María Celeste Wagner

María Celeste Wagner

Assistant Professor

University of Florida

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, where I am also an Affiliate Faculty of the Center for Latin American Studies. I received a Ph.D. in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2022. Previously, I obtained my Licenciatura (BA) in Communication from Universidad de San Andrés in Argentina in 2013, my home country, and an MA in Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018.

I study processes of media reception and influence around political and social issues, particularly intersecting gender inequalities in the Americas. Methodologically, I draw from qualitative interviewing methods, surveys, experiments and comparative approaches. Fieldwork for my research has been conducted in Argentina and the United States.

Some of my recent publications analyze the reception of Turkish television dramas in Argentina (Journal of Communication); 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 (International Journal of Communication).

I am honored to have received four awards for my dissertation research: the 2023 National Communication Association’s Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Dissertation Award, the 2023 Lynda Lee Kaid Outstanding Dissertation Award at the National Communication Association’s Political Communication Division, the 2023 Best Dissertation Award at the the National Communication Association’s International and Intercultural Communication Division and the 2023 Best Dissertation Award at the Global Communication and Social Change Division at the International Communication Association.

My book project, based on my dissertation research, is tentatively titled Situating Social Change: The Reception of Intersectional Feminism in Argentina and the United States. I analyze how two countries in the Americas with a mix of similarities and differences in key dimensions have dealt with recent transformations in communication about gender equality. Based on a cross-national analysis of over 100 interviews with feminist activists, advocates, and members of the audience, as well as survey experiments, I show the role of historical, socio-cultural, media, and movement-based factors that explain the divergent trajectories of the contemporary societal reception towards feminist ideas in both countries: embrace in Argentina and backlash in the United States.

I am currently working on a series of projects. With E. Mitchelstein, P. J. Boczkowski, and F. Suenzo, we are working on a book manuscript based on interviews, surveys and experiments during the Argentine 2019 elections, titled The Patina of Distrust: Misinformation in a Context of Generalized Skepticism, under contract with The MIT Press. Other ongoing projects study the role of survivor/victim’s racialized ethnicity and class backgrounds on news audiences responses in Argentina and the U.S.; Argentinian and U.S. feminist activists' interpretations and interventions in communication for gender equality; the role of partisanship and gender in people’s assessment of sexual harassment scandals involving politicians in the U.S. (with Jin Woo Kim), among others.

I currently teach two undergraduate classes titled “Media, Cultures and Identity” and “Gender in the media”, as well as a graduate level course on Academic Writing. I am honored to have received the 2023 Junior International Educator Award at the College of Journalism and Communication, granted by the UF’s International Center. Previously, in both Argentina and the United States, I 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 faculty affiliate at the Center for Latinx Digital Media at Northwestern University; a member of the organizing committee of the “Media & Communication in Global Latinidades” Pre-Conference at ICA; a research affiliate at the Center for Media and Society in Argentina, and a member of Digital Journalism’s Editorial Board.

My pronouns are she/ella.

View my CV.

  • PhD in Communication, 2022

    University of Pennsylvania

  • MA in Communication, 2018

    University of Pennsylvania

  • BA in Communication, 2013

    Universidad de San Andres