Panpan Yang is a Ph.D. candidate in the joint program in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, where she is working towards the completion of her dissertation entitled "Animating Space: Toward a Poetics of Chinese Animation." It asks how animation thinks—not “thinks about” or “thinks through”—time and space to a degree unimaginable in live-action cinema.

Outside of academia, she explores creative possibilities in poetry, design, and animation.