Yuson Jung

Yuson Jung

Associate Professor, Cultural Anthropology
Director of Graduate Studies


313-577-5859 (fax)


Faculty Administration Building #3017
656 W. Kirby, Detroit, MI 48202



Yuson Jung

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

Economic anthropology, anthropology of food; consumption, globalization, postsocialism, transnational/urban governance, ethics/morality, entrepreneurship education, minority founders, tech ecosystem & culture, cross-cultural comparative studies; Bulgaria, Eastern Europe, European Union, Detroit (MI).


  • The Cultural Politics of Wine: Globalization, Heritage, and the Transformation of the Bulgarian Wine Industry
  • Just Food in Detroit: Groceries, Ethics and Governance in the Resilient City (collaborative research with Andrew Newman)
  • Liminal Community and Communal Experience of Identity Transformation of Black women tech founders in Detroit (collaborative research with Shuang Frost, Marlo Rencher, and Dawn Batts)

I am actively recruiting M.A. and Ph.D. students who are interested in issues of food, and the intersection of economy and culture. Contact the department for more information about our graduate programs, or email me to discuss the possibility of coming to study with me at Wayne State.


  • Ph.D. Social Anthropology, Harvard University
  • M.A. Cultural Anthropology, Seoul National University
  • B.A. Anthropology, Seoul National University

Awards and grants

  • Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Post-Ph.D. Research Grant, “Just Food for Detroit: Ethics, Groceries, and Governance in the Resilient City” (with Andrew Newman, 2013)
  • National Endowment for Humanities, Next Generation Humanities Ph.D. Faculty Mentoring Fellow (one of six Faculty Fellows campus-wide at Wayne State University, 2016-17)
  • National Science Foundation, Conference Grant (Award ID: BCS-1101655), “Ethical Foods and Food Movements in Postsocialist Settings” (with Melissa Caldwell, 2011)
  • IREX (US Department of State Title VIII Grant), Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Research Program Postdoctoral Fellowship, “Globalization and the Transformation of the Bulgarian Wine Industry” (2008-09)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Program Award, 2019-20
  • Board of Governors Award, Wayne State University, 2020
  • Wayne State University Career Development Chair Award 2020-21

News mentions



Selected publications


  • 2019. Balkan Blues: Consumer Politics after State Socialism. Indiana University Press
  • 2014. Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World (co-edited with Jakob A. Klein and Melissa L. Caldwell), University of California Press

Peer-reviewed articles (selected)

  • 2023 “Re-centering Race in Emancipatory Entrepreneurship: Black Female Founders, Money, and Meaning in a Detroit-based Incubator Program” (with Shuang Frost, Marlo Rencher, and Dawn Batts). Journal of Business Anthropology vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 54-78
  • 2023 “Responsible Driving in the Age of Smartphones: Applied Research for Improving Car and Road Safety in the Motor City” (with Andrea Sankar and 10 student researchers. Human Organization vol. 82, no. 4, pp. 382-393
  • 2023 “Beyond Methods: a model for teaching theory in applied anthropology” (with Lauren Hayes). Annals of Anthropological Practice vol. 47, no. 1. pp. 1-15
  • 2016. “Re-creating Economic and Cultural Values in Bulgaria’s Wine Industry: From an Economy of Quantity to an Economy of Quality?” Economic Anthropology, vol. 3, no. 2. pp. 280-292
  • 2014. “(Re)-Establishing the Normal through “Alternative” Food Provisioning: Insights from Postsocialist Bulgaria and Postindustrial Detroit.” Gastronomica: Journal of Critical Food Studies, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 52-59
  • 2014. “Tasting and Judging the Unknown Terroir of the Bulgarian Wine: The Political Economy of Sensory Experience.” Food and Foodways, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 24-47
  • 2014. “An Edible Moral Economy in the Motor City: Food Politics and Urban Governance in Detroit” (with Andrew Newman). Gastronomica: Journal of Critical Food Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 22-31
  • 2012 “Experiencing the ‘West’ through the ‘East’ in the Margins of Europe: Chinese Food Consumption Practices in Postsocialist Bulgaria.” Food, Culture, and Society, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 579-598 [reprinted in Kwang-ok Kim ed., Tasteful Trends: Identity, Power and the Mobility of East Asian Food. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015, pp. 150-169]

Peer-reviewed book chapters (selected)

  •  2020. "Good Food in a Racist System: Competing Moral Economies in Detroit" (with Andrew Newman). in Black Food Matters: Racial Justice in the Wake of Food Justice, eds. Hanna Garth and Ashante M. Reese. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 131-157
  • 2018. “The Meanings and Practices of ‘Consumer Activism’ in Postsocialist Bulgaria,” In Approaching Consumer Culture: Global Flows and Local Contexts, ed. Evgenia Blagoeva-Krasteva. Springer Publishers. pp. 131-146
  • 2016. “Global Belonging and Social Trust: Food Provisioning and Foodways in Postsocialist Societies.” In Handbook in Food and Anthropology, eds. James L. Watson and Jakob A. Klein, Bloomsbury Publishers. pp. 289-307
  • 2014. “Ambivalent Consumers and the Limits of Certification: Organic Foods in Postsocialist Bulgaria.” In Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World, eds. Yuson Jung, Jakob A. Klein, Melissa L. Caldwell, University of California Press. pp. 93-115
  • 2013. “Traces of the Past: Cultural Patrimony and the Bureaucratization of Wine.” In Wine and Culture: From Vineyard to Glass, eds. Rachel Black and Robert Ulin, Bloomsbury Publishers. pp. 161-178

Courses taught by Yuson Jung

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022