Bernadette Wegenstein is an Austrian-born linguist, media theorist and documentary filmmaker living in the United States since 1999. She received her PhD in Romance Languages and Linguistics from Vienna University, studied semiotics with Umberto Eco at the Università degli Studi di Bologna, anthropology at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and comparative literature and film at Stanford University. Bernadette Wegenstein is a professor of media studies at Johns Hopkins University, where she created and currently directs the Center for Advanced Media Study. She is the author of several books in the field of media studies with MIT Press, including Getting Under the Skin: Body and Media Theory, The Cosmetic Gaze: Body Modification and the Construction of Beauty, and Reality Made Over: The Culture of Reality Television Makeover Shows (Configurations special issues). She is currently working on a monograph about two women filmmakers: Jane Campion (Bloomsbury, 2021), and Naomi Kawase (Bloomsbury, 2022). Her anthology (together with Lauren Mushro) about a global feminist filmmaking tradition Radical Equalities: Global Feminist Filmmaking is forthcoming with Vernon Press, fall 2021. Her numerous articles and book chapters include most recently “Media in the Age of Apophenia: Why the Study of Media Art and Theory is More Important Today Than Ever,” inaugural contribution to MAST: The Journal of Media Art, Study and Theory ; “Ideas of Physical Beauty”, in: A History of Beauty, Volume I The Modern Age,” ed. Paul Deslandes, Bloomsbury (2021); and “Beauty Politics in the Age of #metoo,” in Beauty Politics, ed. by Maxine Craig, which is also being translated into Portuguese for the Brazilian Revista Rosa.
Bernadette Wegenstein is currently the President of the North Eastern Modern Languages Association, NeMLA, a position she will hold in 2022 during its annual conference to be held in Baltimore.