Faculty and Staff
Wesley Elizabeth Stevens, Ph.D.
|Department:||School of Journalism and Mass Communications
College of Information and Communications
|Office:||School of Journalism and Mass Communications
800 Sumter Street, Room 124
Columbia, SC 29208
B.A., Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, Purdue University, Fort Wayne
B.A., Media and Public Communication, Purdue University, Fort Wayne
M.A., Professional Communication, Purdue University, Fort Wayne
Ph.D., Media and Communication, Temple University
Wesley Stevens' research focuses on the regulation of Black identity and its commodification through neoliberal discourses and consumer subjectivities. She is particularly interested in exploring the racial affordances of social media platforms and how discriminatory algorithms shape the experiences of Black users and creators. Her recent work examines how Black influencers navigate the highly competitive and commercialized field of influencing, a space characterized by hypervisibility and a fraught politics of representation.
Stevens employs critical pedagogical practices in the classroom, the creation of her syllabi, and through class discussions. Her classes are structured around fostering discourse about the cultural, political, and ethical dimensions of media and technology. Creative course exercises ask students to engage with new and emerging platforms, analyzing their own relationship to those technologies as well as the biases and assumptions with which they are embedded. Dr. Stevens is also invested in bridging the gap between theory and practice by utilizing a combination of academic texts, popular press pieces, and the business practices of media industries in her course reading lists.
- Outstanding Dissertation Award in Cultural and Critical Studies Division of AEJMC
- Second Place Paper Award, Lew Klein College Graduate Research Forum, Temple University
- Top Paper Award, Lew Klein College Graduate Research Forum, Temple University
- Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Purdue University, Fort Wayne
Iliadis, A., Acker, A., Stevens, W., & Kavakli, B. (2023). One schema to rule them all: How Schema.org models the world of search. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. in press.
Stevens, W. E. (2021). Blackfishing on Instagram: Appropriating and selling Black urban aesthetics through digital labor. Social Media + Society, 7(3)
Stevens enjoys her research almost as much as she loves having conversations about her favorite television shows (The Golden Girls, Black Sails, Steven Universe, 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.