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Sangmi Lee

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Assistant Professor
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 3051

Sangmi Lee received her D.Phil. in anthropology in 2016 from the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA) at the University of Oxford, U.K. Prior to coming to School of Social and Behavioral Sciences as an assistant professor in Spring 2018, she was a lecturer at Seoul National University, South Korea. Her current research focuses on how Hmong living in the diaspora have maintained extensive kinship networks and various cultural and economic practices across national borders despite the uncertainty about the location of ancestral homeland while also experiencing ethnic cultural differences based on their "partial" affiliation with different nation-states of residence. For this project, she conducted comparative, long-term ethnographic fieldwork with the Hmong communities in central Laos and the United States (California).

Research Interests: 

Diasporas (Hmong diaspora), transnational migration, ethnicity, nationalism, refugees, globalization, gender, global tourism, ethnographic research methods, Southeast Asia (Laos), Asian Americans


2019 "Traditionally transnational: Cultural continuity and change in Hmong shamanism across the diaspora." Ethnography (Online first,

2018 “Diasporic hegemonies: Transnational continuities in kinship practices among Hmong in Laos and the United States.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. (Online first,

2018 “Alternatives to Diasporic Return: Temporary Visits and Imagining Homelands among Hmong in the United States.” In Tsuda, Takeyuki. & Changzoo Song (eds.), Diasporic Return to the Ethnic Homeland: The Korean Diaspora in Comparative Perspective., pp. 219-238. Palgrave Macmillan. (

2015 “Questions from the Field: Anthropological Self-Reflexivity through the Eyes of Study Participants.” Anthropology in Action 22(3): 39-42. (

2012 “Dr. Freud’s Making Elizabeth Abnormal.” Humanicus: Academic Journal of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Philosophy 7: 1-9.

2009 “Searching for the Hmong People’s Ethnic Homeland and Multiple Dimensions of Transnational Longing: From the Viewpoint of the Hmong in Laos.” Hmong Studies Journal 10: 1-18. (

Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 493Honors Thesis
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 102Intro to Cultural Anthropology
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SBS 302Qualitative Methods
JHR 599Thesis
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 102Intro to Cultural Anthropology
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 102Intro to Cultural Anthropology