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Josephine Lee Wins CLA Teaching Award

Professor of English and Asian American Studies recognized for excellence
April 6, 2021

Professor Josephine Lee has received the 2020-2021 Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award, the College of Liberal Arts' highest recognition for educators. The purpose of the honor is to reward CLA’s top educators, those who "demonstrate great dedication, passion, innovation, and commitment to teaching."

Professor Lee has now been recognized for teaching excellence at the University, college, and department level: She won the University's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education in 2008 and Morse-Alumni Award for Outstanding Contribution to Undergraduate Education in 2002, as well English's own Ruth Christie Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014. As an example of her commitment to education, this past fall Lee collaborated with Assistant Professor Douglas Kearney in presenting a 2020-2021 workshop series to promote a deeper understanding of EDI issues, especially as they intersect with the graduate training of MA, PhD, and MFA students in English.

Also an exceptional scholar, Lee is the author of the forthcoming Oriental, Black, and White: The Formation of Racial Habits in American Theater (University of North Carolina Press, 2022). She is also Editor in Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature and Culture. Her other books include The Japan of Pure Invention: Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado (University of Minnesota Press) and Performing Asian America: Race and Ethnicity on the Contemporary Stage (Temple University Press). Lee received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for 2019-2020. The Association for Asian American Studies presented its former president with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

Lee was instrumental in helping to found the Asian American Studies Program in 2004 and served as its first director (in 2006 the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans honored her with its Leadership Award). In 2017 she helped to bring to the University a $1.75 million, five-year grant (recently renewed for another five years) from the US Department of Education’s Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Program, which has resulted in the establishment of the Asian Pacific American Resource Center and several other initiatives to assist AAPI students at the University.

Congratulations to Professor Lee!