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Brenda R. Weber

Brenda Weber Department Chair
Professor of Gender Studies
Adjunct Professor of American Studies, Program in Cultural Studies, Department of English; Affiliate Faculty, the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction

Send Email | (812) 856-6033


Ph.D., Miami University (Oxford), 2001


G101 – Gender, Culture, and Society
G225 – Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Culture
H299 – Gender, Representation, and Reality TV
H300 – Honors Colloquium on the Body
G304 – The Construction of Masculinities: A Survey of Manhood in the American Imagination from the 1950s Forward
G310 – Representation and the Body
G402 – A Fascination with Fame: Gender and the Culture of Celebrity
G485 – Gender and Discourse
CS601/AMST620/GS701 – Cultural Studies, the Body, and Theories of Embodiment
G602/CS701 – The Gendered Politics of Cultural Production and Criticism: Discredited Genres, Unruly Peoples, and Wayward Acts
G603 – Contemporary Debates in Feminist Theory
G701/CS701 – Gender, Media, and the Politics of Celebrity
G708 – Contested Masculinities
G714 – Gender, Race, and Media
G780 – Gender Studies Professionalism


My work engages with a wide archive of mostly discredited cultural texts, including non-canonical nineteenth-century transatlantic women's literature and contemporary media, specifically literature, film, and television. As it relates to these texts I have particular interest in how the identity is discursively gendered, constructed, and embodied through written and mediated means, as well as how gender, sex, sexuality, race, and class work together to inform notions of the "normative" self. Celebrity, masculinity, and American religious cultures have become important themes offering a framework for coherency across the many modalities in which I work.



Makeover TVMakeover TV:  Selfhood, Citizenship, and Celebrity. Duke University Press, 2009.

Women and Literary Celebrity in the Nineteenth Century:  The Transatlantic Production of Fame and Gender. Ashgate, 2012.

Reality Gendervision: Decoding Gender on Transatlantic Reality TV (editor) Duke University Press, 2014.


Latter-day Screens:  Gender, Modernity, and Mediated Mormonism. Duke University Press.

Artifice and Authenticity:  Gender, Celebrity, and Transmediation (with Julie Wilson)

Mediating Masculinity:  American Masculinity in a Post-Millennial Mediascape


"Real Moms, Reality Monsters: Transmediated Continuity, Reality Celebrity and the Female Grotesque." Co-authored with Jennifer Jones. Camera Obscura 88.1 (2015).

"Masculinity, American Modernity, and Body-Modification: A Feminist Reading of American Eunuchs." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38.3 (Spring 2013): 671-694.

“‘I Will Get Domesticated After Awhile:’  Rhetorics of Gender, Class, and Region at the Western Female Seminary, est. 1853.”  Feminist Formations (formerly National Women’s Studies Association Journal.  2012.

“Stark Raving Fat:  Celebrity, Cellulite, and the Sliding Scale of Sanity.”  Feminism & Psychology. 2012.

“Always Lonely:  Celebrity, Motherhood, and the Dilemma of Destiny.” PMLA (Publication of the Modern Languages Association).  2012.

“Reality (Celebrity) Check:  Fat, Death, and the Aging Female Body.”  Celebrity Studies.  2012.

“Masculinity, American Modernity, and Body-Modification:  A Feminist Reading of American Eunuchs.” Signs:  Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 2012.

“Toward a Genderful Pedagogy and the Teaching of Masculinity.”  Co-authored with Shaun Johnson. The Journal of Men’s Studies 19.2 Spring 2011:  138-158.

“Channeling Charlotte: Woman’s Secret and the Cult of Celebrity in Elizabeth Robins’ White Violets.”  Women’s Writing 18.4 November 2011:  486-504.

“Teaching Popular Culture Through Gender Studies:  Feminist Pedagogy in a Postfeminist and Neoliberal Academy.”  Feminist Teacher 20.2 (2010):  124-138.

“Genre Transvestites:  Testosterone Tales and Feminine Textual Bodies on Fox’s 24 and The Swan.”  With Karolyn Steffens.  The Journal of Popular Culture. 43.4 (August 2010): 860-880.

“Talking Sex, Talking Kinsey: Discursive Bodies and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.”  Australian Feminist Studies 25:64 (2010):  189-198.


"Fame Whores, Money Monsters, and Sperm Receptacles: Transmediated Continuity and the Misogynist Disciplining of Reality Celebrity Mothers." In The Television Studies Handbook. Eds., Toby Miller, Herman Gray, and Milly Buoana. Sage.

"Comedian, Covergirl, Conversationalist: Ellen Degeneres's Incorporate Body." Co- authored with Joselyn Leimbach. In Hysterical! Women in American Comedy." Eds., Linda Mizejewski and Victoria Sturtevant. University of Texas Press.

"Ambitious Women and the Threat of Monstrosity: The Politics of Popularity, Artistry, and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America." In Literary Celebrity and the Construction of Identity, 1800 - 2000. Ed, Rick Honings. Palgrave Macmillan.

"Mapping the Makeover Maze: The Contours and Contradictions of Makeover TV." Invited Submission. A Companion to Reality Television. Laurie Ouellette, ed. Wiley-Blackwell.

"Reluctant Celebrity: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fanny Fern, and the Transatlantic Flow of Gender and Fame." In Transatlantic Authors in the Nineteenth Century, Briggitte Bailey, ed. University Press of New England. 2012.

"Puerile Pillars of the Frat Pack: Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, and Ben Stiller." Invited submission, Movie Stars of the 2,000s. Murray Pomerance, ed. Rutgers University Press. Forthcoming 2011. 20 pp.

"From All-American Mom to Super Bitch from Hell: Kate Gosselin and the Classed and Gendered Politics of Reality Celebrity." Invited submission, Reality Television and Class. Helen Wood and Beverly Skeggs, eds. British Film Institute, 2011: 156-168.

"Imperialist Projections: Manners, Makeovers, and Models of Nationality" in Women on Screen: Feminism and Femininity in Visual Culture. Melanie Waters, ed. Palgrave MacMillan, 2011: 136-152.

"In Desperate Need (of a Makeover): The Neoliberal Project, the Design Expert, and the Social Body in Distress" in Mediating Disaster: Old and New Media After Katrina. Diane Negra, ed. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010: 175-201.