Katherine Jensen is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, with a Doctoral Portfolio in African and African Diaspora Studies. She is a former Fulbright Fellow and P.E.O. Scholar. She is also a Graduate Fellow of the Urban Ethnography Lab, and an Affiliate of the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice.
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.
Katie’s research interests lie in race and ethnicity, political sociology, international migration, law and society, and urban sociology. Her dissertation “Worthy of Safe Haven: The Politics of Asylum in Contemporary Brazil” is a relational ethnography of refugee status determination in Brazil. In it, Katie investigates how the state decides who qualifies for refugee status and with what consequences. In particular, her dissertation documents how race operates through that process, tracing the production of ethnoracial categories and inequalities as officials 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 joining the University of Texas in 2011, she lived and conducted research in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the support of a Maguire Fellowship.