Jamie A. Lee attends to critical archival theory and methodologies, multimodal media-making contexts, storytelling, bodies, and ongoing analyses of the ways archives and bodies are mutually constitutive. Her work is intricately woven through the intersections of archival studies, media studies, digital and visual culture, information, and society. Studying hands-on archival work along with archival theory and practice that emerges from community contexts, she engages theories of affect and embodiment, archival and queer theory, haptic visuality, somatechnics, and decolonizing methodologies. Her interdisciplinary approach considers bodies-as-archives and archives-as-bodies in and through shifting temporalities that challenge how we know, produce, and engage archives and their records.
Lee founded and directs the Digital Storytelling & Oral History Lab, DS|OH Lab, as part of her research agenda. The DS|OH Lab is designed to harness the power of people and ideas to creatively engage digital storytelling and oral history production. The DS|OH Lab aims to create a teaching/learning space for digital media production that critically engages storytelling as method with implications for the emergence of multiple histories as complex and often contradictory.
In 2008, Lee founded Arizona's first LGBTQ archives and, since 2011, has been developing the Arizona Queer Archives through the Institute for LGBT Studies. As one of the key sites of her research, the Arizona Queer Archives is a participatory and hands-on laboratory of sorts where archival theory and practice engage queer theory and queer/ed material lives. Lee has developed a Queer/ed Archival Methodology, Q/M, for archivists to utilize in new and existing archival productions to offer a way of thinking critically about archival practices and productions as radically open, productive, and generative spaces that many multiply-situated bodies might fit into, even complicatedly.
Lee is also Co-PI on the Climate Alliance Mapping Project, CAMP, which is a collaborative counter-mapping project attentive to climate justice in the School of Information, School of Geography & Development, the Public Political Ecology Lab, and American Indian Studies to develop a layered mapping tool to display scientific climate data alongside geo-referenced digital stories from communities throughout the Americas experiencing fossil fuel extraction.
Since 1991, Lee has worked in film/video/TV and has owned and operated a multimedia production firm in Minneapolis/St. Paul and Tucson. As an award-winning social justice filmmaker, Lee’s work has screened on PBS, Free Speech TV, and at film festivals and conferences throughout North America and Europe. She presented at the 2008 Women's World Congress in Madrid, Spain and was the keynote speaker at the 2009 New Directions in Critical Theory Conference. She is the recipient of the 2009 Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Project Grant and a 2010 Arizona Governors Arts Award nominee for her work connecting her artform to community activism.