Lee, Rachel C.





B.A., 1988, Cornell University

Ph.D., 1995, University of California, Los Angeles



Multidisciplinary humanities professor at UCLA Rachel C. Lee is the author of The Exquisite Corpse of Asian America: Biopolitics, Biosociality and Posthuman Ecologies (2014), and editor of The Routledge Companion to Asian and Pacific Islander Literature (2014). Her current research focuses on frameworks that deepen relationality between individuals with “environmental illness” (including chronic Lyme, MCS, heavy-metal intoxication, and the like) and scholarship in an anti-racist and anti-colonial vein. She is part of the research collective “How We Make It: Imagining Medical Justice After Covid’s Long Haul” ​sponsored by the UC Humanities Research Institute; and is Co-PI on the University of California’s multicampus research program initiative, Abolition Medicine and Disability Justice. To download recent and past articles, see To hear Rachel being interviewed by Radio New Zealand’s Susana Lei’ataua on fragrance-free spaces, see

Links to Recent Articles

Affective Chemistries of Care: Slow Activism and the Limits of the Molecular in Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous

A Lattice of Chemicalized Kinship

Metabolic Aesthetics: On the Feminist Scentscapes of Anicka Yi

Selected Works

Editor, Special Issue on “Life (Un)Ltd: Feminism, Bioscience, Race.” The Scholar and the Feminist  (Fall 2013).

“Parasexual Generativity and Chimeracological Entanglements in Amitav Ghosh’s The Calcutta Chromosome,” The Scholar and the Feminist (Fall 2013).

“Haptics, Mobile Handhelds, and other ‘Novel’ Devices: The Tactile Unconscious of Reading across Old and New Media.”  CTheory (Jan. 2012).

“‘Where’s My Parade?’ Margaret Cho and the Asian American Body in Space.”  TDR: The Drama Review 48.2 (Summer 2004): 108-132. (PDF)

“Notes from the (non)Field: Theorizing and Teaching ‘Women of Color.’”  Meridians 1.1 (Fall 2000): 85-109.  Rpt. In Women’s Studies on Its Own, ed. Robyn Wiegman, Duke University Press, 2002. 82-105.

“Asian Americans’ Performing Blackface, Blacks’ Performing Yellowface: Costly Performances or Coalitional Enactments.”  Literature on the Move: Comparing Diasporic Ethnicities in Europe and the Americas. Eds. Dominique Marcais, Mark Niemeyer, Bernard Vincent, Cathy Waegner. Heidelberg: Universitaetsverlag C., 2002. 147 – 158.

“Asian American Cultural Production in Asian-Pacific Perspective.”  boundary 2 26.2 (summer 1999): 231-254.


Recent Classes Taught


Los Angeles: Layers and Landscapes

Tactility (senior seminar)

Gross Anatomy: Representing Through Body Parts

War, Patriotism, and Asian American Cultural Acts of Good Citizenship

Specialized Studies in 20th Century American Literature: Theaters of Race

Feminist Theory


The Body Eclectic: Special Topics in Asian American Critical Theory

Racial Feeling, Post-racial Biopolitics
Visceral, Voluble, and Virtual: Femiqueer Corporealities

Feminist Knowledge Production: Biopolitics and the Woman-Sex Question

Interest Areas
• Ecocriticism / Environmental Humanities / Biopolitics
• Asian American Literature & Culture
• Sexuality & Gender Studies