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Sangjoon LEE PhD


I am an associate professor of cinema studies at the City University of Hong Kong's  School of Creative Media. I hold a Ph.D. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Cinema Studies in 2011 and an MA in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2005. 


I am a historian of Asian cinema whose interests span the Cultural Cold War, South Korean cinema and popular culture, international film festivals, and the film industries in contemporary Asia. I have extensively investigated film history in its socio-historical and industrial contexts, paying particular attention to issues of the national and the transnational, questions of ownership and control, the new regionalism, industrial networks, and the unprecedented cultural flows and mixing in cinema and media around Asia and the globe.


I am the author of Cinema and the Cultural Cold War: US Diplomacy and the Origins of the Asian Cinema Network (Cornell University Press, 2020), the editor of Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media (University of Michigan Press, 2015; with Markus Nornes), Rediscovering Korean Cinema (University of Michigan Press, 2019; 2020 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title), The South Korean Film Industry (University of Michigan Press, 2024; with Dal Yong JIN and Junhyoung CHO), Remapping the Cold War in Asian Cinemas (Amsterdam University Press, 2024; with Darlene Espena), and The Routledge Companion to Asian Cinemas (Routledge, 2024; with Zhang Zhen, Debashree Mukherjee, and Intan Paramaditha).

I am also the guest editor of "Is Netflix Riding the Korean Wave or Vice Versa?" (International Journal of Communication, 2023), “Reorienting Asian Cinema in the Age of the Chinese Film Market (Screen, 2019), “The Chinese Film Industry: Emerging Debates” (Journal of Chinese Cinemas, 2019), and “Transmedia and Asian Cinema” (Asian Cinema, 2020). I am currently completing a new monograph Destination Hong Kong: South Korean Cinema's Encounter with Sinophone Cinemas, while working on a new edited volume Netflix and the South Korean Media Industry (Brill). 


I am the recipient of the Jay Leyda Award for Academic Excellence (2011) and the David H. Culbert Prize for the Best Article in Film and Media History by an Established Scholar (2019). My works have been translated into Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Italian. Prior to joining CityU, I was an associate professor at Lingnan University (2022-2023) and Nanyang Technological University (2015-2022) and an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2011-2014). I was also a visiting assistant professor at the Australian National University in 2018 and Dankook University in 2014. At CityU, I teach classes on film history,  international film festivals, South Korean cinema and pop culture, film industries in Asia, and Hollywood


Ph.D. in Cinema Studies (2011)

Tisch School of the Arts, New York University


M.A. in Cinema and Media Studies (2005)

University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)

BFA in Film (2000)

Dankook University, South Korea



Associate Professor 

School of Creative Media

City University of Hong Kong

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