Hellen Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in Literature/Cultural Studies at University of California, San Diego. Her current work examines literary and visual representations of sex work and racialized and gendered laboring conditions in late 19th century San Francisco and New Orleans. She is focusing primarily on short fiction by Grace King, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Kate Chopin, Ambrose Bierce, and Bret Harte.
She advanced to candidacy in June 2002 and is currently working on her dissertation under the supervision of Shelley Streeby, author of American Sensations (UC press, 2002). She also studies with George Lipsitz, Winifred Woodhull, Rosemary George, Nicole King and Nayan Shah. She has studied with Lisa Yoneyama, Nicole Tonkovich, Lisa Lowe, and Judith Halberstam.
She will be giving a paper at the American Studies Association in Hartford in October 2003. She has presented her work at conferences including Association for Asian American Studies in San Francisco in May 2003, the African Literatures Association Annual Convention, the California State University Statewide Research Competition, the Celebration of Research Conference at CSU Dominguez Hills, and the Pacific Southwest Women's Studies Association Annual Convention and the Southwest/Texas Regional Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association Annual Conference.
Ms. Lee is active in both academic committee work as well as volunteer community outreach programs. She has served on committees both in the Literature department as well as UCSD campuswide. In the community she volunteers in literacy and health programs.
In 1998, she was a Senior Collections Cataloging Assistant at the Getty Research Institute located at the Getty Center in Brentwood, California. She cataloged the Finding Aid for the Daniel Libeskind Papers as well as working on the papers of Andre Breton and Eugene Delacroix before she entered the doctoral program in Literature at UC San Diego.
Prior to and during her academic pursuits, Ms. Lee has been an award-winning graphic designer. As a designer, she has worked on projects varying from movie posters, video boxes, hotel press kits, editorial layouts and fashion advertising. She was recognized by Print magazine for outstanding business promotion for her "At Your Service" calendar. Other work has been published in Promo1. As part of her volunteer community service, she has designed interior space as well as electronic and print materials for KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy, a new, non-profit, public middle-school serving students from a long underserved area in southeastern San Diego. She still occasionally designs a cd cover or website.
She was born in Seoul, South Korea and, except for one year in France, she has lived most of her life in Southern California, where most of her family lives. She currently lives in La Jolla with her intrepid cat, Lucy.