Dr Chin Jou

BA Cornell MA PhD Princeton
Senior Lecturer in American History

Member of the Charles Perkins Centre

A14 - The Quadrangle
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 2877
Fax +61 2 9351 3918

Website > Phonebook Entry

Biographical details

I am a historian of the late-twentieth-century United States. My first book, Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food with Government Help (Chicago, 2017), was on the history of the expansion of the fast food industry into urban-African-American communities since the late-1960s; the book sheds light on the development of socioeconomic and racial disparities in obesity in the United States. My current book project examines the era of mass incarceration in the United States through the lens of prison food.

Research interests

  • Twentieth-century U.S. history
  • History of food and medicine
  • African-American history
  • Prisons and mass incarceration

Teaching and supervision

Since joining the University of Sydney in 2014, I have taught: Writing History; African American History since the 1865; Gender, Medicine, and the Body; American History since 1865; Global Epidemics; Historical and Anthropological Approaches to Food and Eating; History Workshop seminar; World History since 1700.

In the media

Olga Khazan, “Being Black in America Can Be Hazardous to Your Health,” The Atlantic, July/August 2018.

Alex Park, “How the Fast-Food Industry Courted African American Consumers,” Washington Post, 11 June 2018.

“UpFront,” KPFA 94.1, Berkeley, California, 13 February 2018.

“Letters and Politics” Podcast, KPFA 94.1, Berkeley, California, 18 July 2017.

Tove Danovich, “‘Supersizing Urban America’: How U.S. Policies Encouraged Fast food to Spread,” National Public Radio, 15 June 2017.

“Government Policy Helped Fill Inner Cities with Fast Food,” Wisconsin Public Radio, 3 May 2017.

Joseph Erbentraut, “People of Color Bear the Brunt of the Fast-Food Explosion,” HuffPost, 29 April 2017.

Andrew Small, “How Fast Food Cornered the Urban Market,” CityLab, 31 March 2017.

James McWilliams, “Why Is There So Much Fast Food in Poor Urban Areas?” Pacific Standard, 30 March 2017.

The New England Journal of Medicine weekly podcast, 15 May 2014 http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1400613

Faye Flam, “How Childhood Obesity Became a Crisis,” Washington Post,27 September 2013 http://www.washingtonpost.com/postlive/how-childhood-obesity-became-a-crisis/2013/09/26/b2f87652-1708-11e3-804b-d3a1a3a18f2c_story.html

Conference Papers Presented and Invited Talks

The John K. Lattimer Lecture, “The Obesity Epidemic and Fast Food Marketing to African Americans,” The New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY, 24 January 2018.

Panelist, “Food and Water: Fundamentals for Living,” Sydney Writers’ Festival, Sydney, Australia, 28 May 2017.

“The Specter of Modernity and Early Twentieth Century American Dietary Critiques,” Australia and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine Biennial Conference, the Australian Catholic University, Sydney, Australia, 3 July 2015.

“Obesity and Fast Food Policies in the United States since the 1960s,” Obesity and Addiction in Policy and History Conference, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 12 June 2015.

“Obesity, Fast Food in Inner Cities, and the U.S. Federal Government,” Department of History, University of Bristol, United Kingdom, March 4, 2014.

“Urban Riots of the 1960s and Federal Sponsorship of Fast Food Franchises in America’s Inner Cities,” Department Seminar, Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 28, 2014.

“Black Capitalism, Fast Food, and ‘Race and Social Memory,’” Crossings and Contentions: A Conference in Honor of Daniel T. Rodgers, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, May 4, 2013.

“When Uncle Sam Partnered with Ronald McDonald: How the Federal Government Helped the Fast Food Industry Expand into America's Inner Cities,” Business History Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 31, 2012.

“Daring to Dine in the Jim Crow North: Racial Discrimination in Postwar New York City Restaurants,” Food and the City Conference, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, February 25, 2012.

“Federal Business and Agricultural Policies and the Origins of the Obesity Epidemic,” Friends of the Princeton University Library Brown Bag Lecture, Princeton, New Jersey, June 29, 2011.

“Obesity and the Federal Government in the 1970s and 1980s,” Stetten Day Conference, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, June 14, 2011.

“Hope and Caution: Media Coverage of the Leptin Discovery, 1994-2010,” Stetten Day Conference, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, June 15, 2010.

“How the Calorie Leapt from Chemistry Lab Obscurity to Diet Culture Eminence,” Chemical Heritage Foundation Brown Bag Lecture, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 13, 2010.

“‘The Science of Living Begins at the Mouth’: When Nutrition Became a Part of Food and Eating, 1880-1920,” Annual Meeting of the History of Science Society, Phoenix, Arizona, November 21, 2009.

"Reinscribing Gender Expectations in Medical Assessments of Body Weight in Early Twentieth Century America,” Annual Meeting of the American Association for the History of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, April 25, 2009.

“Prescribing Different Bodies for Different People: Incipient Obesity Experts’ Critiques of Fat andThin, 1890-1930,” Joint Atlantic Seminar in the History of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, September 27, 2008.

“Prescribing Bodies: Medical Critiques of Fat and Thin,” 1890-1930,” History of Medicine Seminar, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland, July 24, 2008.

Selected grants

2016

  • Global Ethics and Futures (Open Learning Environment - Undergraduate); Miles R, Anderson W, Bleasel J, Haq I, Lea T, Griffiths P, Jou C, Poronnik P, Race K, Hickey-Moody A, Ross P; DVC Education/Large Educational Innovation Grant.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Jou, C. (2017). Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food with Government Help. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Journals

  • Jou, C. (2019). The Progressive Era Body Project: Counting Calories and 'Disciplining the Stomach' in 1920s America. Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 18, 1-19.
  • Jou, C. (2018). Review of Andrew F. Smith, Fast Food: The Good, the Bad and the Hungry (London: Reaktion, 2016). Gastronomica, 18(2), 85.
  • Jou, C. (2017). Make America's (Foodways) Great Again: Nostalgia, Early Twentieth-Century Dietary Critiques, and the Specter of Obesity in Contemporary Food Commentary. Gastronomica, 17(1), 20-32. [More Information]
  • Jou, C. (2014). Neither Welcomed, Nor Refused: Race and Restaurants in Postwar New York City. Journal of Urban History, 40(2), 232-251. [More Information]
  • Jou, C. (2014). The Biology and Genetics of Obesity - A Century of Inquiries. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(20), 1874-1877. [More Information]
  • Jou, C. (2011). Contesting Nativism: The New York Congressional Delegation's Case against the Immigration Act of 1924. Federal History, 2011 (2), 66-79.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Jou, C. (2017). Historical Precedent for Protesting Trump's 'Muslim Ban'. The Huffington Post.
  • Jou, C. (2017). Instead of Cleaning Up Their Act, American Fast-Food Companies Are Finding New Targets Abroad. Washington Post.
  • Jou, C. (2015). Fighting Obesity Requires a War on Poverty. The Drum, Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • Jou, C. (2014). The Jim Crow North? Dining in New York City before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Huffington Post.
  • Jou, C. (2013). Cutting Food Stamps Will Cost Everyone. The Atlantic (online).
  • Jou, C. (2011). Counting Calories. Chemical Heritage Magazine, 29(1).
  • Jou, C. (2011). The NIH and Obesity in the 1970s and 1980s. The NIH Catalyst.

2019

  • Jou, C. (2019). The Progressive Era Body Project: Counting Calories and 'Disciplining the Stomach' in 1920s America. Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 18, 1-19.

2018

  • Jou, C. (2018). Review of Andrew F. Smith, Fast Food: The Good, the Bad and the Hungry (London: Reaktion, 2016). Gastronomica, 18(2), 85.

2017

  • Jou, C. (2017). Historical Precedent for Protesting Trump's 'Muslim Ban'. The Huffington Post.
  • Jou, C. (2017). Instead of Cleaning Up Their Act, American Fast-Food Companies Are Finding New Targets Abroad. Washington Post.
  • Jou, C. (2017). Make America's (Foodways) Great Again: Nostalgia, Early Twentieth-Century Dietary Critiques, and the Specter of Obesity in Contemporary Food Commentary. Gastronomica, 17(1), 20-32. [More Information]
  • Jou, C. (2017). Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food with Government Help. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

2015

  • Jou, C. (2015). Fighting Obesity Requires a War on Poverty. The Drum, Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

2014

  • Jou, C. (2014). Neither Welcomed, Nor Refused: Race and Restaurants in Postwar New York City. Journal of Urban History, 40(2), 232-251. [More Information]
  • Jou, C. (2014). The Biology and Genetics of Obesity - A Century of Inquiries. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(20), 1874-1877. [More Information]
  • Jou, C. (2014). The Jim Crow North? Dining in New York City before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Huffington Post.

2013

  • Jou, C. (2013). Cutting Food Stamps Will Cost Everyone. The Atlantic (online).

2011

  • Jou, C. (2011). Contesting Nativism: The New York Congressional Delegation's Case against the Immigration Act of 1924. Federal History, 2011 (2), 66-79.
  • Jou, C. (2011). Counting Calories. Chemical Heritage Magazine, 29(1).
  • Jou, C. (2011). The NIH and Obesity in the 1970s and 1980s. The NIH Catalyst.

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