Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Asst Prof Lee Sang Joon

Assistant Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

Asst Prof Lee Sang Joon

Sangjoon Lee is an assistant professor in the Division of Broadcast and Cinemas of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. He received a Master’s degree in Cinema and Media Studies from University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University in 2011. He was a recipient of the 2011 Jay Leyda Award for Academic Excellence. Before joining NTU, Sangjoon was an assistant professor in the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures and Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the Department of Film and Theatre at Dankook University, South Korea. He teaches asian cinema, Korean popular culture, documentary films, global media industries, film festival, and film history. He is coeditor of 'Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media' (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2015) and is currently working on a monograph, entitled 'The Asian Film Festival and the Emergence of Transnational Cinema Network in Cold War Asia.'
Research Interests
My current manuscript project, tentatively titled 'The Asian Film Festival and the Emergence of Transnational Cinema Network in Cold War Asia' is a book-length study on the cultural history of the Asian Film Festival. This will trace the early history of the festival and explore the ways in which cold war politics, ideology, international relations, and nationalism have shaped this regional film festival, led by the Japanese film industry, in postwar Asia, and to what extent the festival had influenced the regional film industries and cultures during its first two decades, from 1953 to 1972.

As part of my future research plans, I also plan to write a critical investigation of the Korean cinema renaissance in the 1990s and the beginning of the new millennium. Instead of analyzing industrial structures or scrutinizing single/multiple texts, this project, tentatively titled 'Celluloid Korea: Cinema at the End of the Century,' will examine the particular phenomenon from the perspectives that consider manifold factors; cine-club movements, the emergence of film schools, translations and interpretations of critical theories, film journals, multiplexes, and the intellectuals’ turn to the cultural industries throughout the 1990s. I will particularly address to what extent politics, new economic conditions, social changes, and nationalism have shaped Korean screen cultures and industry throughout the past two decades.

In tandem with the above project, I am writing critical essays on contemporary practices of transnational media connections between Korea, Japan, and China, Korean popular culture and social media, and a new method of writing transnational film history that is especially important for regions linked by both cultural correspondences and political systems.
Current Projects
  • 'U.S. Propaganda and the Cultural Cold War in Asia
  • Border Crossings in Celluloid Asia: South Korea’s Encounter with Sinophone Cinemas in Southeast Asia
  • Constructing the Cold War Film Festival: The Asia Foundation, FPA, and the Cultural Cold War in Asia
Selected Publications
  • Lee Sang Joon. (2018). Hawaii, Cannes, and Los Angeles: Projecting South Korean Cinema to the World. International Journal of Korean History, 1, 123-140.
  • Lee Sang Joon. (2018). From The Committee for a Free Asia to The Asia Foundation: CIA, Cinema, and the Cultural Cold War in Asia. Korean Studies, , 49-84.
  • sangjoon lee. (2017). The Asia Foundation’s Motion Picture Project and the Cultural Cold War in Asia. Film History, 29(2), 108-137.
  • Sangjoon Lee. (2017). La diplomazia culturale americana, la Guerra fredda e il cinema di Hong Kong negli anni Cinquanta. Cinema e Storia. Rivista di studi interdisciplinari, 5(1), 131-142.
  • Sangjoon Lee. (2016). Creating an anti-communist motion picture producers’ network in Asia: the Asia Foundation, Asia Pictures, and the Korean Motion Picture Cultural Association. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, .

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