María Celeste Wagner

María Celeste Wagner

Ph.D. Candidate in Communication

University of Pennsylvania

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication and a doctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication, both at the University of Pennsylvania. I received my Licenciatura (BA) in Communication in 2013 from Universidad de San Andrés in Argentina, my home country, and a master’s in Communication in 2018 from the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Starting Fall 2022, I will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida.

From a mixed methods and comparative approach, I study media reception and influence around political and social issues, particularly those related to intersecting gender inequalities in the Americas. To understand these processes, I primarily draw from surveys, experiments, and qualitative interviewing methods. Fieldwork for my research has been conducted in Argentina and the United States.

My dissertation analyzes some of the social consequences of the way the media talk about sexual and/or gender-based violence, abuse, and harassment in Argentina and the United States today. Through online survey experiments, I analyzed how representative audiences in both countries respond to news about workplace harassment when harm is done to women from different ethno-racial and class backgrounds. Second, I interviewed survey respondents to explore possible causal mechanisms that might explain the quantitative findings. Third, I conducted interviews with leaders in gender equality organizations in both countries to understand expert views on contemporary issues of communication, gender, and social change.

Some of my recent publications have explored the emotional experiences, interpretations, and practices of consuming news and perceived misinformation during times of political polarization in the U.S. (Journalism, Digital Journalism); the role of the perceived gender of journalists on the promotion of ideas around the severity of sexual harassment (; and the experiences of watching television entertainment in Argentina and the United States, with a focus on transcultural issues of gender and ethnicity, as well as other differences based on regional inequalities (International Journal of Communication). With E. Mitchelstein, P. J. Boczkowski, and F. Suenzo, we are currently working on a book, titled The Patina of Distrust: Misinformation in a Context of Generalized Skepticism, under contract with The MIT Press.

In both Argentina and the United States, I have taught introduction to communication, history of the media, social scientific methods, and critical approaches to popular culture. In 2015, I received a Teaching Award at Universidad de San Andrés, given to the best Teaching Assistant at the university.

Among other appointments, I am a member of the organizing committee of the “Media & Communication in Global Latinidades” Pre-Conference at ICA; an external graduate student affiliate at the Center for Latinx Digital Media at Northwestern University; a research affiliate at the Center for Media and Society in Argentina, a Working Group coordinator at the Latin American Interdisciplinary Gender Network, and a member of the Graduate Advisory Board at the Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies at Penn.

View my CV.

  • PhD in Communication, 2022 (expected)

    University of Pennsylvania

  • MA in Communication, 2018

    University of Pennsylvania

  • BA in Communication, 2013

    Universidad de San Andres