Jennifer Dorothy Lee


Jennifer Dorothy Lee studies art and cultural practices in modern and contemporary China, and is currently Assistant Professor of East Asian Art in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her research and teaching focus encompass social history, aesthetic theory, and comparative and transnational perspectives. Trained in comparative literature, Lee brings literary frames and methodologies to her work on visual and material objects. In addition to China-related topics, her courses address histories of social movement in Hong Kong and Taiwan, critical area studies of Asia, as well as theories of Maoism and socialism.

Lee's first book project, Anxiety Aesthetics: Socialist Legacies in Post-Mao China, 1978-1985, offers a sustained study of aesthetic theory, art, and subjectivity redefined in the fleeting historical moment bridging the Mao era with Dengist reforms.

Her next research project will take up social histories of art in Taiwan and Hong Kong from the mid-20th to the 21st centuries.


“Chasing the Sun: Qu Leilei’s Serial Images in Early Post-Mao China,” Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (forthcoming, 2019).


Age of Empires, exhibition catalogue. Contributing translator, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2017). 


“Hi-Point Contact,” review of Michiko Itatani Retrospective, Chicago, IL. American Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas (2017). 


“Red Art,” in Red Art: Propaganda Posters from the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), Research House for Asian Art and Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago IL (2016).   


“On Total Art,” by Qiu Zhijie.  Co-translator (with Rebecca Karl), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Hugo Boss Prize (2013).   


“The Dialectics of Reform and Opening,” by Wang Hui. Co-translator (with Rebecca Karl), Critical Asian Studies, Vol. 43, No. 2 (June 2011).    



Potters Wheel
Richard Neer
Ancient Greek Art and Architecture
CWAC 259
Andrei Pop
Andrei Pop
Modern Art and Aesthetics
1130 East 59th Street
Martha Ward
Martha Ward
19th and 20th Century Art
MAPH Art History Advisor
CWAC 253
Lisa Zaher
Lisa Zaher
Modern and Contemporary Art
University of Chicago
Conservation Research Fellow