Research Affiliate, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University;
Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University; American Council
of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow (2012-14)
Global health, reproductive policy/technology, state and society,
globalization and transnationalism, gender, fertility, migration,
post-socialism, anthropological theory; China/East Asia, Asian diaspora
Dr. Chen has conducted extensive research on gender and reproductive health policy/technology as they intersect with socioeconomic transformations, with a regional focus on China/East Asia in broader globalizing, transnational, and diasporic contexts. He received his doctorate in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in December 2011. Before coming to Columbia, Dr. Chen was a Freeman Postdoctoral Fellow in Chinese Science and Technology at the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, and a research associate in the Department of Anthropology, at UIUC (2011-12).
Dr. Chen's dissertation, "While the State Claims the Intimate: Population Control Policy and the Makings of Chinese Modernity," offers an ethnographic account of China's globalizing efforts as reconfigured in the seemingly intimate space of reproduction. Based on his doctoral research, he has published two articles. The University of Chicago Press has recently issued him an advance contract to publish a book based on his doctoral dissertation. Dr. Chen is currently revising his dissertation into a book manuscript, while working on two other articles to be submitted to leading scholarly journals.
After finishing revising his dissertation into a book, Dr. Chen will work on his next project, tentatively titled "Reproducing Distinction: The Politics of Birth Control Policy among Diasporic Chinese." In this project, he plans to adopt a humanistic approach to a subject long treated by many social scientists-class mobility through transnationalism-by examining how diasporic Chinese women's reproductive practices speak to their transnational identity at the same time that they enhance expanding class privilege.
Dr. Chen's research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including an individual research grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (2004-05), a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (2006-07), a postdoctoral fellowship from the Freeman Foundation (2011-12), and a two-year New Faculty Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (2012-14). He has received four national graduate student paper awards, including the David M. Schneider Award from the American Anthropological Association and the Theodore C. Bestor Prize from the Society for East Asian Anthropology/American Anthropological Association.
Fall 2012 course: Chinese Society and Culture