• YEAR: PhD student
  • MAJOR: Comparative Literature
  • HOMETOWN: Wuhan, HuBei, China

Yuhan Huang

A love of world literature brought Yuhan Huang to Purdue. Outstanding faculty and a vibrant campus community have kept her here. Now, Yuhan is using her passion for literature and the arts to inspire other students. She's also on a mission to raise awareness of Asian and Asian-American culture on the West Lafayette campus.

A Love of Literature

When it was time for Yuhan to decide her major for graduate study, she says, the choice was an easy one.

"My main academic interest lies in literature, but I also like to study the arts," she says. "Comparative literature includes all of my interests and provides the opportunity to explore them and find innovative ways to examine this material."

In 2013, Yuhan helped to organize the sixth Sino-American Symposium at Purdue, one of the most important events for comparative literature scholars with a focus on Chinese literature and culture.

Culture Showcase

Yuhan is an active member of APAC, Asian Pacific American Caucus, in reaching out to students who are interested in understanding and sharing their Asian and Asian-American experience on campus. She also co-organized the 2013 Art Voice exhibition, which showcased artwork that presents the voices of the Asian and Asian-American community at Purdue.

Yuhan is also playing a leading role in an effort to establish an Asian and Asian-American Resource and Cultural Center at Purdue. "This is extremely important to bring about a real understanding of Asian and Asian-American culture and provide a platform for open exchange," she says.

At the Movies

As a graduate teaching assistant, Yuhan leads classes on the Chinese language, along with teaching an undergraduate liberal arts course on film. She is also the organizer of the Chinese Film Appreciation program in the School of Languages and Cultures, which engages the campus in discussions about the Chinese culture reflected in films.

"Movies are great teaching tools because they not only show different cultures, but they also help connect people of different backgrounds through shared emotions," Yuhan says. "Films help some students come out of their shells, open up and communicate better."

The Art of Patience

On her website, Yuhan focuses on what she calls "the art of patience." She says, "For me, with my photography and other art forms, they become an expression of slowing down and having the patience to communicate with myself and others.

"Art to me is not just about capturing beautiful things, but it's about an engagement with the way you interact with your subject and yourself."