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Esther Kim Lee

Frances Hill Fox Professor of Theater Studies
Theater Studies
Box 90680, Durham, NC 27708

Selected Presentations & Appearances


Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era · February 2022 Lecture Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University,
“Dainty As Needs Be”: Madame Butterfly and Cosmetic Yellowface · January 2022 Invited Talk Center for International & Global Studies, Duke University,
Yellowface, Asian Stereotypes, and Media Representation · September 2021 Invited Talk Advantage Solutions,
“American Theater: History and Current Landscape” - Speaker Series of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow · April 2021 Invited Talk Forum for Cultural Engagement,
AAPI Heritage Month Discussion Panel · March 2021 Instructional Course, Workshop, or Symposium Environmental Protection Agency-RTP Branch,
Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era · February 2022 Lecture Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University,
“Dainty As Needs Be”: Madame Butterfly and Cosmetic Yellowface · January 2022 Invited Talk Center for International & Global Studies, Duke University,
Yellowface, Asian Stereotypes, and Media Representation · September 2021 Invited Talk Advantage Solutions,
“American Theater: History and Current Landscape” - Speaker Series of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow · April 2021 Invited Talk Forum for Cultural Engagement,
AAPI Heritage Month Discussion Panel · March 2021 Instructional Course, Workshop, or Symposium Environmental Protection Agency-RTP Branch,
“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 · March 2020 Invited Talk Smith College,
“The Many Faces of DHH: David Henry Hwang and Asian American Theatre” - The Worlds of David Henry Hwang Symposium sponsored by Illuminations · November 2019 Invited Talk University of California, Irvine,
“Korean Diaspora and the Moebius Strip” - Triangle East Asia Colloquium, Transnational Korean Cinema & Media Conference · March 2019 Keynote/Named Lecture University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,
Historiography of Yellowface: Stage Makeup, Materiality, and Technology - Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama Distinguished Lecture · February 13, 2019 Keynote/Named Lecture Northwestern University,
“History of Yellowface in the U.S" - Thomas Langford Lecture · February 2019 Keynote/Named Lecture Duke University,
Theatre History Symposium Respondent - The 39th Annual Mid-American Theatre Conference · March 2018 Invited Talk Mid-American Theatre Conference, Milwaukee, WI
The Theatre of David Henry Hwang · July 2017 Invited Talk English Department, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
Korean Diaspora Theatre - Korean Diaspora Festival Symposium · July 2017 Invited Talk National Theater Company of Korea, Seoul, Korea
The Archetypal Eurasian and Yellowface Makeup: The Material History of Imagined Asianness and Whiteness - Performance, Race, Objects, and Time/Temporality · April 2017 Invited Talk James Gallery/Center for the Humanities, New York City
Korean Avant-Garde Theatre and Sung Rno’s Yi Sang Counts to Thirteen - Institute for Korean Studies · March 2017 Invited Talk Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Performance Related Concepts in Non-European Languages – Korean - Interweaving Performance Cultures · July 2016 International Meeting or Conference Freie Universität , Berlin, Germany

Workshop participant

Korean American Playwrights · November 2014 Invited Talk Department of Theatre and Film, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea
The Theatricalized Body of Bruce Lee in David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu - NTU International Conference on Theatre · November 2014 Invited Talk Department of Drama and Theatre, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Home: The State of Asian American Theatre · October 2014 Invited Talk National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Theatricalized Body of Bruce Lee in David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu · April 2014 Invited Talk School of Drama, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
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 · March 2013 Invited Talk Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
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” · November 2011 Invited Talk George Washington University, Washington, DC
The Dynamism of Aesthetics in Asian American Theatre - Next Big Bang: The Explosion of Asian American Theatre · June 2006 Invited Talk East West Players, Los Angeles, CA

Service to the Profession


Editorial Board Member · 2017 Editorial Activities The Journal of Drama, Seoul, Korea
Vice President for Publications · 2017 - 2019 Event/Organization Administration American Society for Theatre Research,
Editorial Board Member - Journal of American Drama and Theatre · 2013 Editorial Activities
Editor - Theatre Survey · 2013 - 2014 Editorial Activities American Society for Theatre Research,
Associate Editor - Theatre Survey · 2011 - 2012 Editorial Activities American Society for Theatre Research,
Editorial Board Member · 2017 Editorial Activities The Journal of Drama, Seoul, Korea
Vice President for Publications · 2017 - 2019 Event/Organization Administration American Society for Theatre Research,
Editorial Board Member - Journal of American Drama and Theatre · 2013 Editorial Activities
Editor - Theatre Survey · 2013 - 2014 Editorial Activities American Society for Theatre Research,
Associate Editor - Theatre Survey · 2011 - 2012 Editorial Activities American Society for Theatre Research,
Founding Organizer · September 2009 Event/Organization Administration Consortium of PhD Programs in Theatre and Performance Studies, Urbana, IL
Member of the Executive Committee · 2004 - 2007 Committee Service American Society for Theatre Research,

Service to Duke


Asian American Studies Cluster Hire Search Committee (University) · 2020 - 2021 Committee Service
Advisory Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure (University) · 2020 Committee Service
Search Committee - ICS (Program) · 2018 Committee Service
Chair Advisory Committee (Department) · 2018 Committee Service
Curriculum Committee (Department) · 2018 Committee Service
Asian American Studies Cluster Hire Search Committee (University) · 2020 - 2021 Committee Service
Advisory Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure (University) · 2020 Committee Service
Search Committee - ICS (Program) · 2018 Committee Service
Chair Advisory Committee (Department) · 2018 Committee Service
Curriculum Committee (Department) · 2018 Committee Service
Asian American Studies Program Steering Committee (Program) · 2018 Committee Service
Arts & Sciences Council (Department) · 2018 Committee Service