Chin Jou

Associate Professor, Brackenridge Endowed Chair,

Chin Jou


Chin Jou is Associate Professor and Brackenridge Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Humanities. Her current book manuscript, Captive Consumers: Prison Food in the Era of Mass Incarceration, examines the history, politics, sociology, and business of prison food in the United States. She is also the author of Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food with Government Help (University of Chicago Press, 2017), and research articles on a range of topics related to U.S. food policies, obesity, African American history, nutrition science, gender and diet culture, race relations, and the prison industrial complex in journals including: American Quarterly, the Journal of Urban History, the New England Journal of Medicine, Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies, the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and others. Her essays have also appeared in The Atlantic, Washington Post, Scientific American, and HuffPost, and her research and expertise have been featured on National Public Radio, The Atlantic, Washington Post, Politico, Vice, and other radio and print media outlets in the United States and Australia. Before joining UTSA in the fall of 2023, she taught in the history department at the University of Sydney from 2014 to 2023, where she received a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019. She has also held fellowships from the National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Humanities Center, and a visiting professorship in history of science at Harvard University. She is a graduate of K-12 public schools—including in South Texas's Rio Grande Valley—Cornell University (B.A.), and Princeton University (Ph.D).

Research Interests

  • Twentieth-Century U.S. History
  • American Studies
  • Medical Humanities
  • Food Studies
  • Carceral Studies