Dr Karen Wilkes

Lecturer in Sociology

School of Social Sciences
0121 300 4075

Karen's research is concerned with analysing visual culture (tourist brochures of the Caribbean, advertising, television and films). Her work examines how gender, race and class work together and are represented in popular culture. Her current research is in the area of post-feminism and how the language of feminism has formed an alliance with neoliberalism, particularly in discourses of wealth and success. Her work in this area has recently been published in Feminist Review.

Areas of Expertise
  • Representation and visual analysis

  • Intersectionality (race, gender and class)

  • Postcolonial studies

  • Whiteness studies

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Committee member for the Society for Caribbean Studies
  • Researching Social Life
  • City, Community and Culture
  • Understanding Society
  • Dissertation Supervisor
  • Intersectionality
  • Visual Representations of Destination Weddings in the Caribbean
  • Neoliberalism
  • Whiteness Studies

Book chapter: From the landscape to the White female body: representations of postcolonial luxury in contemporary tourism visual texts, in Mediating the Tourist Experience (2013)


Journal article: Colluding with Neoliberalism: post-feminist subjectivities, whiteness and expressions of entitlement

Feminist Review 110 July (2015)


Book chapter: Whiteness and Postcolonial Luxury: Representations of the White Female Body in Contemporary Tourism Visual Texts in Unsettling Whiteness (2014) 


2015      Colour-coded history: Mixed race in colonial   visual culture at the Society for Caribbean Studies The Drum Intercultural Arts Centre, Birmingham   

2014       Hyperglamorous performances of whiteness: celebrating the idealised white female with Moët and Chandon champagne at the 4th Global Conference: Images of Whiteness Conference Mansfield College, The University of Oxford 

2013             Whiteness and postcolonial luxury at the 3rd Global Conference: Images of Whiteness Conference Mansfield College, The University of Oxford 

2013             From the Landscape to the Body at the 37th Annual Conference of the Society for Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick 

2009             Speaking from the Margins: A Politics of Recognition at the ECREA Diaspora, Migration and Media International Conference, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Work With Industry

Karen has previously worked at the following institutions:

  • The University of Bristol
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • The University of East London