James Lee’s teaching and research focus on Renaissance literature and culture. He teaches courses on Shakespeare, Milton, the history of the scientific method, and contemporary critical theory.
His research has recently focused on the digital humanities. He is working on a book-length digital history of Renaissance globalism, race, and geography entitled “Mapping the Global Renaissance” (www.renaissanceglobe.com). It uses search algorithms, topic modeling, and mapping to visualize how Renaissance England began to imagine its place in a global frame of trade and diplomacy in 50,000 texts of the era. He has supervised numerous interdisciplinary student MAP projects related to the Global Renaissance website.
He is currently completing a second book project, Crowded Subjects: The Textuality of the Two Souls in Early Modern England, which studies the problem of the multiple conflicting models of the soul defining the human in Renaissance literature and science.
His work has been published in New Literary History (2013), Studies in Philology (forthcoming), an edited collection entitled Globalization and Spatial Scale (forthcoming), and by the Korea Foundation (2012). His work on the molecular mechanism of cleft lip and palate has been published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (2001).
His research has been supported by the University of Iowa’s Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, the Andrew W. Mellon Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry grant, Grinnell College’s Innovation Fund, Grinnell College’s Data Analysis and Social Inquiry Lab, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Intel Corporation.
He received his B.A. from Cornell University and his Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley.