Sarah Banet-Weiser Headshot

Sarah Banet-Weiser, Ph.D.

Sarah Banet-Weiser Headshot
  • Walter H. Annenberg Dean
  • Lauren Berlant Professor of Communication
  • Research Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Sarah Banet-Weiser’s teaching and research interests include gender in the media, citizenship, consumer culture, popular media, and race and the media. 

Sarah Banet-Weiser, the Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, is also its Lauren Berlant Professor of Communication. In addition, she is a research professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the founding director of the Center for Collaborative Communication at the Annenberg Schools (C3). 

Her teaching and research interests include gender in the media, identity, citizenship, and cultural politics, consumer culture and popular media, race and the media, and intersectional feminism. Committed to intellectual and activist conversations that explore how global media politics are exercised, expressed, and perpetuated in different cultural contexts, she has authored or edited eight books, including Believability: Sexual Violence, Media, and the Politics of Doubt (Polity Press, 2023), the award-winning Authentic™: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture (NYU Press, 2012), Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny (Duke, 2018), and dozens of peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and essays. In 2019-2020, she had a regular column on popular feminism in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Her research is deeply interdisciplinary, as is her scholarly editorial work. She was formerly the editor of the flagship journal of the American Studies Association, American Quarterly, as well as co-editor of the International Communication Association journal, Communication, Culture, Critique, and was the founding co-editor of the New York University Press book series, Critical Cultural Communication Studies. Banet-Weiser has been the recipient of international fellowships and visiting professorships at, among others, the Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme in Paris, France; the Gulbenkian Foundation and the University of Portugal in Lisbon, Portugal; Microsoft Research New England (the social media collective); and McGill University in Montreal (Media@McGill Scholar). She is also a Fellow of the International Communication Association.

Banet-Weiser is the recipient of scholarly and mentoring awards, including the Constance Rourke Prize for Best Article in American Quarterly, and the Mellon Graduate Student Mentoring Award. She is a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the Center for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Southern California. She was formerly a Professor and Head of Department at the London School of Economics after 19 years in the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California, where she was Professor, Vice Dean, and the Director of the School of Communication.


  • B.A., University of California, San Diego, 1989
  • M.A., University of California, San Diego, 1992
  • Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1995

Selected Publications