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 received her master’s in gender studies abroad in Southern and Southeastern Europe. She is a Leo and cat enthusiast who spends her free time binge-watching TV series, trying new foods, and advocating for her local community in Elizabeth, NJ.

Jennifer’s research presents a genealogy to examine the intersections of identity politics with data and technology. She strongly contends that “data is not truth” and her work supports this proverb in the context of identity by studying the processes of ethnicization and racialization in the US following the consolidation of the 'information society' in the mid-twentieth century. Her work explores the emergent intimacies with digital technologies in our everyday lives and the radical changes data has had on who we are. Through her research, she hopes to interrogate the ways Hispanic/Latino/Latinx identities has been formed by data and how data produces identity. 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