Monica Huerta

Princeton University
2016-2019 I English

Monica Huerta received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley; she also holds an M.A. in History from Princeton University and a B.A. in History & Literature from Harvard University. She was most recently a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University, where she was housed in the Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. During her doctoral course of study, she was awarded both pre-doctoral and dissertation fellowships from the Ford Foundation, a dissertation award from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, visiting fellowships from the New York Public Library and the Hispanic Cultural Center, as well as travel & research grants from the Mellon Foundation and the University of California. She is also a proud Mellon-Mays Fellow.

Monica’s research focuses on notions of expression and its relationship to identity in literature, law, and science, especially as they revolve around photography and involuntariness. At Princeton, she is working two manuscript projects. The first, “Ghosts Seen in the Law: Photography and the Problem of Expression in 19th Century America,” offers a critical historical account of the legal quandaries of property and personhood that new instantaneous cameras introduced into the adjudication of expressions and authorship in America. The second project, “Face Poetics” asks a very simple question of the history of studying and reading faces: why do we think we are reading when we look at a face? In the fall of 2019, with Professor Carolyn N. Biltoft (Graduate Institute, Geneva), she will host an experimental, interdisciplinary symposium and workshop, “The Poetics of Material Life.” The symposium is being generously supported by the Council in the Humanities, the Center for Human Values, the English Department, and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities.

Monica has also taught many different kinds of courses, including, “We Out Here: An Introduction to Latino Literatures,” “Imagining Slavery & Gender,” “Translating America,”  “About Faces: Case Studies in the History of Reading Faces,” and “Introduction to American Studies.” In the Spring of 2019 she will co-teach a new course with Professor Sarah Chihaya (English) called “Historical Fiction / Fictional History.” The course and its development as one of the new gateway courses in English is being generously supported by the 250th Anniversary Fund for Innovation in Undergraduate Education. In the past, she taught at Rutgers University, Pace University, and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Guadalajara, Mexico. She is currently a lecturer with the English Department and serves as a faculty fellow at Wilson College.

Her work has appeared or will appear in J19: The Journal for Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, Critical Analysis of Law: An International and Interdisciplinary Law Review, and American Literature. In the fall of 2019, she will join the Princeton faculty as an assistant professor in English and American Studies.

Spring 2019 Course: ENG 317 Historical Fiction / Fictional History