Soonyi Lee

; Visiting Assistant Professor in History

Ph.D. in History, New York University, 2014

Field of Study: 

East Asia

Research Interests: 

Nationalism, Democracy, and Socialism in Twentieth-Century China; Discourses of Civilization/Culture, Cosmopolitanism, and Regionalism in Modern East Asia; Political Economy; and Transnational History of Radical Ideas and Movements

Curriculum Vitae

Research Description:

Soonyi Lee’s research inquires into the historical development of ethical socialism in interwar China and its relations to contemporary global intellectual trends as well as transformations of global capitalism. In her current book project, a revision of her doctoral dissertation, she analyzes how Chinese social thinkers re-theorized socialism in terms of transnational ethics in the aftermath of the Great War. Lee demonstrates that their idealist philosophy of socialism formed an important alternative to Marxist historical materialism in Republican China, and represented their participation in the neo-Kantian turn in early twentieth-century world socialism.


With the help of generous research and writing grants from several institutions, Lee did research in residence in Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo for three years, and completed her dissertation in New York in 2014. After receiving her Ph.D., she taught at Eckerd College, Florida, and Mouth Holyoke College, Massachusetts. Based upon her transnational, interdisciplinary research perspectives, she has offered diverse courses, including Modern East Asia, East Asian Popular Culture, Cities in East Asia, Gender and Sexuality in East Asia as well as Chinese Socialism and the Twentieth-Century World.

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Updated on 09/06/2016