Sang Eun Eunice Lee

Sang Eun Eunice Lee

Assistant Professor, American Studies

Assistant Professor, Asian American Studies


  • Ph.D., Literature with Critical Gender Studies Specialization, University of California, San Diego, 2022
  • M.A., English Language and Literature, Yonsei University
  • B.A., Political Science and with minor in English Literature, University of California, Los Angeles

Research interests

Asian American and Asian Diasporic literature and culture; Pacific Islander literature and culture; US imperialism and militarism; feminist science, technology and medicine studies; food studies

About Sang Eun Eunice Lee

Sang Eun Lee’s research focuses on literatures and cultures in and around the Pacific Ocean in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her current book project, Digesting the Empire: Embodying Life beyond Militarized Circulations across the Pacific Ocean, argues that peoples and communities in and around the Pacific Ocean both physically and metaphorically digest circulated waste materials to survive beyond the dispossession and slow violence of the United States empire and its military. Focusing on three matters—meatpacking byproducts, radioactive materials and microplastics—she traces the ideological foundation for imperial expansion and its incommensurability with indigenous and diasporic communities’ worldviews and ways of life. She argues, on the one hand, that scientific discourses, such as military reports and medical studies, pathologize racialized and gendered bodies as disposable and fragmentable parts. On the other hand, literary and cultural texts of survival discursively digest and resist the empire’s pollutant matters. They conceptualize a broader and more entangled sense of the “body” by imagining a future different from current forms of imperial exploitation, displacement, and dispossession. Through the concept of digestion—which she theorizes as the constant interactions that fold the environment into the body and resist clear demarcations of the body from its surroundings—she explores the links between knowledge, the body, and the surrounding environment. Her work has appeared in the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS), Situations and an edited volume, Locating Taiwan Cinema in the Twenty-First Century.