Katherine In-Young Lee

Assistant Professor


Short CV

East Asia, Korean music, music and politics, sound studies, historiography, ethnography, global circulations of form

Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, Harvard University; M.A. Ethnomusicology, University of Washington; B.M. Piano Performance; B.M. Musicology, University of Michigan

Katherine In-Young Lee is intrigued by how analyses of sound and music can offer reappraisals of past events and contemporary cultural phenomena. In this vein, she has developed research projects that engage various types of “sonic evidence”—from the politicized drumming of dissent to the audible dimensions of a nation branding campaign. Her forthcoming book, Dynamic Korea and Rhythmic Form (Wesleyan University Press), explores how a percussion genre from South Korea (samul nori) became a global music genre. More broadly, she contends that rhythm-based forms serve as a critical site for cross-cultural musical encounters. Lee’s research on the role of music at scenes of protest during South Korea’s democratization movement was recognized with the Charles Seeger Prize by the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Martin Hatch Award by the Society for Asian Music. She has published in Ethnomusicology, the Journal of Korean Studies, and the Journal of Korean Traditional Performing Arts. Additionally, she has previously worked in arts administration in Seoul, South Korea, and she helped to host numerous musicians and scholars at UC Davis (2012-17).