreign Shores: Pursuing a Full Life as a Racial and Gender Minority.” Women’s Leadership Symposium, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., April 5, 2014. 

Keynote, Shakespeare's Globe: 9th Annual Liberal Studies Colloquium, New York University, March 28, 2014. 

Keynote, “‘Fair Ophelia’ in Victorian and East Asian Visual Cultures.” 67th KFLC: The Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Conference, University of Kentucky, Lexington, April 10-12, 2014. 

Keynote address, "The Meanings of Shakespeare and Asia in the Post-National Age," De Montfort University (UK) conference on Shakespeare and Japan, Feb. 26, 2013. Sponsored by the British Shakespeare Association journal Shakespeare 

Keynote address, International Shakespeare Forum “Shakespeare and Popular Media," Shirayuri College in Tokyo, December 1-2, 2012.

Concluding remarks, "'Nothing Will Come of Nothing': From Archival Silence to Quoting Shakespeare Out of Context," Conference on Shakespeare in Tatters: Referencing Shakespeare on Film and Television. Universita degli studi di Ferrara, Italy, May 11, 2013; co-sponsored by Centro Shakespeariano di Ferrara, Università di Ferrara, Université Paul Valéry Montpellier, and Università Statale di Milano. 

Plenary, International Shakespeare Conference: “The Task of the Performance Archive: Shakespeare Studies and Digital Humanities,” Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, Aug. 11, 2010.

Plenary, Shakespeare Association of Korea conference, Seoul National University, Seoul, Nov. 1-2, 2013.

Keynote adress at University of Western Australia: “The Future of Digital and Analogue Humanities.” Book:Logic - Text Editing and Digital Culture conference, Perth, June 29, 2012. 

Edinburgh International Festival: “Continental Shifts: All the World’s a Stage,” The Hub, Castelhill, co-sponsored by the British Council and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Aug. 15, 2011. 

Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.: Opening Lecture for the "Imagining China" Exhibition  (with Timothy Billings), Sept. 17, 2009.

Plenary, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Royal Shakespeare Company Residency Program: “Touching a Universal Nerve: Drama in Translation,” March 18, 2012. 

Concluding Roundtable, Academia Sinica Institute of European and American Studies, Taiwan: "Professing English from the Margins." Conference on “Our Euro-America: Politics and Compromises,” June 3, 2012.

Rhodes College, Pearce Shakespeare Endowment event: “Global Hamlets,” October 5, 2012.

Plenary, Shakespeare Forum conference: "The Future of Digital Humanities and Performance Studies," National Taiwan University, Nov. 25, 2010.

Plenary, Shakespeare across Media conference: “The Meaning of Global Shakespeare in Theatre Historiography," National Taiwan University June 7-9, 2012. 

Southwestern University Howard Crawford Lecture: "'Fair Ophelia' in Victorian and Asian Visual Cultures," Oct 28, 2011.

Binghamton University-State University of New York, inaugural lecture of Harpur College Dean's Speaker Series: "Romeo and Juliet in an Age of Localization," Nov. 13, 2009.

Invited lectures at Columbia, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III (France), Trinity College Dublin, Queen's University Belfast, NYU, UCLA, Northwestern, Boston, Amherst, MIT, University of Victoria (Canada), University of Maryland College Park, Georgetown, National Tsing Hua University, Rutgers, Curtin University (Australia), ANU Canberra, City University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Lingnan University (Hong Kong), UT Austin, UC Santa Barbara, Beijing Normal University, Downing College Cambridge, SOAS London, Universität Heidelberg, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Shandong University (China), etc.