Education, Training, & Certifications
- Ph.D., Ohio State University 2000
Previous Appointments & Affiliations
Leadership & Clinical Positions at Duke
- Director, Asian American and Diaspora Studies
Academic Positions Outside Duke
- Professor, University of Maryland. 2013 - 2018
- Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2000 - 2012
In the News
MAY 5, 2022
FEB 9, 2022 Franklin Humanities Institute
MAR 29, 2021
MAY 10, 2017
MAR 17, 2017
Awards & Honors
Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants
- Graduate School Research and Scholarship Award awarded by University of Maryland 2014
- Research Award awarded by Research Board, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2011
- Co-Sponsorship Award awarded by American Society for Theatre Research 2009
- Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities Fellowship Award awarded by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2009
- Amy Ling Memorial Research Grant awarded by Asian American Studies Program. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2006
- College of Fine and Applied Arts Special Grant awarded by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2005
- Arnold O. Beckman Research Award awarded by Research Board, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 2001
- The Five College Pre-Doctoral Minority Fellowship awarded by Five College Consortium in Amherst, Massachusetts 1999
- Publications & Artistic Works
Lee, E. K. Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era, 2022. https://doi.org/10.3998/mpub.12121434.Full Text
Lee, Esther Kim. The Theatre of David Henry Hwang. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.
Lee, Esther Kim. Seven Contemporary Plays from the Korean Diaspora in the Americas. Duke University Press, 2012.
Lee, Esther Kim. A History of Asian American Theatre. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Canning, Charlotte M., Esther Kim Lee, and Sara Warner. “Adages for Ethical Graduate Mentoring in the Twenty-first Century.” Theatre Topics 29, no. 2 (2019): 103–13. https://doi.org/10.1353/tt.2019.0017.Full Text Open Access Copy
Lee, Esther Kim. “M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang.” Theatre Journal 70, no. 4 (2018): 560–61. https://doi.org/10.1353/tj.2018.0111.Full Text Open Access Copy
Lee, E. K. “Strangers Onstage: Asia, America, Theatre, and Performance.” Journal of American Drama and Theatre 28, no. 1 (2016).Open Access Copy Link to Item
Lee, E. K. “Transnational Legitimization of an Actor: The Life and Career of Soon-Tek Oh.” Modern Drama 48, no. 2 (2005): 371–408.
Lee, E. K. “Between the Personal and the Universal: Asian American Solo Performance from the 1970s to the 1990s.” Journal of Asian American Studies 6, no. 3 (October 1, 2003): 289–312.
Lee, E. K. “A genealogy of the Fu Manchu Mustache.” In Monsters in Performance: Essays on the Aesthetics of Disqualification, 125–40, 2022. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003137337-13.Full Text
Lee, Esther. “Transcultural Memory and Food in Julia Cho’s Aubergine.” In Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Plays by Women The Early Twenty-First Century, 2021.
Lee, Esther. “Sounding Asian American: Geeks and Superheroes in Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone.” In Theatre After Empire. Routledge, 2021.
Lee, Esther. “Asian American Theater and Drama from the 1960s to the 1990s.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature and Culture. Oxford University Press, USA, 2020.
Lee, Esther. “Historiography of Yellowface: Stage Make-Up, Materiality and Technology.” In The Methuen Drama Handbook of Theatre History and Historiography. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019.
Lee, E. K. “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. Springer, 2018.
Lee, E. K. “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, 2016.
Lee, E. K. “Contemporary Asian American Drama.” In The Cambridge History of Asian American Literature. Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Lee, E. K. “Designed Bodies: A Historiographical Study of Costume Design and Asian American Theater.” In The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015.
Lee, E. K. “Asian American Women Playwrights and the Dilemma of the Identity Play: Staging Heterotopic Subjectivities.” In Contemporary Women Playwrights Into the 21st Century. Macmillan International Higher Education, 2014.
Lee, E. K. “Patient Zero: Jean Yoon and Korean Canadian Theatre.” In Asian Canadian Theatre. Theatre Communications Group, 2011.
Lee, E. K. “Avant-Garde Becomes Nationalism: Immortalizing Nam June Paik in South Korea.” In Avant-Garde Performance and Material Exchange Vectors of the Radical. Springer, 2010.
- Teaching & Mentoring
- AADS 232S: Asian American Theater 2022
- AMES 182S: Asian American Theater 2022
- AMES 227SA: Korea in Performance: Global Culture and Soft Power 2022
- ENGLISH 387S: Asian American Theater 2022
- ICS 220SA: Korea in Performance: Global Culture and Soft Power 2022
- THEATRST 220SA: Korea in Performance: Global Culture and Soft Power 2022
- THEATRST 232S: Asian American Theater 2022
- AMES 182S: Asian American Theater 2021
- ENGLISH 387S: Asian American Theater 2021
- HISTORY 431S: History of Acting 2021
- THEATRST 232S: Asian American Theater 2021
- THEATRST 402S: History of Acting 2021
- Scholarly, Clinical, & Service Activities
Presentations & Appearances
- Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era. Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University. February 2022 2022
- “Dainty As Needs Be”: Madame Butterfly and Cosmetic Yellowface. Center for International & Global Studies, Duke University. January 2022 2022
- Yellowface, Asian Stereotypes, and Media Representation. Advantage Solutions. September 2021 2021
- “American Theater: History and Current Landscape”. Speaker Series of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Forum for Cultural Engagement. April 2021 2021
- AAPI Heritage Month Discussion Panel. Environmental Protection Agency-RTP Branch. March 2021 2021
- “Acting Asian: Theatrical Makeup and the Technology of Yellowface”. Looking Back to the Future: 20 Years of A/P/A Studies in the Five Colleges. Smith College. March 2020 2020
- “The Many Faces of DHH: David Henry Hwang and Asian American Theatre”. The Worlds of David Henry Hwang Symposium sponsored by Illuminations. University of California, Irvine. November 2019 2019
- “Korean Diaspora and the Moebius Strip”. Triangle East Asia Colloquium, Transnational Korean Cinema & Media Conference. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. March 2019 2019
- Historiography of Yellowface: Stage Makeup, Materiality, and Technology. Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama Distinguished Lecture. Northwestern University. February 13, 2019 2019
- “History of Yellowface in the U.S". Thomas Langford Lecture. Duke University. February 2019 2019
- Theatre History Symposium Respondent. The 39th Annual Mid-American Theatre Conference. Mid-American Theatre Conference. March 2018 2018
- Korean Diaspora Theatre. Korean Diaspora Festival Symposium. National Theater Company of Korea. July 2017 2017
- The Theatre of David Henry Hwang. English Department, Yonsei University. July 2017 2017
- The Archetypal Eurasian and Yellowface Makeup: The Material History of Imagined Asianness and Whiteness . Performance, Race, Objects, and Time/Temporality. James Gallery/Center for the Humanities. April 2017 2017
- Korean Avant-Garde Theatre and Sung Rno’s Yi Sang Counts to Thirteen. Institute for Korean Studies. Ohio State University. March 2017 2017
- Performance Related Concepts in Non-European Languages – Korean. Interweaving Performance Cultures. Freie Universität . July 2016 2016
- Korean American Playwrights. Department of Theatre and Film, Hanyang University. November 2014 2014
- The Theatricalized Body of Bruce Lee in David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu. NTU International Conference on Theatre. Department of Drama and Theatre, National Taiwan University. November 2014 2014
- Home: The State of Asian American Theatre. National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival. October 2014 2014
- The Theatricalized Body of Bruce Lee in David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu. School of Drama, University of Washington. April 2014 2014
- All the Stage’s a World: The Organization of International, Multicultural, and Global Theatre Companies in the U.S.. Asian American Theater & Performance Studies Symposium. Harvard University. March 2013 2013
- Remember to Forget’: A Study of the Family in Contemporary Plays from the Korean Diaspora in the U.S.. The 19th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium in the Korean Humanities: “Staging Korea: Korean Theatre in Search of New Aesthetics” . George Washington University. November 2011 2011
- The Dynamism of Aesthetics in Asian American Theatre. Next Big Bang: The Explosion of Asian American Theatre. East West Players. June 2006 2006
Service to the Profession
- Editorial Board Member. The Journal of Drama. 2017 2017
- Vice President for Publications. American Society for Theatre Research. 2017 - 2019 2017 - 2019
- Editor. Theatre Survey. American Society for Theatre Research. 2013 - 2014 2013 - 2014
- Editorial Board Member. Journal of American Drama and Theatre. 2013 2013
- Associate Editor. Theatre Survey. American Society for Theatre Research. 2011 - 2012 2011 - 2012
- Founding Organizer. Consortium of PhD Programs in Theatre and Performance Studies. September 2009 2009
- Member of the Executive Committee. American Society for Theatre Research. 2004 - 2007 2004 - 2007
Service to Duke
- Advisory Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure. 2020 2020
- Asian American Studies Cluster Hire Search Committee. 2020 - 2021 2020 - 2021
- Arts & Sciences Council. 2018 2018
- Asian American Studies Program Steering Committee. 2018 2018
- Chair Advisory Committee. 2018 2018
- Curriculum Committee. 2018 2018
- Search Committee - ICS. 2018 2018
Some information on this profile has been compiled automatically from Duke databases and external sources. (Our About page explains how this works.) If you see a problem with the information, please write to Scholars@Duke and let us know. We will reply promptly.