Steven Lee

Associate Professor

My research interests include American literature, comparative ethnic studies, Soviet and post-Soviet studies, and Northeast Asia during the interwar years.  I have been teaching at Berkeley since 2009, and am affiliated with the Asian American Research Center, the Center for Korean Studies, the Center for Race and Gender, and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

I am the author of The Ethnic Avant-Garde: Cultures and World Revolution (Columbia UP, 2015), co-winner of the MLA’s Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies; and co-editor (with Amelia Glaser) of Comintern Aesthetics (University of Toronto Press, 2020), winner of the ACLA's René Wellek Prize.

Current Research: 

I am currently at work on a book manuscript on the far left and far right in Northeast Asia in the years surrounding World War II, and the imprints of these ideologies on Asian American and Asian Anglophone writing.



Amelia M. Glaser; Steven Lee
Edited volume, 2020

Selected Publications

"Deterritorialized Nationality: Viktor Tsoi Saves the World." Slavic Review 82, no. 1 (Spring 2023).

“The Popular Front and Asiatic Modes of Cultural Production.” Asian American Literature in Transition, Vol. 2 (1930-1965). Eds. Victor Bascara and Josephine Park (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

“Revolution’s Demands: Modernism, Socialist Realism, and the Manifesto.” The New Modernist Studies. Ed. Douglas Mao (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

“Comintern Aesthetics: Space, Form, History.” Comintern Aesthetics. Eds. Amelia Glaser and Steven Lee (University of Toronto Press, 2020).

“Writing Revolution across Northeast Asia” (Special issue editor), Cross-Currents 7, no. 2 (November 2018).

“Harlem via Mexico-Uzbekistan: Race and Sex from the Peripheries of Revolution.” English Language Notes 53, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2015).

“Langston Hughes’s ‘Moscow Movie’: Reclaiming a Lost Minority Avant-Garde.” Comparative Literature 67, no. 2 (Spring 2015). 

“Chinese Communism, Cultural Revolution, and American Multiculturalism.” Ethnic Literatures and Transnationalism: Critical Imaginaries for the Global Age. Ed. Aparajita Nanda. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Borat, Multiculturalism, Mnogonatsional’nost’.” Slavic Review 67, no. 1 (Spring 2008).

  • Translated into Chinese and republished in Journal of the National Academy of Art 35, no. 2 (Hangzhou, 2014).
  • Translated into Russian and republished in Newsletter of Korean Studies in Central Asia 8, no. 16 (Almaty, 2009).

“‘Cultural Pluralism’ and ‘the Self-Determination of Nations’: Towards a Dialogue Between American Multiculturalism and Soviet Mnogonatsional’nost’.” Translated into Georgian. Georgian Journal of American Studies 4 (Tbilisi, 2006).


Office Hours

By appointment only

Classes Taught