Mehita Iqani

Associate Professor

(on sabbatical)

I was appointed Senior Lecturer in Media Studies in May 2011, and became Associate Professor in October 2015. Prior to that, I taught in the Creative and Cultural Industries MA programme at King’s College London, as well as in the Media and Communications MSc programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

My research addresses the interface between media texts and consumer culture. My work aims to deconstruct the ways in which commercial discourses promote very particular narratives of self-identity (as shaped primarily by forms of consumption and self-commoditisation), visibility and appearance (as the dominant form of public connection), and relationships of power (regulated by market exchange and the internalised gaze). I argue that one of the reasons that consumer culture has become so naturalized and ubiquitous a feature of everyday life is the role that media texts play in ‘selling’ it. As such, it is crucial to critically analyse those texts, in order to deconstruct the discursive mechanics of consumer media and give a detailed account of how neoliberal ethics are communicated in commercial media. I am currently working on a project that seeks to map the ways in which consumption in the global south is mediated, and to draw comparisons between case studies in South Africa, Brazil, China and India. This research has been funded by an NRF Thuthuka Grant (2012-2014), a Carnegie Large Research Grant for 2012 through the Carnegie Corporation Transformation Programme at Wits, an Andrew W Mellon Foundation Research Grant for Younger Scholars (2012).

Some empirical fragments and links to various analytical publications related to my first book can be found at The Newsstand Project website (see I have also been involved in establishing an interdisciplinary, national network of academic scholarship concerned with consumer culture in South Africa, the Critical Research in Consumer Culture (CRiCC) network (see which held a Symposium in November 2012, and a south-south Consumption Studies workshop in November 2013 (funded by a university SPARC grant). I have also worked collaboratively in research exploring pedagogical issues in media, communications and cultural studies with a colleague based in the UK, Dr. Anna Feigenbaum's (see


PhD in Media and Communications (London School of Economics, 2009)
Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (London School of Economics, 2011)
MA in Media Studies (University of Cape Town, 2005)
BA Honours in International Relations and English (University of the Witwatersrand, 2000)


2016. Consumption and Media in the Global South: Empowerment Contested. Palgrave-MacMillan.

2012. Consumer Culture and the Media: Magazines in the Public Eye. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan UK.

2013. Quality after the Cuts? Higher education practitioners’ accounts of systemic challenges to teaching quality in times of ‘austerity’. Journal of Further and Higher Education. With Anna Feigenbaum. (publication issue to be assigned). [British Education Index, European Reference Index for the Humanities, Pedagogical and Educational Research]

Journal Articles
2013. Just looking? Conditional freedom in practices of visual consumption at magazine newsstands. Consumption, Markets and Culture. 16.

2012. Spazas, hawkers and the status quo: Black consumption at the margins of media discourse in post-apartheid South Africa. Animus Revista Interamericana de Comunicação Midiática (Animus Interamerican Journal of Media & Communication) Special issue on Media and Consumption. 11 (22): 4-30.

2012. Smooth bodywork: the role of texture in images of cars and women on consumer magazine covers. Social Semiotics 22 (3): 311-331.

2011. Breaking the frame: Cultural motivation in the production of an online artwork - The case of BoyBlack. Critical Arts 25 (2): 207–226.

2011. Reading the newsstand: The signifiers of placelessness in London’s magazine retail sites. Space and Culture 14 (4): 1-17.

Journal Special Issue
2015. Consumption, Media and Culture in South Africa. Special Issue of Critical Arts: A South-North Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. (Co-edited with Bridget Kenny).


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