Professor Jooyoung Lee discusses what he's looking forward to in the new school year in a recent interview featured on The Bulletin Brief. The Bulletin Brief is a digest featuring news about the staff and faculty across the University of Toronto. The full interview is available on The Bulletin Brief website. We have posted an excerpt below.
Getting Ready for #UofTBackToSchool with Jooyoung Lee
Sept. 6, 2017
By Krisha Ravikantharaja
Jooyoung Lee has a lot to look forward to as a new semester starts. The sociology professor, who recently received tenure, is teaching a third year course called Sociology of Serial Killers and a second year course on qualitative methods. He is also rolling out two new interactive textbooks on the same topics (his textbook on the sociology of serial killers is co-authored with Sasha Reid, a PhD student at OISE). Lee shares how he has been getting ready for the start of the fall semester.
What does the start of the semester mean for you?
It’s a new beginning. It’s a chance to grow and expand my teaching repertoire. I always like to tell students about my somewhat unusual path into academia on the first day of school. I went to university (at UC Berkeley) on a swimming scholarship and was mostly focused on training. I swam for three years and then experienced burnout and decided to really focus more on my studies. This led me down an interesting path where I became a street performer and “popper” or “pop-locker”, which is a style of funk-hip hop dance.
My experiences in the Bay Area dance world got me really interested in researching hip hop culture. I found that I really enjoyed doing ethnographic research, which involves hanging out with people and writing about their lives from an up-close perspective. I tell them about my path because I want them to see that you can achieve a lot of things even if you aren't from a certain type of family, or even if you sometimes feel lost.