headshot photo of Dr. Nam Lee

Dr. Nam Lee

Associate Professor
Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Expertise: Film Studies; Korean Cinema; Asian Cinema; Women's Filmmaking; Transitional Cinema
Office Location: Becket Building 210
Phone: (714) 516-4557
Seoul National University, Bachelor of Arts
University of Southern California, Master of Arts
Sogang University, Master of Arts
University of Southern California, Ph.D.


Before she came to the U.S. in 2000, Nam Lee was a film critic and print journalist in Seoul, Korea, writing reviews, news articles and interviews, and covering various film festivals around the world. This was during a Renaissance period for Korean Cinema, when the creative talent of Korean filmmakers began to burst onto the cultural scene. "Because film movements had such a crucial role in Korea's achieving democracy, I became very interested in the social and cultural meaning of cinema and its role in the making of history," she says.

The Italian film, The Bicycle Thief, further inspired Lee to look at movies not only as entertainment, but also as an art form that can contribute to humanity. Consequently, her studies at USC's School of Cinematic Arts centered on exploring what cinema can do that other art forms cannot. While earning both a Master's degree and a Ph.D. in Critical Studies, she developed an appreciation for films that "break conventional rules of filmmaking, that explore different possibilities of storytelling, and that always challenge conventions and clichés."

As a teacher of film studies, Lee exposes students to the works of filmmakers from around the world. Her goal is to share her passion for exploring new possibilities in cinematic art, something she feels is possible for those who are "open to differences."

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

“Visualizing “Feminine Writing”: Agnès Varda ‘s cinécriture in Cléo from 5 to 7 and Vagabond”, Image & Film Studies, Vol. 20 (May 2012)