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Jesse Chen '16: Asian-American Sensibilities

The Research

The research of Jesse Chen, a Writing Seminars major with a minor in museums and society, examines contemporary Asian-American identity. She traveled to major cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Honolulu to interview a broad range of Asian-American people and to film them for a documentary she is preparing as part of her research. Using the latest U.S. census findings, Chen chose cities with varying degrees of Asian-American residents and interviewed them about upbringing, their knowledge of Asian-American history and issue, and how they identify themselves. The responses of her subjects varied widely according to location.

In Her Own Words

“I was interested in hearing the stories of Asian-Americans that I don’t often get to see in mainstream media or literature. This project has given me a lot of inspiration and direction in terms of future projects—I’ve always wanted to write stories that resonate with and represent Asian-Americans. I’ve also become much more aware of my own identity and the factors that have influenced it.”

Adviser: Katrina Bell McDonald, Associate Professor, Sociology