Leksa Lee

Leksa Lee
Clinical Assistant Professor of Global China Studies and Anthropology

Leksa Lee is a cultural anthropologist focusing on contemporary political economy, visual and material culture, and the built environment. Her book project is an ethnography of a museum design company in contemporary China. The book tracks how museum designers and local governments carry out state initiatives to transform China’s economy by constructing huge new museums as part of local development plans, and by linking up new production chains to fabricate artifact replicas. In Lee’s new research project, she examines how elite Chinese emigrants are altering urban landscapes around the world through investment-based visas like the United States’ EB-5 program.

Lee received her PhD in anthropology from the University of California, Irvine. Her dissertation won the 2019 International Conference of Asia Scholars prize for the Social Sciences. Her research has been awarded support by the Fulbright Fellowship, Fulbright Hays, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and the Association for Asian Studies. 

Lee teaches classes on contemporary China, ethnography, business and work, memory and culture, and sound media.


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  • PhD, Anthropology
    University of California, Irvine
  • MA, Anthropology
    University of California, Irvine

Research Interests

  • Capitalism and Postsocialism
  • Materiality, Visuality, and the Built Environment
  • Local Politics in China
  • Museums, Memory, and History
  • China and Investment-based Visa Programs


Courses Taught

  • Acoustic Ethnography of the Yangtze Delta
  • Cultures of Business and Work
  • Ethnographic Methods
  • Memory Politics in China
  • Social Science Honors Independent Study
  • Topics in Digital Humanities:
  • Topics in Global China Studies