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Biography

Hye-Kyung Lee joined King’s College London in September 2004 after obtaining a PhD from the University of Warwick. She grew up in Seoul, South Korea, and studied Chinese language and literature at Seoul National University. Before coming to the UK for her MA and PhD studies, she worked as an international cultural exchange coordinator at the Korea Foundation and organised various performances, exhibitions and festivals in Korea and many Asian countries.

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • Cultural policy
  • Cultural policy history
  • Comparative approach to cultural policy
  • Culture, the market and the state
  • State policy on cultural and creative industries
  • Arts Council and arts funding
  • East Asian cultural policies and industries
  • Governing via culture and cultural control
  • Digitalisation and cultural values
  • Cultural fandom and consumption

Hye-Kyung Lee has researched and written on state policies for culture, arts and creative industries from Western and East Asian perspectives. Her approach is focused on exploring institutional and historical perspectives of the culture-state-market dynamics, de-Westernising/internationalising cultural policy ideas and frameworks and exploring new justifications for state subsidy for the cultural sector. She has also worked on cultural marketing, cultural flows and fandom.

Lee wrote ‘Analysis of cultural industries policies in the UK, France and Germany’ (2008-9) for the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), and collaborated with the National Gallery in London to explore its online strategies (Understanding Cultural Consumers Online project, 2013-4). In 2015 she was commissioned by UNESCO to write a report ‘Challenges and opportunities for the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital era in Asia’. Lee was selected as a Korea Foundation field research fellow (2012-3 and 2018) and has been awarded the Academy of Korean Studies’ competitive research grants (2014-6 and 2019-21). She is the UK principal investigator of the UKRI-JSPS funded 3-year project ‘Creative cultural futures: resetting cultural policy’. This UK-Japan cross-national collaborative project will examine cultural values and purpose of cultural policy, the institutions of cultural work and the digital pivot in the cultural sector (2022 to early 2025).

Lee co-edited Cultural Policies in East Asia (2014), the Routledge Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in Asia (2019) and Asian Cultural Flows (2018). She wrote Cultural Policy in South Korea: Making a New Patron State (2019) and is writing a book on cultural industries and the state. She is a co-editor of Cultural Trends.

Hye-Kyung welcomes applications for PhD topics related to any of her research interests. For more details, please see her full research profile. 

Teaching

Hye-Kyung Lee teaches on CMCI’s BA and MA programmes.