Jenifer  Chao Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Jenifer Chao

De Montfort University

I am a Lecturer in the Leicester Media School at De Montfort University. My research is situated at the confluence of cultural analysis, in particular visual culture, and International Relations. It focuses on the diverse ways that politics and aesthetics converge – often with oppositional intentions – to address issues such as identity, globalization and terrorism. I am also developing a project entitled "Marketing Nationhood: The Cultural and Visual Politics of Reinventing Brand China".


I received my PhD from the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam in 2013, and I am now a lecturer at De Montfort University, Leicester. But before I returned to academia to obtain my postgraduate degrees, I worked for many years as a journalist, including a stint in the Amsterdam bureau of the international press agency Associated Press.


    PhD, University of Amsterdam

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    9/11 terrorist attacks
    Politics and aesthetics
    Visual culture
    Nation branding (China)
    Cultural and critical theories (Jacques Rancière)


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Cultural Resistance (Chao) - 1st Edition book cover


Media, War & Conflict

Portraits of the enemy: Visualizing the Taliban in a photography studio

Published: Jun 23, 2017 by Media, War & Conflict
Authors: Jenifer Chao
Subjects: Media and Cultural Studies, Art & Visual Culture

This article examines studio photographs of Taliban fighters that deviate from popular media images which often confine them within the visual coordinates of terrorism, insurgency and violence. Gathered in a photographic book known simply as Taliban, these 49 photographs represent the militants in Afghanistan through a studio photography aesthetic, transplanting them from the battlefields of the global war on terror to intimate scenes of pretence and posing.

Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies

The Ignorant Hip-Hop Artist? Political Rap Encounters Jacques Rancière

Published: Sep 12, 2016 by Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies
Authors: Jenifer Chao
Subjects: Media and Cultural Studies, Media Communication

This paper stages an unexpected encounter between the theoretical thoughts of Jacques Rancière and the soundscape of the American political rapper Paris. It examines the artist’s unapologetically militant and belligerent rap music against the backdrop of Rancière’s labyrinthine thinking on the relationship between politics and aesthetics which scrutinizes precisely the tradition of politically engaged artistic expressions and the causal logic that undergirds them.

NECSUS European Journal of Media Studies

Oppositional Banality: Watching Ordinary Muslims in Little Mosque on the Prairie

Published: Jun 10, 2015 by NECSUS European Journal of Media Studies
Authors: Jenifer Chao
Subjects: Media and Cultural Studies, Religion, Art & Visual Culture

This essay interrogates how the globally-syndicated series Little Mosque on the Prairie (2007-2012) mobilises one of the most beloved television formats – the situation comedy – to insert a banal and normalised gaze towards Muslims and contest hostile representations of Islam in Western media. Through what I have termed ‘oppositional banality’, the show relocates Muslim identities to the realm of everyday life and out of the confines of global terrorism.