Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content
Lee, right, poses with her mother, as Tang holds her small niece on the back of a motorcycle taxi

Lee, right, poses with her mother, as Tang holds her small niece on the back of a motorcycle taxi during their 2007 research expedition in China.

Arts and SciencesMarch 26, 2024

Women's History Month: Dr. Ann-Gee Lee

This Women's History Month, as we celebrate the contributions of women throughout history, our UAFS faculty and staff took time to share the stories of the incredible women who have influenced their lives and careers.

This series aims to not only highlight the impact of these women but also to dive into a diverse range of narratives that reflect the strength, resilience, and creativity of women across various fields and backgrounds. It's a chance to recognize, reflect, and be inspired by the legacies that shape our world today.

Today’s Women’s History Month feature is Dr. Ann-Gee Lee, professor and assistant chair of English Rhetoric and Writing and Media Communication. Dr. Lee brings a unique perspective to her field, especially through her focus on feminist historiography.

"Being a woman in my field is not uncommon, but rhetoric has so many branches that I can find different niches," Lee explained. "One important aspect of rhetoric is feminist historiography. According to Stefanie Ruel and Kaitlynn C. Hammel, it is ‘a method of bringing together different kinds of feminism (e.g., liberal, radical, postcolonial) with ways of re-telling the experiences of ciswomen and gender-diverse individuals who lived in the past.’ Just like in literary theory, we are taking old concepts to look at new ones and vice versa. It makes for very exciting and varieties of research topics.”

In her Women’s Rhetorics course, Lee delves into the lives of women who, though often not featured in history books, made significant contributions to their societies. "It makes us glad we are living in our time," she remarked, emphasizing the joy of discovering these hidden narratives.

One of Lee's passion projects involves sharing her research dissertation topic more broadly.  “Nüshu is an ancient Chinese women’s secret writing system,” she explained. “For my dissertation, I used modern applications of private and public discourse as well as material rhetoric to unpack Nüshu’s cultural significance.

“Women weren’t allowed to have access to formal education back then, but they naturally had home education and found a way to turn their domestic practices into beautiful art, literature, and music."

Lee’s research led her visit China in 2007, a trip made more special by her mother’s company and deep cultural understanding. “She has always been a huge influence on how I see myself as a woman."

This trip also led to a meaningful friendship with Shifang Tang, an English major in university during her visit. "Nüshu is all about these sisterly connections among friends. She and I just had the best time together, so I made a ‘sister’ on the trip as well."

Through her teaching and research, Dr. Ann-Gee Lee not only sheds light on overlooked aspects of women's history and rhetoric but also inspires her students and peers at UAFS to explore the diverse narratives that shape our understanding of the past and present.

Read more about Lee and her experience at UAFS at: