Monica Huerta

Monica Huerta

Assistant Professor of English and American Studies
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Office Location: 
McCosh Hall, Room B41
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • M.A., Princeton University
  • B.A., Harvard University

Monica Huerta received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds an M.A. in history from Princeton University and a B.A. in history and literature from Harvard University. She was most recently a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University in the Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. During her doctoral course of study, she was awarded both predoctoral 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, and travel & research grants from the Mellon Foundation and the University of California. She is also a proud Mellon-Mays Fellow.

Huerta’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 on 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 why we think we are reading when we look at a face. In the fall of 2019, with Carolyn N. Biltoft, assistant professor of international history at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, she hosted an experimental interdisciplinary symposium and workshop, “The Poetics of Material Life,” supported by the Humanities Council, the University Center for Human Values, the Department of English, and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities.

Courses that Huerta has taught include “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.” She has taught at Rutgers University, Pace University, and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Guadalajara, Mexico. She was most recently a lecturer in the Humanities Council and English, and a Link-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows.

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.