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 context of modern East Asia, especially concerning the Japanese empire and colonial Korea. Committed to generating cross-disciplinary methodological innovation in the studies of empire, violence, imperialism/colonialism, and postcoloniality of East Asia, Prof. Lee incorporates a variety of historical texts such as paintings, children's writings, rumors, testimonials, and commemorations in her research and teaching in and beyond the conventional historical archives' boundaries. 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, University of Pennsylvania, Towson University, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Illinois, Calvin College, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, Western Michigan State University, Ohio State University, University of Southern California, University of California - Los Angeles, University of California - Berkeley, University of Missouri - St. Louis, and University of Minnesota in the U.S., University of Tokyo, National Museum of Japanese History, Waseda University, Senshu University in Japan, University of Seoul, Ajou University, Sangmyong University in Korea, and Oxford University in UK. Dr. Lee got her interdisciplinary training in history, anthropology, area studies, literature, and linguistics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Drexel University in the U.S., University of Tokyo in Japan, and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Korea. Prof. Lee teaches undergraduate history courses including Modern Japan, North and South Korea, Modern China, Modern East Asia, Women in East Asia, Japanese Empire, Modern World History, and graduate seminars 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 Scholars (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. Prof. Lee has received numerous grants from: National Museum of Japanese History and National Institute for the Humanities in Japan, Academy of Korean Studies in Korea, Association for Asian Studies, Illinois Humanities Council, Japan Foundation, Japanese Ministry of Education, College Women’s Association of Japan, University of Illinois, Brown University, and also from the following units at Eastern Illinois University: University Foundation, Faculty Development Office, Interdisciplinary Center for Global Diversity, and College of Arts and Humanities.
Japan's inclination towards the right-wing, anti-Korean ideology must not be neglected: Korea-Japan relations through the lens of the Great Kanto Earthquake, The Korea Economic Daily (2014)
Blood-filled Street: Devastation of the Kanto Massacre Captured in Documentary Films, Yonhap News (2014)
Colloquium focusing on the Massacre of Koreans during the Great Kanto Earthquake hosted by Kunkuk University, The Korea Times (2014)
Teaching Historical Facts Correctly: Professors Jinhee Lee and Phyllis Leons on Kanto Documentary Film, The Korea Times (2013)
History as Sacred – Accurate Historical Representation, Korea Daily (2013)
Contributions to Books
The Enemy Within: Earthquake, Rumors, and Massacre in the Japanese Empire, Violence: Mercurial Gestalt (2008)
The experience of violence has powerful consequences in the transformation of history. The 1923 Great...
An Apology Long Overdue for the Misguided Retaliatory Massacre: Interview with Professor Jinhee Lee, Member of the National Assembly Special Law Enactment Committee concerning the Kanto Massacre, Ohmynews (2014)
June 9, 2014 interview in Ohmynews.