Ph.D. Student Profiles

Vilchez, Jennifer

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  • Research Interests: Social Media; Popular Culture; Latinx/a/o Studies; Chicana, Latina, and Decolonial Feminisms; Critical Race Studies; Cultural Studies
  • Education: 2014 - M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies/Erasmus Mundus Master’s Program in Women’s and Gender Studies (GEMMA), home university: Universidad de Granada, mobility university: Central European University 2008 - B.A., Film and Spanish Language and Literature with Distinction, University of California, Berkeley




Jennifer was raised in California by her Peruvian immigrant parents and is the first in her family to attend college and graduate school. Before coming to Rutgers, she studied in gender graduate programs in Spain, Hungary, and Serbia, places that have all influenced her ways of seeing and knowing. She lives with her magical black cat, Cousteau, enjoys binge-watching TV series, trying new foods, and listening to true crime podcasts.

Jennifer’s research offers a historical and cultural study from the 1970s to the 2010s to examine the enmeshment of Latinidad, Latina/o, and Latino media through social media. She is informed and inspired by the feminist approaches of Gloria Anzaldúa, Emma Peréz, and Chela Sandoval. Through her research, she hopes to interrogate the ways Hispanic and Latino identities has been formed by media and how media forms these identities in the United States. She is inspired by thinking about how her own identity as a “Latina" has transformed in her own lifetime, from the time before personal computers to today’s handheld devices with instant access to global networks.


Center for Latino American Studies Small Grant Fund, 2018
Off-Campus Dissertation Development Award, Graduate School New Brunswick, Rutgers, 2018
Pre-Dissertation Special Study Award, Graduate School New Brunswick, Rutgers, 2017
Graduate School New Brunswick Diversity Fellowship, Rutgers, 2016-2019
European Commission Erasmus Mundus Programme Category A Scholarship, 2012-2014
Ronald E. McNair Undergraduate Research Scholarship, 2008
UC Berkeley Incentive Awards Scholarship, 2004-2008