Jenny Chen

Jenny Chen

Research Interests


North America; Middle East, East Asia

Research Concentrations

Food Studies, Nonhuman Mediants, Political Economy, Refugeehood and Identity, Materiality, Representations of Violence, Human-Nonhuman Relations, Ethnicity and Nationalism


Jenny studies the intersections of cuisine, bodies, violence, and history. Her research investigates the capabilities of food to cross boundaries of space and time while simultaneously anchoring itself to its own physicality - one that depends on the material nature of its ingredients and tools. She is currently exploring the historicity and embodied values of ingredients and dishes in relation to refugee experiences in the U.S. This work is situated within catering companies and restaurants in New York City and San Francisco that work specifically with refugees to bring both their dishes and stories to consumers. Such encounters and interactions bring about unique formations of identity, both self-articulated and externally given, that grind against ongoing reproductions of difference and community. 


Brooklyn College CUNY, BA in Political Science, 2019