Bernadette Wegenstein

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Bernadette Wegenstein is a Research Professor and director of the Center for Advanced Media Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She has written books on media theory including Getting Under the Skin: Body and Media Theory, The Cosmetic Gaze: Body Modification and the Construction of Beauty.[1]


She received a doctorate from University of Vienna in 1998 with a thesis "Die Darstellung von Aids in den Medien : semio-linguistische Analyse und Interpretation" ("The portrayal of AIDS in the media: linguistic semiotic analysis and interpretation") Copies of the thesis are held in 3t5WorldCat libraries.[2] she subsequently became an Assistant Professor at the University of Buffalo.[3]

In her book The Cosmetic Gaze she analyzes the body as a medium of the gaze. This medium is best exemplified in Reality TV makeover shows, such as The Swan where contestants are made over and revealed with drastic changes.[4]


  • Wegenstein, Bernadette. The Cosmetic Gaze: Body Modification and the Construction of Beauty. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2012. ISBN 9780262232678 According to WorldCat, the book is held in 284 libraries [4]
    • Review, by E van Uden Women's Studies International Forum, v38 (201305/06): 151-152
  • Wegenstein, Bernadette. Getting Under the Skin: The Body and Media Theory. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2006. ISBN According to WorldCat, the book is held in 964 libraries [5]
    • Review, by Lucy Nicholas Convergence, 13, no. 3 (2007): 325-326
    • Review, by Jody Shipka JAC (Journal of Advanced Composition), v27 n3/4 (2007): 862-866 [3]

She also is a contributor to the book: re:skin edited by Mary Flanagan, and has wrtiten a number of academic articles.