People / Faculty

Ana Paulina Lee

Ana Paulina Lee
Assistant Professor Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures / Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies; Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Institute of Comparative Literature and Society; Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race

Profile

Ana Paulina Lee is assistant professor of Latin American and Iberian Cultures. Lee's research and teaching interests focus on race, gender, nation, and citizenship; postcolonial studies; subaltern studies; literary theory; visual culture and performance, and cultural studies with a focus on 19th and 20th century Brazil and Portuguese-speaking Asian countries.

Professor Lee is the author of Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation and Memory (Stanford University Press, 2018), winner of the 2019 Antonio Candido Prize for Best Book in the Humanities, awarded by the Brazil Section of the Latin American Studies Association. Mandarin Brazil examines the way that Brazilian cultural institutes constructed ideas about China and the Chinese to strengthen nationalism and racial whitening ideologies. The book examines the cultural histories of Brazil and China through bringing together a multigenre archive that maps the circulation of trade, labor, and material culture to reveal the connected histories of Chinese and Portuguese expansion and globalization to the hemispheric Americas.

Lee has also published articles, essays, and translations in the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, The Drama Review, Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures, The Blackwell Companion to Luis Buñuel, The Global Studies Journal, e-misférica, and Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World. Lee's research has received the support of numerous grants, including the Social Sciences Research Council, Mellon, Fulbright, and the Fundação Luso-Americana.

With Professor Anupama Rao, Lee co-directs the working group, Geographies of Injustice, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Social Difference, the Center for Spatial Research, and the Social Sciences Research Council. The social action-centered working group converges at the intersection of research, activism, memory, and artistic practice to fortify civil liberties concerning self-housing settlements in Rio de Janeiro and Bombay/Mumbai.

Lee takes a diverse geopolitical perspective and interdisciplinary approach to researching and teaching Latin American cultures and literatures. She is a member of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and has conducted research and study on Latin American Performance and Politics with the Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya in Chiapas, Mexico and the Yuyachkani Theater Collective in Lima, Peru. Currently, she sits on the Hemispheric Institute's Executive Council and leads the subcommittee on Pedagogy, Performance, and Digital Media. She has an MA in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures from NYU in Madrid, Spain. During her doctoral studies, she conducted research and taught courses in Portugal, Brazil, Macau, and Hong Kong. Her doctoral research was awarded numerous fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship in Portugal. She completed a PhD in Comparative Literature (Portuguese, Spanish, and Mandarin) with highest honors from the University of Southern California in 2014, the same year she accepted a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Tulane University and joined the Columbia faculty.

She was born in Brazil, and raised in São Paulo and New York City.