Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Chanhee Lee

Key information

Email address
Thesis title
Emotional Bigbang: Chosŏn Koreans’ Representations and Emotions toward Modern Society, 1876-1896
Internal Supervisors
Dr Anders Karlsson & Dr Owen Miller


 Chanhee Lee is a PhD student in Korean Studies.

Her research focuses on the records of the first generation of Korean travellers to modern society. She particularly investigates their emotions and emotional expressions, and the factors that influenced these reactions.

Critical of the existing historiography of Korea's modernisation for its overemphasis on macro-discussions and oversimplification of Korean’s responses to Western acceptance, she believes that her research may restore the sheer moment of Korean's encounter with modern society and explore the diverse and vivid reactions to it. Her research is supervised by Dr Anders Karlsson and Dr Owen Miller.

Her journey into history began at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea. While studying at SKKU, she was deeply drawn to the subject of Hyanghwain, the Chinese and Japanese immigrants in Chosŏn Korea. She studied how the Chosŏn government manipulated the immigrants and how they endured life as a minority in Chosŏn society.

She continuously developed her master’s thesis at SOAS, where she completed her MA. She also has a keen interest in introducing the achievements of academia to the public and promoting historical awareness among the people. To this end, she gave interviews to newspapers and talks on a renowned podcast channel besides presenting her papers at academic conferences.

Collaborating with the Asian Peace and History Institute, she actively advocates for the decolonisation of history textbooks. She has contributed to the modules of her department as a Graduate Teaching Assistant since 2022, and is a qualified Korean language instructor holding a Certificate of Korean Language Teacher awarded by the Korean government.

Research interests

Korean history, Cultural history, Modernisation, History of emotions, Transnational History, Decolonisation of history, Interdisciplinary Collaboration.

Contact Chanhee