Soohyun Lee

Soohyun Lee

Specialization: East Asian Intellectual History
Modern Chinese Literature
Late Qing Novel

Office: HSSB 2233
Personal Website:

Hi! I’m a Ph.D. student from Korea who studies China in the U.S. Going across the borders between nation-states, I mainly study Chinese intellectual history from the late Qing empire to modern China. Focusing on the revolutionary moments in modern Chinese history, without privileging modernity, I investigate the formation, circulation, and subversion of the key ideas, such as sovereignty, national learning, and the people. From reformation to revolution, to suppression, and to the cultural fever, modern Chinese history shows a longue durée of struggle against feudalism, capitalism, and imperialism, vacillating between ideological pursuit and practical challenges. Can the modern be rewound? My research looks for repressed possibilities by walking alongside the spectres haunting the modern world ever since.


  • Dr. Xiaowei Zheng, Dr. Xiaorong Li, Dr. Ya Zuo


  • M.A. Seoul National University Chinese Language & Literature
  • B.A. Seoul National University Chinese Language & Literature


  • The Clash of Empires: A study on Chinese colonial narrative in Shenbao, funded by National Research Foundation (Global Ph.D. Fellowship), 2016.3-2019.2.
  • (Field Research) The Narrative in Memory: A study on Shanghai Nostalgia phenomenon, funded by the SNU Office of International Affair, Awarded Excellence Prize, 2015.8-9.



  • Soohyun Lee, “Resistance or Shepherd: A study on The Field of Life and Death,” Chinese Literature Vol 94 (2018): pages 101-122.


  • M.A. Thesis, A study on The Sing-song Girls of Shanghai: focusing on ‘Qi()-Narrative,’ 2016.


  • Chen Jianhong, 군자없는 천하 [All Under Heaven without Gentleman: China in Texts], trans. Soohyun Lee, Seoul: Aporia, 2017.


  • “Illiterate Poets: Poems by People in Xiaojinzhuang During the Cultural Revolution,” presented at The Worst Chinese Poetry: A Virtual Workshop (Group: Reconsidering Socialist Aesthetics), April 14 (1st Round), June 1 (2nd Round), 2021.
  • “The End of the Western Literary Theory? Contemporary Hermeneutics in China and its Implication,” presented at the Tokyo University, Japan (2018 東京首爾中國現代文學研究對話會, 2018 Tokyo-Seoul Chinese Modern Literature Conference), December 21-24, 2018.
  • “The First Modern Literature in China: the Singsong Girls of Shanghai,” presented at the Dong-A University, Korea (Chinese Modern Literature Centennial Anniversary Symposium by The Korean Society of Modern Chinese Literature), June 3, 2017.


  • UCSB Teaching Assistant (KOR 1, 2, 3; EACS4B; INT W20)
  • The Society for Chinese Language and Literature, Administrative Assistant
  • Research on the List of Classics: Developing Fundamental Values of Korean Society, Research Assistant
  • Learning Contents for Open Education: the History of Chinese Literature Class, Research Assistant
  • Seoul National University in Beijing, Administrative Assistant
  • Winter Chinese Camp in Shandong, Teaching Assistant
  • History of Chinese Literature, Teaching Assistant
  • Seoul National University in Beijing, Teaching Assistant


  • China Studies Ph.D. Student Award by the UCSB Confucius Institute, 2021.
  • 新汉语水平考试(HSK, Chinese Proficiency Test), Level 6, Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, 2016.
  • 華語文能力測驗(The Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language), 高等六級, Ministry of Education in the Republic of China(Taiwan), 2010.
  • Excellent Paper Award, “From Heart to Song, Song to Writings, and Writings to Literature,” the Center for Teaching and Learning in SNU, 2012.
  • Contribution Award for the University Graduate, SNU Alumni Association, 2012.
  • Achievement Award for the University Graduate, SNU College of Humanities, 2012.