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

Esther K. Lee

Esther Kim Lee is Professor in Theater Studies and International Comparatives Studies and the Director of Asian American and Diaspora Studies at Duke. She 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 was  ASTR’s Vice President for Publications. Her latest published book is The Theatre of David Henry Hwang (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2015), and her new book, Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era will be published by the University of Michigan Press in 2022. 



Contact Info:
Office Location:  Box 90680, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-3367
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

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, EKIM, Made-Up Asians Yellowface During the Exclusion Era (July, 2022), pp. 296 pages, ISBN 0472075438  [abs]
  2. MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY WORLD DRAMA Critical and Primary Sources (2022), ISBN 1350121940  [abs]
  3. Lee, E, Transcultural Memory and Food in Julia Cho’s Aubergine, in Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Plays by Women The Early Twenty-First Century (July, 2021), ISBN 0472074350
  4. Lee, E, Sounding Asian American: Geeks and Superheroes in Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone, in Theatre After Empire (May, 2021), pp. 193-206, Routledge, ISBN 1138368946
  5. Lee, E, Asian American Theater and Drama from the 1960s to the 1990s, in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature and Culture (2020), Oxford University Press, USA, ISBN 0190699620

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