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UCLA Institute of American Cultures

Title: Professor
Department: English
Email: rlee@humnet.ucla.edu

Current Project(s):

  • “Life (Un)Ltd,” addressing the question of what impact recent developments in the biosciences, biotechnology, and in clinical practice have had on feminist studies, especially those theorizing the circulation of population data and biomaterials in relation to race and (neo)colonialism.
  • Through the Center for the Study of Women (of which I am the Director) - Chemical Entanglements: Gender and Exposure. In the context of increased reports of environmental illnesses like Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and rising rates of hypospadias, ADHD, autism, cancer, endocrine disruption, and other conditions linked to environmental exposure, Chemical Entanglements aims to create space for cross-disciplinary feminist research on how the impacts of everyday chemical exposures are complex, compounded, and gendered. This project aims to reveal the complexity of activism on this issue by examining tensions between precautionary consumerism and government regulation that must be addressed in order to work towards intersectional community well-being. Stakeholders in this project include researchers, community activists and educators, and “canary” storytellers: i.e. visual artists, ethnographers, and poets variously self-identified or in solidarity with a growing subset of the US population affected by un(der)regulated toxic hazards.

Available Publications/Books:

  • The Exquisite Corpse of Asian America: Biopolitics, Biosociality, and Posthuman Ecologies (NYU, 2014)
  • The Americas of Asian American Literature: Gendered Fictions of Nation and Transnation (Princeton University Press, 1999),

Tagged: biopolitics, biosciences, biomedicine, performance, disability, gender, identity, posthuman, contemporary, twentieth-century, twenty-first-century, methodology, science and technology studies, affect, ethics, care, femiqueer, body, embodiment, cross-species, Asian American literature, Asian American studies, interdisciplinary, critical race studies