Katherine Jensen earned her PhD in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2018, with a Doctoral Portfolio in African and African Diaspora Studies. At UT, she was a Graduate Fellow of the Urban Ethnography Lab, and an Affiliate of the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. She is a former Fulbright Fellow and P.E.O. Scholar. In 2019, she will join the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies, after spending a year as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research at Tulane University.
Katie researches race and racism, political sociology, and forced migration in the Americas, with a focus on Brazil and Argentina. Her work has been published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Qualitative Sociology, Social Currents, City & Community, Contexts, and by the University of Texas Press. She has also published in The Huffington Post and Austin American-Statesman.
Her current research, based on 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted inside the asylum apparatus in Brazil, investigates how the state decides who qualifies for refugee status and with what consequences. Particularly, it details how race operates through asylum, tracing the production of racial meanings and inequalities as state and civil society actors work to determine who is worthy of safe haven.
Katie earned a BA in Latin American and Latino/a Studies from Vassar College in 2009, graduating with general and departmental honors. Before pursuing her PhD at the University of Texas, she lived and conducted research in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the support of a Maguire Fellowship.