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EIU Asian Studies Minor


Dr. Jinhee J Lee, Associate Professor of History, Coordinator of Asian Studies

Office: 3755 - Coleman Hall
Phone: 217-581-3310

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, imperialism, and colonial violence, Prof. Lee incorporates a variety of historical texts such as rumors, children's writings, commemorations, and non-textual historical evidence in her research and teaching. Going beyond the boundaries of conventional historical archives, she has authored, edited, and translated books, booklets, articles, scholarly reviews, and exhibit materials in Japanese, Korean, and English. She has been an invited speaker, research fellow, and lecturer at institutions such as Harvard University, University of California at Berkeley, UCLA, Calvin College, Northwestern University, University of Chicago among others in the U.S., and the University of Tokyo, Waseda University, Senshu University, National Museum of Japanese History, the Academy of Korean Studies, the University of Seoul, and many other institutions in Korea as well as the University of Oxford, UK. Dr. Lee got her interdisciplinary training in history, anthropology, area studies, literature, and linguistics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Tokyo, Drexel University, and  Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
Prof. Lee develops and teaches undergraduate courses including Modern World History, Modern East Asia, Modern Japan, Two Koreas, Modern China, Women in East Asia, Japanese Empire, and graduate courses such as Narratives of Collective Violence in East Asia, Archive and Memories of the Japanese Empire, and Historiography. Her teaching has been recognized with Most Influential Faculty for the Presidential Scholars (Honors College), Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor Award (Graduate College), Excellent Undergraduate Teaching Award (University of Illinois), and Graduate Teacher Certificate (University of Illinois) among others. Dr. Lee has served as founding and elected Coordinator of Asian Studies.    



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

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

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; collective violence; critical globalism

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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