Contact

Dr Wendy Willems

Room TW3.7.01G

Department of Media and Communications

London School of Economics and Political Science

Houghton Street

London

WC2A 2AE

020 7852 3738

 

Twitter (@MediaLSE): twitter.com/#!/medialse

Email: w.willems@lse.ac.uk


 

Dr Wendy Willems

Assistant Professor, Programme Director:  MSc Global Media & Communications (with University of Cape Town)

Dr Wendy Willems is Assistant Professor and Director of Admissions in the LSE Department of Media and Communications. She is Programme Director of the double MSc degree in Global Media and Communications (with University of Cape Town) which commences in September 2017. Her research interests include global digital culture and social change; postcolonial/decolonial approaches to media and communications; media culture and neoliberalism in the Global South; and popular culture, performance and politics in Africa. She holds a PhD in Media and Film Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, a BSc/MSc in Economics ('International Economic Studies') and a BA/MA in Cultural Studies ('Cultuur- en Wetenschapsstudies') from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Wendy joined the LSE Department of Media and Communications in January 2013. Prior to that, she was Head of Department and Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa (2010-2012). She remains affiliated to the University of the Witwatersrand as an Honorary Research Fellow. Previously, she was also a Visiting Lecturer in the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster in London (2006, 2008) and the Department of Media and Society Studies at Midlands State University in Gweru, Zimbabwe (2012). In 2006, she co-founded the Journal of African Media Studies (JAMS) with Dr Winston Mano from the University of Westminster. The main motivation was to create a peer-reviewed international journal that would adopt a broad definition of media and would contribute to the on-going re-positioning of media and cultural studies outside the Anglo-American axis. 

While Africa conventionally has been imagined as a place of ‘raw data’, Wendy’s work treats the continent as a starting point for theorising media and communications. Her research engages with the politics of global academic knowledge production and ongoing debates on the ‘internationalisation’, ‘de-westernisation’, or ‘decolonisation’ of the field of media and communication studies. Her research challenges the way in which the Global South has been framed in the subfields of comparative media studies, international communication and development communication. It also aims to reinscribe the marginalised research of African media and communication scholars as part of a broader global disciplinary history. Wendy is currently working on two monographs.

Her first book project, Postcolonial Publics, Mediated Encounters and the Performance of Resistance, offers a postcolonial/decolonial critique of arguments on the ‘global’ or ‘transnational’ public sphere. Arguing for a conceptual shift from ‘flows of information’ to ‘mediated encounters’, the book proposes that global media and communication studies engages more intimately with the legacy of colonial histories and their role in shaping publics in postcolonial contexts. Drawing on her research on the ‘Zimbabwe crisis’, the book examines a range of mediated encounters between ex-colony and ex-coloniser, the rulers and the ruled, and home-based and diasporic citizens. It demonstrates that global media discourse is no longer merely about the conveying of ‘news’ (if it ever was) but increasingly about the news itself and who deserves – or is entitled to – visibility in the public arena.

Her second book project, provisionally entitled Mobile Publics, Platform Power and Urban Civic Engagement, interrogates the relation between digital media and social change in Zambia through a global analytical lens. It aims to contribute to a better understanding of the evolving nature of the internet(s) in specific local contexts that are also undergoing other processes of change. For many users in the Global South, the internet is increasingly equal to a ‘social media internet’ that is largely accessed through mobile phones and shaped by powerful social media platforms for whom the Global South features as a key expansion ground in the face of saturating markets in the Global North. Based on fieldwork carried out in Lusaka, Zambia during elections in 2011 and 2016, this book examines the mobile, visual, temporal and ‘social’ affordances of digital culture and their political implications. 

(2015-2018) New Media Practices in a Changing Africa, Norwegian Research Council (NRC) Principal investigator: Jo Helle Valle, co-investigators: Wendy Willems, Katrien Pype, Ardis Storm-Mathisen, Letshwiti Tutwanel, M. Mogalagwe, Jean Comaroff.

(2010-2012) ICT Policy and New Media Cultures, Open Society Initiative Southern Africa (OSISA), Principal investigator: Sarah Chiumbu, co-investigators: Last Moyo, Wendy Willems.

(2010-2011) Radio, Convergence and Development in Southern Africa, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) via Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada for, Principal investigator: Last Moyo, co-investigators: Sarah Chiumbu, Dina Ligaga, Wendy Willems.

Books

Everyday media culture in Africa: audiences and users
Willems, Wendy and Mano, Winston, eds. (2016) Everyday media culture in Africa: audiences and users. Routledge Advances in Internationalizing Media Studies . Routledge, London. ISBN 9781138202849 (In Press)

Civic agency in Africa: arts of resistance in the 21st century
Obadare, Ebenezer and Willems, Wendy, eds. (2014) Civic agency in Africa: arts of resistance in the 21st century. James Currey, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9781847010865

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Risky dialogues: the performative state and the nature of power in a postcolony
Willems, Wendy (2015) Risky dialogues: the performative state and the nature of power in a postcolony. Journal of African Cultural Studies, 27 (3). pp. 356-369. ISSN 1369-6815

Provincializing hegemonic histories of media and communication studies: towards a genealogy of epistemic resistance in Africa
Willems, Wendy (2014) Provincializing hegemonic histories of media and communication studies: towards a genealogy of epistemic resistance in Africa. Communication Theory, 24 (4). pp. 415-434. ISSN 1468-2885

Beyond normative dewesternization: examining media culture from the vantage point of the Global South
Willems, Wendy (2014) Beyond normative dewesternization: examining media culture from the vantage point of the Global South. The Global South , 8 (1). pp. 7-23. ISSN 1932-8648

Participation – in what? Radio, convergence and the corporate logic of audience input through new media in Zambia
Willems, Wendy (2013) Participation – in what? Radio, convergence and the corporate logic of audience input through new media in Zambia. Telematics and Informatics, 30 (3). pp. 223-231. ISSN 0736-5853

'Zimbabwe will never be a colony again': changing celebratory styles and meanings of independence
Willems, Wendy (2013) 'Zimbabwe will never be a colony again': changing celebratory styles and meanings of independence. Anthropology Southern Africa, 36 (1-2). pp. 22-33. ISSN 2332-3256

Editorial
Willems, Wendy (2012) Editorial. Journal of African Media Studies, 4 (3). pp. 273-275. ISSN 2040-199X

Interrogating public sphere and popular culture as theoretical concepts on their value in African studies
Willems, Wendy (2012) Interrogating public sphere and popular culture as theoretical concepts on their value in African studies. Africa Development, 37 (1). pp. 11-26. ISSN 0850-3907

The ballot vote as embedded ritual: a radical critique of liberal-democratic approaches to media and elections in Africa
Willems, Wendy (2012) The ballot vote as embedded ritual: a radical critique of liberal-democratic approaches to media and elections in Africa. African Studies, 71 (1). pp. 91-107. ISSN 0002-0184

Comic strips and “the crisis”: postcolonial laughter and coping with everyday life in Zimbabwe
Willems, Wendy (2011) Comic strips and “the crisis”: postcolonial laughter and coping with everyday life in Zimbabwe. Popular Communication, 9 (2). pp. 126-145. ISSN 1540-5710

Reinvoking the past in the present: changing identities and appropriations of Joshua Nkomo in post-colonial Zimbabwe
Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo J. and Willems, Wendy (2010) Reinvoking the past in the present: changing identities and appropriations of Joshua Nkomo in post-colonial Zimbabwe. African Identities, 8 (3). pp. 191-208. ISSN 1472-5843

Beyond dramatic revolutions and grand rebellions: everyday forms of resistance during the 'Zimbabwe crisis'
Willems, Wendy (2010) Beyond dramatic revolutions and grand rebellions: everyday forms of resistance during the 'Zimbabwe crisis'. Comminicare, 29 . pp. 1-17. ISSN 0259-0069

Editorial
Willems, Wendy (2010) Editorial. Journal of African Media Studies, 2 (2). pp. 135-137. ISSN 2040-199X

Making sense of cultural nationalism and the politics of commemoration under the Third Chimurenga in Zimbabwe
Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo J. and Willems, Wendy (2009) Making sense of cultural nationalism and the politics of commemoration under the Third Chimurenga in Zimbabwe. Journal of Southern African Studies, 35 (4). pp. 945-965. ISSN 0305-7070

Emerging communities, emerging media: the case of a Zimbabwean nurse in the British Big Brother show
Mano, Winston and Willems, Wendy (2008) Emerging communities, emerging media: the case of a Zimbabwean nurse in the British Big Brother show. Critical Arts , 22 (1). pp. 101-128. ISSN 0256-0046

Remnants of Empire? British media reporting on Zimbabwe
Willems, Wendy (2005) Remnants of Empire? British media reporting on Zimbabwe. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture . pp. 91-108. ISSN 1744-6708

Peasant demonstrators, violent invaders: representations of land in the Zimbabwean press
Willems, Wendy (2004) Peasant demonstrators, violent invaders: representations of land in the Zimbabwean press. World Development, 32 (10). pp. 1767-1783. ISSN 0305-750X

Selection and silence: contesting meanings of land in Zimbabwean media
Willems, Wendy (2004) Selection and silence: contesting meanings of land in Zimbabwean media. Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies, 25 (1). pp. 4-24. ISSN 0256-0054

Book Chapters 

Decolonizing and provincializing audience and internet studies: contextual approaches from African vantage points
Willems, Wendy and Mano, Winston (2016) Decolonizing and provincializing audience and internet studies: contextual approaches from African vantage points. In: Willems, Wendy and Mano, Winston, (eds.) Everyday media culture in Africa: audiences and users. Routledge Advances in Internationalizing Media Studies. Routledge, London. ISBN 9781138202849 (In Press)

Race and the reproduction of colonial mythologies on land: a postcolonial reading of British media discourse on Zimbabwe
Willems, Wendy (2015) Race and the reproduction of colonial mythologies on land: a postcolonial reading of British media discourse on Zimbabwe. In: Mano, Winston, (ed.) Racism, Ethnicity and Media in Africa: Mediating Conflict in the Twenty-First Century. International library of African studies. I. B.Tauris, London, UK. ISBN 9781780767055

Alternative mediation, power and civic agency in Africa
Willems, Wendy (2015) Alternative mediation, power and civic agency in Africa. In: Atton, Chris, (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415644044 (In Press)

Producing loyal citizens and entertaining volatile subjects: imagining audience agency in colonial Rhodesia and post-colonial Zimbabwe
Willems, Wendy (2014) Producing loyal citizens and entertaining volatile subjects: imagining audience agency in colonial Rhodesia and post-colonial Zimbabwe. In: Butsch, Richard and Livingstone, Sonia, (eds.) Meanings of Audiences: Comparative Discourses. Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 80-96. ISBN 9780415837293

Introduction: African resistance in an age of fractured sovereignty
Willems, Wendy and Obadare, Ebenezer (2014) Introduction: African resistance in an age of fractured sovereignty. In: Obadare, Ebenezer and Willems, Wendy, (eds.) Civic agency in Africa: arts of resistance in the 21st century. James Currey, Oxford, UK, pp. 1-23. ISBN 9781847010865

Theorising media as/and civil society in Africa
Willems, Wendy (2013) Theorising media as/and civil society in Africa. In: Obadare, Ebenezer, (ed.) The Handbook of Civil Society in Africa. Nonprofit and civil society studies(20). Springer, New York, USA, pp. 43-59. ISBN 9781461482611

Large classes, participation and the potential of educational blogging: personal reflections on the exPress imPress project
Willems, Wendy (2013) Large classes, participation and the potential of educational blogging: personal reflections on the exPress imPress project. In: Hornsby, David J., Osman, Ruksana and De Matos Ala, Jaqueline, (eds.) Large-Class Pedagogy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives for Quality Tertiary Education. Stellenbosch University Press, Stellenbosch, South Africa, pp. 107-128.

Zimbabwe’s cultural revolution and the ‘melodic press release’: mediated national imaginaries in an age of neoliberalism
Willems, Wendy (2013) Zimbabwe’s cultural revolution and the ‘melodic press release’: mediated national imaginaries in an age of neoliberalism. In: Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo J. and Ndhlovu, Fenix, (eds.) Nationalism and National Projects in Southern Africa: New Critical Reflections. Africa Institute of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, pp. 158-175. ISBN 9780798303958

Encyclopedia of social movement media
Willems, Wendy (2011) Encyclopedia of social movement media. In: Downing, John D. H., (ed.) Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media. Sage, London, UK, pp. 410-412. ISBN 9780761926887

Political jokes in Zimbabwe
Willems, Wendy (2011) Political jokes in Zimbabwe. In: Downing, John D. H., (ed.) Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media. Sage, Los Angeles, US, pp. 410-412. ISBN 9780761926887

'Powerful centre' versus 'powerless periphery'?: postcolonial encounters, global media and nationalism in the 'Zimbabwe crisis'
Willems, Wendy (2011) 'Powerful centre' versus 'powerless periphery'?: postcolonial encounters, global media and nationalism in the 'Zimbabwe crisis'. In: Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. and Muzondidya, J., (eds.) Redemptive or Grotesque Nationalism? Rethinking Contemporary Politics in Zimbabwe. Nationalisms across the globe(3). Peter Lang, Oxford, UK, pp. 315-348. ISBN 9783039119769

Social movement media, post-apartheid (South Africa)
Willems, Wendy (2011) Social movement media, post-apartheid (South Africa). In: Downing, John D. H., (ed.) Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media. Sage, London, UK, pp. 492-495. ISBN 9780761926887

At the crossroads of the formal and popular: convergence culture and new publics in Zimbabwe
Willems, Wendy (2010) At the crossroads of the formal and popular: convergence culture and new publics in Zimbabwe. In: Wasserman, Herman, (ed.) Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa. Internationalizing media studies. Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 46-62. ISBN 9780415577939

Debating ‘Zimbabweanness’ in diasporic internet forums: technologies of freedom?
Mano, Winston and Willems, Wendy (2010) Debating ‘Zimbabweanness’ in diasporic internet forums: technologies of freedom? In: McGregor, J. and Primorac, R., (eds.) Zimbabwe's New Diaspora: Displacement and the Cultural Politics of Survival. Forced migration(31). Berghahn, Oxford, UK, pp. 183-201. ISBN 9781845456580

Mocking the state: comic strips in the Zimbabwean press
Willems, Wendy (2008) Mocking the state: comic strips in the Zimbabwean press. In: Abbink, J. and Van Dokkum, A., (eds.) Dilemmas of Development : Conflicts of Interest and Their Resolutions in Modernizing Africa. African studies collection,12. African Studies Centre, Leiden, Netherlands, pp. 151-162.

 

 

 

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E. Obadare and W. Willems (eds.), Civic agency in Africa: arts of resistance in the 21st century. Oxford: James Currey. ISBN 9781847010865

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 Journal of African Media Studies (JAMS)