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Dr Karen Wilkes
Knowledge Lab
Emerald Street
Dr Karen Wilkes profile picture
  • Lecturer in Critical Media Studies
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
  • UCL Institute of Education
Dr Karen Wilkes is Lecturer in Critical Media Studies and teaches on the Critical Digital Media MA in the Department of Culture, Communication and Media. Her interdisciplinary research explores the formation and representation of gender, class, sexuality, and race in historical and contemporary visual culture. Her scholarship also undertakes analysis of the dissemination of neoliberal discourses in the contemporary context.
Research Groups
Research Summary
My research in the area of visual culture is interdisciplinary, and examines representations of race, class and gender in historical representations, and contemporary texts disseminated via digital media platforms. I have published widely in this area, with a monograph on the intersections of whiteness, femininity and discourses of island paradise which underpin notions of the postfeminist princess bride, in Wilkes (2016) Whiteness, Weddings and Tourism in the Caribbean: Paradise for Sale. My scholarship has developed key ideas regarding the complexities of user-generated content and the way in which ideals of gender, race and class are made compelling by social media influencers, in the article, Wilkes (2021) Eating, Living and Looking Clean, published in GWO. I have also published the following research which applies an intersectional approach to conceptual thinking regarding the legacies of colonialism in the Caribbean region; Eating Paradise: Food as Coloniality and Leisure in the Annals of Leisure Research (2019) and the chapter, ‘Remaking Jamaica: Tourism, Labour and the Awakening Jamaica Exhibition’, in Esposito, E., Pérez-Arredondo, C., Ferreiro, J. M. (Eds.) Discourses from Latin America & the Caribbean: Current Concepts and Challenges.
Teaching Summary
MA Critical Media Studies - Modules: Dissertation Supervisor, Gender and Digital Media, Critical Approaches to Mobile Media
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