Jerry Won Lee

picture of Jerry Won Lee

Professor, English

Director, International Center for Writing and Translation

Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2014


University of California, Irvine
335G Humanities Instructional Building (Office)
435 Humanities Instructional Building (Mailing)
Mail Code: 2650
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
language & globalization, critical applied linguistics (i.e., linguistics via critical theory)
Short Biography
I am a Professor in the departments of English, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. I am also core faculty in the PhD program in Culture & Theory, core faculty in the Global Cultures undergraduate major, and an affiliate faculty member in the Center for Critical Korean Studies. Finally, I currently serve as Co-Director of the Global Asias Research Cluster, Director of the Program in Global Languages & Communication, and Director of the International Center for Writing & Translation.

I have been teaching at UCI since 2014, shortly after earning my PhD from the University of Arizona. Living in the US-Mexico borderlands has had a lasting impact on my approach to research, where I remain committed to inquiries surrounding borders, both literal and figurative, along with spaces in-between more generally, and how they shape cultural phenomena, social relations, and everyday life. My recent work, in particular, focuses on the intersections between language and globalization, especially as they emerge in various realms such as in global Englishes, multilingualism, ethnic/national identification, language education, and world literature.

My current major projects include:

1) a co-authored monograph, with Daniel N. Silva, tentatively titled Language as Hope, which is under contract with Cambridge University Press. Based on a longstanding collaboration with Silva, the book foregrounds what language can teach us about the practice, logic, and feasibility of hope into the 21st century.

2) a co-authored monograph, with Chungjae Lee, tentatively titled Imagined Antagonisms, which outlines how antagonism is central to Korea’s project of imagining, representing, and sustaining itself as a cosmopolitan nation in the 21st century.

My latest book, Locating Translingualism, was published in 2022 with Cambridge University Press. Through an examination of the linguistic/semiotic landscape of Korea and transnational Korean contexts across Asia (South Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong) and the Americas (United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil), it attempts to understand the ways in which cultural groups venture to differentiate themselves from one another through semiotic work and in what scenarios such differentiations might come to matter. In short, the book is not merely about locating spaces where translingualism happens but also about exploring the various ways in which linguistic and cultural difference come to be located.

In addition to several journal and book chapter publications, my other publications include a monograph (The Politics of Translingualism: After Englishes), three edited volumes (The Sociolinguistics of Global Asias, Translinguistics: Negotiating Innovation & Ordinariness, and Korean Englishes in Transnational Contexts) and two co-edited journal special issues.
For an updated list of my publications, please go to
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