UCLA professor of Asian languages and cultures Namhee Lee has always sought an academic environment to pursue Korean studies. A once sparse area of study in higher education, universities are now teeming with opportunities to research and learn about Korean culture, history and politics amongst other pursuits.

In her role as the new director of UCLA’s Center for Korean Studies, Lee wants to utilize UCLA’s “tremendous group of scholars” to shape the work being done at the center.

“I’d like to be able to mobilize the resources that we have — not just the material resources, but the fact that CKS is an available venue — and engage with the issues that people feel are important,” Lee said. Her vision for the Center of Korean Studies is clearly collaborative, one in which divergent faculty interests are showcased along with traditional historical and cultural topics, and local Korean organizations are invited to participate in key events.

Lee teaches Korean and East Asian history in the department of Asian Languages and Cultures and is the author of a seminal history of the South Korean democratization movement of the 1970s and 1980s: “The Making of Minjung: Democracy and the Politics of Representation in South Korea.”

Read the story on the UCLA International Institute website.