Bio


Elise Huerta is a PhD candidate in East Asian Languages and Cultures with a concentration in modern Chinese literature and a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation, Untouchable: On the Cultural Politics of Hands in Modern China, aims to produce new understandings of intimacy, alienation, labor, and violence in the modern era through the interdisciplinary study of tactile culture. The project explores the many powers invested in human hands through narrative, taking a particular interest in the discourses and social mechanisms that contribute to the construction of "untouchable" people and groups. Her research will be supported by a Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship in 2021-2022 and an AAUW American Fellowship in 2022-2023.

As an educator, Huerta is committed to supporting student success while promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. She currently serves as a graduate mentor through the First-Generation and/or Low-Income (FLI) and Enhancing Diversity in Education (EDGE) programs at Stanford. She is a published Chinese to English translator and holds a BA in Chinese with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Honors & Awards


  • American Dissertation Fellowship, American Association of University Women (AAUW) (2022-2023)
  • Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, Mellon Foundation (2021-2022)
  • Josephine de Karman Dissertation Fellowship (declined), Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust (2021-2022)
  • Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (declined), Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation (2021-2022)
  • Blakemore Freeman Fellow, Blakemore Foundation (2018-2019)
  • Graduate Public Service Fellowship, Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford University (2017-2018)
  • Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education Fellowship, Stanford University (2015)
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellow, Stanford University (2018)
  • East Asia Summer Grant, Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS), Stanford University (2017)
  • H&S Intensive Language Instruction Grant, Stanford University (2016)
  • Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, Taiwan Ministry of Education (2016)
  • Hucker Award for Excellence in China Studies Writing, University of Michigan (2014)
  • Virginia Voss Award for Excellence in Academic Writing, University of Michigan (2014)

Education & Certifications


  • BA, University of Michigan, Asian Languages and Cultures (2014)

Stanford Advisors


Service, Volunteer and Community Work


  • Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Mentor, Stanford University (2017 - Present)

    Location

    Stanford University

  • First-Generation and Low-Income Program Mentor, Stanford University (2015 - Present)

    Location

    Stanford University

  • East Asian Studies Workshop Co-Coordinator, Stanford University (2017 - 2018)

    Location

    Stanford University

  • Third Annual Stanford Engaged Scholarship Conference Co-Coordinator, Stanford University (2017)

    Location

    Stanford University

  • Berkeley-Stanford Graduate Student Conference Co-Coordinator, Stanford University (2020)

    Location

    Stanford University

  • Mentors in Teaching (MinT) Fellow, Stanford University

    Location

    Stanford University

All Publications


  • Yu Xiuhua Chinese Literature Today Huerta, E., Xu, H. 2019; 7 (2): 5
  • Twelve Poems Chinese Literature Today Huerta, E., Xu, H. 2019; 7 (2): 6-17