Department of Media, Culture, and Communication


Laura Portwood-Stacer

Visiting Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication

Laura Portwood-Stacer


Updated CV (pdf download)

Portwood-Stacer's research focuses on the intersections between political identity, subculture, and everyday resistance in the context of consumer culture. Her first book, Lifestyle Politics and Radical Activism, explores everyday practices of political engagement (and the limitations of lifestyle-based tactics) among anarchist activists in the United States. The book will be available in 2013 from Bloomsbury Academic, in their Contemporary Anarchist Studies series.

Portwood-Stacer's current research examines practices of "media refusal," by individuals who choose to disconnect from various media technologies and content. The first stage of this project, published in the journal New Media & Society, explored "conspicuous non-consumption" by people who abstain from participating on the Facebook social media platform. The next stage of this project will look at media refusal as a form of protest that can best be understood as a hybrid between traditional forms of consumer resistance (e.g. boycotts) on the one hand, and labor activism (e.g. worker strikes) on the other.

Portwood-Stacer's writing has appeared in the Journal of Consumer CultureSexualities, and Feminist Theory. Beginning in 2014 she will be co-editor of the "Commentary and Criticism" feature in Feminist Media Studies. Portwood-Stacer holds a PhD in Communication, from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California (2010).

Prof. P-S can be found on Twitter (@lportwoodstacer) and she blogs about writing and teaching at

Courses Taught

Selected Publications 


MCC-UE 1032 Social Media Networking

MCC-UE 1302 Consumption, Culture, and Identity

MCC-UE 1408 Queer Identity and Popular Culture

MCC-UE 0014 Media and Cultural Analysis

MCC-UE 1015 Advertising and Society

MCC-UE 1345 Fashion and Power

MCC-UE 12.005 Senior Media Seminar: Representing Subcultures and Social Movements (Fall 2013)