Jieun Lee

My research is situated at the intersection of medical anthropology and Science and Technology Studies (STS) and focuses on the relation between technoscientific knowledge production, ordinary practices and affects in and outside of labs, and changing conceptions of body, time, and life in contemporary South Korea. I am particularly interested in how entities, practices, relations, and temporalities come to matter in relation to different modes of care.

I have received my PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Davis in 2015. In my dissertation research, I studied how stem cells come to “matter” in the Korean stem cell enterprise. My ethnography attends to how promises of better futures are anchored in the biological notion of potential in the labs, the offshore stem cell treatment markets, anti-aging business, and stock market. Highlighting the intertwining of the ontology of stem cells as a future-oriented life form with the anticipatory mode of living in contemporary Korea, I argued that promises are not derivative of the stem cell biology, but rather constitutive of it.

In 2016, I joined the VITAL team as a postdoctoral research fellow. Currently, I am working on an ethnographic project on the emerging forms of care, relations, practices, and subjectivities in the context of nation-wide dementia management program under the slogan of “living well with dementia in the community”.

Email: jle@anthro.ku.dk