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Esther K. Lee, Professor of Theater Studies and International Comparative Studies

Esther K. Lee

Esther Kim Lee specializes in theatre history and dramatic criticism. She teaches and writes about Asian American theatre, Korean diaspora theatre, interculturalism, and globalization and theatre. She is the author of A History of Asian American Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 2006), which received the 2007 Award for Outstanding Book given by Association for Theatre in Higher Education. She is the editor of Seven Contemporary Plays from the Korean Diaspora in the Americas (Duke University Press, 2012). From 2013 to 2014, she was the Chief Editor of Theatre Survey, the flagship journal of the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), and starting in 2016, she began her position as ASTR’s Vice President for Publications. Her latest published book is The Theatre of David Henry Hwang (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2015), and she is currently working on a monograph on the history of yellowface in the United States. 



Contact Info:
Office Location:  03B Page, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-3367
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Spring 2021):

    West Duke 108B, TuTh 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
    (also cross-listed as AMES 182S.01, ENGLISH 387S.01)
    TBA, -
    (also cross-listed as AMES 182S.02, ENGLISH 387S.02)
Office Hours:

On a sabbatical leave in 2019-2020.

Ph.D.Ohio State University2000

Asian American theater • Drama • Drama--20th century • Drama--21st century • Korean diaspora • Theater--Korea--History--20th century • Theater--United States--History--20th century

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Lee, EK, Korean Diaspora and the Moebius Strip: Sung Rno's Yi Sang Counts to Thirteen and Transnational Avant-Garde Theater, in Transnational Performance, Identity and Mobility in Asia (April, 2018), SPRINGER, ISBN 9811071071
  2. Lee, EK, M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang, Theatre Journal, vol. 70 no. 4 (2018), pp. 560-561, Project Muse [doi]
  3. Lee, EK, All the Stage’s a World: The Organization of International, Multicultural, and Global Theatre Companies in the U.S., in Theater and Cultural Politics in a New World (October, 2016), ISBN 1138929778  [abs]
  4. Lee, EK, Strangers Onstage: Asia, America, Theatre, and Performance, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, vol. 28 no. 1 (2016)
  5. Lee, EK, The Theatre of David Henry Hwang (December, 2015), pp. 224 pages, Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 1408185016  [abs]

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