Katherine K. Chen
Associate Professor of Sociology
The City College of New York and
The Graduate Center, CUNY



Curriculum Vitae


Katherine K. Chen is an organizational researcher. She is an associate professor of sociology at The City College of New York and the Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY). Her research and teaching interests include organizational theory, behavior, and culture, work and occupations, work and family, economic sociology, consumer studies, and social movements. She earned a PhD at Harvard University and an AB at Stanford University.

Selected publications and works in progress about Burning Man


Peer-reviewed book

  • Chen, Katherine K. 2009. Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    • Awarded the 2011 Best Book prize for Outstanding Book in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research by the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).
    • Awarded Honorable Mention for the 2011 Max Weber Award of the Organizations, Occupations, and Work (OOW) Section of the American Sociological Association.
    • Reviewed in Administrative Science Quarterly (2010), American Journal of Sociology (2010), Contemporary Sociology (2010), Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society (2011), Journal of Consumer Culture (2010), and Nova Religio (2011).


Selected peer-reviewed academic articles *



Book chapter

  • Chen, Katherine. 2005. "Incendiary Incentives: How the Burning Man Organization Motivates and Manages Volunteers." Pp. 109-128 in AfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man. Eds. Lee Gilmore and Mark Van Proyen. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.


Short articles



Encyclopedia entries

  • Chen, Katherine K. 2010. "Burning Man" entry for the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ed. George Ritzer.
  • Chen, Katherine K. 2015. "Burning Man." entry for the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Consumption and Consumer Studies. Ed. Daniel T. Cook and J. Michael Ryan.


Selected general publications