Wesley Elizabeth Stevens
Department: Media and Communication

Biography

Wesley is a PhD student and graduate teaching assistant in the School of Media and Communication at Temple University. Her research focuses on the construction and regulation of Black identity and its commodification through neoliberal discourses and consumer subjectivities. Her recent work examines the practice of blackfishing on Instagram and how social media influencers appropriate Black culture and aesthetics to build their brand and increase their following, rendering Black identity a lucrative commodity. Wesley is interested in how these consumer logics become accessible to individuals through digital platforms and explores the resultant, discursive constructions of identity within these contexts. Her research also considers the role algorithms play in perpetuating discriminatory practices online. Wesley employs critical pedagogical practices in the classroom, adopting an intersectional perspective in the creation of her syllabi and through class discussions and assignments. She is currently the President of the Media and Communication Graduate Student Association.

Wesley enjoys her research almost as much as she loves having conversations about her favorite television shows (The Golden Girls, Penny Dreadful, Adventure Time, and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, to name a few). Indulging in these shows – and the occasional Taco Bell run – keeps Wesley grounded on her academic journey.  

Education

Degree

Field

School

MA

Professional Communication

Purdue University, Fort Wayne

BA

Media and Public Communication

Purdue University, Fort Wayne

BA

Interpersonal & Organizational Communication

Purdue University, Fort Wayne

Courses Taught

  • MSP 2421, Media and Popular Culture, Undergraduate 
  • MSP 4153, Media Criticism, Undergraduate
  • COM 101, Intro to Communication, Undergraduate
  • COM 114, Fundamentals of Speech Communication, Undergraduate

Award

Type

Date

Second place paper award, Klein College Graduate Research Forum

Research

2019

Top Paper Award, Klein College Graduate Research Forum

Research

2018

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award

Teaching

2016