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College of Arts & Sciences

Victoria Lee

Victoria Lee

Assistant Professor

Bentley Annex


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  • Ph.D. in History of Science from Princeton University
  • M.Sc. in History of Science, Technology and Medicine from Imperial College London
  • B.A. Hons. in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University


  • History of Modern Science and Technology
  • Modern Japanese History
  • Environment, Business, and the State
  • Craft and Political Economy
  • Life Sciences; Chemical Sciences and Industry

Victoria Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of History. Her research focuses on the role of Japan in twentieth and twenty-first century science and technology. Her current book project, “The Arts of the Microbial World: A History of Japanese Fermentation Science,” looks at Japanese society’s engagement with microbes in science, industry, and environmental management. It explores why fermentation expanded beyond small-scale traditional manufactures to take special prominence in food, resources, and medicine in Japan, addressing scientists’ and technicians’ role in defining the texture of everyday life and material culture as an aspect of political economy. She is also beginning a second project that examines schemes to understand and manage gene flow in the late twentieth century.

Before coming to Athens, Victoria Lee spent 2014-16 as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Germany. Previously she has also taught at Rutgers University.


  • “The Microbial Production of Expertise in Meiji Japan,” Osiris 2nd Ser. 33, forthcoming 2018.
  • “Unraveling the Search for Microbial Control in Twentieth-Century Pandemics,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 53 (2015): 122-125.
  • “Mold Cultures: Traditional Industry and Microbial Studies in Early Twentieth-Century Japan,” in New Perspectives on the History of Life Sciences and Agriculture, eds. Denise Phillips and Sharon Kingsland (Cham: Springer, 2015), 231-252.


Victoria Lee teaches a variety of courses in the history of science and technology and Japanese history, as well as interdisciplinary courses in the “Themes” initiative in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her courses include:

  • HIST 2905: Technology in World History
  • HIST 3481/5481: Modern Japan
  • HIST 3500: Science and Society in the Modern World (Offered Spring 2017)
  • CAS 2405: Knowing What We Know (Offered Spring 2017)

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