Toby Lee

Associate Professor; Director, Culture & Media Certificate Program

Assistant Professor Toby Lee

Toby Lee is Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema Studies. She holds a PhD in Anthropology and Film & Visual Studies from Harvard University, an MPhil in Modern Greek Literature from Oxford University, and a BA in Anthropology and Modern Greek Studies from Columbia University.

Her research interests include visual and media anthropology, the anthropology of cultural institutions, cultural citizenship, film festival studies, expanded documentary, and cultures of surveillance and documentation. She is the author of The Public Life of Cinema: Conflict and Collectivity in Austerity Greece (University of California Press, 2020). An ethnographic account of the Greek film world in the early years of the “Greek crisis,” this book considers how the arts and cultural production illuminate the changing conditions of, and possibilities for, public and collective life in the neoliberal era. Her writing has appeared in Visual Anthropology Review, Millenium Film Journal, World Records, and Flow.

A practicing artist, she works across a variety of media including film, video, installation, and drawing. Her work has been been exhibited at the Locarno Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Camden International Film Festival, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Museum of the Moving Image (NYC), and the 2014 Whitney Biennial, among other venues. At Harvard, she was a member of the Sensory Ethnography Lab.

She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the NY State Council on the Arts, Fulbright Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Dan David Foundation, Film Study Center at Harvard University, and Flaherty Film Seminar. From 2012 to 2014, she was the Director of the Collaborative Studio program at UnionDocs: Center for Documentary Art in Brooklyn, NY.