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Dr. Jinhee Josephine  Lee

Dr. Jinhee Josephine Lee

Associate Professor of History, Coordinator of Asian Studies

Office: 1605 - Coleman Hall
Phone: 217-581-6065

Growing up in Korea with three sisters, Prof. Lee realized that memories and interpretations of the seemingly shared past could vary dramatically even within a family. As a natural extension of her interest in such dynamic process of producing historical memories and knowledge, Dr. Lee's research focuses on the competing narratives of collective violence in the early twentieth-century Japanese empire and East Asia. Committed to generating cross-disciplinary methodological innovation in the studies of empire, violence, imperialism, and colonialism, Prof. Lee incorporates a variety of historical texts such as paintings, children's writings, rumors, and commemorations in her research and teaching in and beyond the boundaries of conventional historical archives. She has written and translated books, booklets, articles, scholarly reviews, and exhibition brochures in Japanese, Korean, and English. She has been an invited speaker, research fellow, and lecturer at institutions such as Harvard University, Brown University, Dartmouth College, Towson University, New School for Social Research, Calvin College, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Washington University, University of Southern California, University of Illinois in the U.S., University of Tokyo, National Museum of Japanese History, Waseda University, Senshu University in Japan, Ajou University, Sangmyong University, University of Seoul in Korea, and University of Oxford in UK. Dr. Lee got her interdisciplinary training in history, anthropology, area studies, literature, and linguistics at University of Illinois (Champaign, USA), University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan), Drexel University (Philadelphia, USA), and  Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Seoul, S. Korea).
Prof. Lee teaches undergraduate courses including Modern World History, Modern East Asia in the Pacific Century (creator), Modern Japan: From Samurai to Freeters (creator), Two Koreas (creator), Women in East Asia (creator), Japanese Empire (creator), and graduate courses such as Narratives of Collective Violence in East Asia, Archive and Memories of the Japanese Empire, and Historiography (as guest lecturer). Her teaching has been recognized with Most Influential Faculty for the Presidential Sscholars (Honors College, 2010) Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor Award (Graduate College, 2007), Excellent Undergraduate Teaching Award (University of Illinois, 2002), and Graduate Teacher Certificate (University of Illinois, 2000) among others. Dr. Lee has served as founding and elected Coordinator of Asian Studies since 2006.    


Speakers Bureau

For more information, please visit the Speakers Bureau Webpage.

East Asia, Japan, Korea, Koreans in Japan, legacies of imperialism and colonialism, decolonization and postcolonialism, empires in Asia, historical trauma and knowledge production, social impact of natural disaster, gendered experiences of modernity, collective violence and historical memory, children's history, women's history, critical globalism and transnationalism


Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004
- Japanese Ministry of Education Research Fellow, University of Tokyo, Japan, 2002-2003
- College Women’s Association of Japan Scholar, Yokohama, Japan, 2000-2001
A.M. in Asian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

B.A. in Japanese, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, South Korea

Alison Rose International Fellow, Drexel University, Philadelphia, 1993-1994
- International Culture College Work-Study Fellow, Utsunomiya, Japan, 1992

Research Areas

Japanese empire; colonial Korea; imperial legacies and postcoloniality in East Asia; Koreans in Japan; colonial archives and historical knowledge production; social impact of natural disaster; gendered experiences of modernity; collective violence; critical globalism; transnationalism

Language Proficiency

Korean (native; publications in Korean)
Japanese (near native; classical Japanese; publications in Japanese)
Chinese (rudimentary in Mandarin; training in classical Chinese)
Spanish (rudimentary)

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