Doreen Lee

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., Cornell University

Phone: 617-373-8218
Office: 215J Renaissance Park
CV: Download as PDF

Areas of Research/Interest:

• Political Anthropology
• Activism
• Youth
• Postcolonial Studies
• Visual Culture
• Urbanization
• Indonesia
• Southeast Asia

Doreen Lee received her doctoral training in Anthropology, Southeast Asian studies and History at Cornell University. Her research is informed by the comparative study of Southeast Asian politics, urban anthropology, youth culture, visual culture, history, and technology. Professor Lee has published on student movements and democratization in Indonesia, as well as on contemporary art movements and urbanization in Indonesia.  She has recently returned from research leave (2013-2014) after being awarded a fellowship by the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, the Netherlands, where she completed her first book manuscript on activism in Indonesia. The book “Activist Archives: Youth Culture and the Political Past in Indonesia” theorizes the links between past and present nationalist youth movements in Indonesia, and pays especial attention to the materiality and spatiality of political culture found in such movements. Her current research project investigates the emergence of new publics in urban and rural Indonesia, focusing on the fluid “post-political” engagements necessitated by the influx of social media and neoliberal transformations to the built environment. In that context she has researched a wide range of urban movements such as street art, traffic infrastructure, and housing for the urban precariat. Professor Lee currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on globalization, Southeast Asia, urban anthropology, and the politics of the state.

Selected Publications

Manuscript In Progress

Activist Archives: Youth Culture and the Political Past in Indonesia

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Under Review Absolute Traffic: Infrastructural Aptitude in Urban Indonesia.

Forthcoming A Troubled Vernacular: Legibility and Presence in Indonesian Activist Art. Journal of Asian Studies. Accepted June 28, 2014.

2013 ‘Anyone Can Do It’: Aesthetic Empowerment, Urban Citizenship, and the Naturalization of Indonesian Graffiti and Street Art. City and Society 25:3: 304- 327.

2011 Styling the Revolution: Masculinities, Youth, and Street Politics in Jakarta, Indonesia. Journal of Urban History 37:6: 933-951.

2011 Images of Youth: on the Iconography of Protest in Indonesia. History and Anthropology 22:3: 307-336.

2009 Aktivis, Activist. In “Figures of Indonesian Modernity,” edited by Johan Lindquist and Joshua Barker, INDONESIA 87.

2007 Introduction to Two Stories by Linda Christanty. The Fourth Grave; Maria Pinto’s Flying Horse. Translations of Short Stories by Linda Christanty. INDONESIA 83.

2003 Boxed Memories: Recording Family Histories, Finding Forgotten Heroes. INDONESIA 75.

Articles in Progress

Photocopying the Indonesian Left under Suharto’s Watch.

Speculative Futures: Transience and Calculability among the Urban Precariat in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Freedom Files of Authoritarian Indonesia.

Book chapters

2013 Aktivis, Activist. In Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity, eds. Joshua Barker, Erik Harms, and Johan Lindquist. University of Hawaii Press.

Working papers

2007 Turun Ke Jalan/Taking the Streets: Activism and Memory Work in Jakarta. Indonesian Studies Working Papers No.3, University of Sydney (September).

Book and Film Reviews

Forthcoming Review of After the New Order: Space, Politics, and Jakarta by Abidin Kusno, Pacific Affairs.

2012 Review of Decentring and Diversifying Southeast Asian Studies edited by Goh Beng- Lan, Pacific Affairs.

2012 Review of Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java by Karen Strassler, INDONESIA (April).

2011 Review of Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia by Dan Slater, American Journal of Sociology

2010 Review of Photographies East, edited by Rosalind Morris, Trans-Asia Photography Review 1, September.

2008 Review of Kartini’s Sisters by Joost Coté, Asian Ethnology 67-2.

2007 Film review of “B.A.T.A.M,” Visual Anthropology 20 (March–June).

Solicited essays

2008 She, the Sculptor. Catalogue essay for the solo exhibition of Indonesian sculptor Dolorosa Sinaga, Have you seen sculptures from the body? (Langgeng Gallery, Jakarta: September).

2008 Captions, on the 10th anniversary of the 1998 Indonesian Student Movement, The Jakarta Post (June).

2007 Nationalist Eye. Co-author with Alexander Supartono in Van Indië tot Indonesië, eds. Els Bogaerts en Remco Raben (Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, Amsterdam: Boom). Published in Dutch.

Courses Taught Undergraduate:

• ANTH 2300 Reading Culture through Ethnography
• ANTH 2305 Global Markets and Local Culture | Syllabi