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Jenessa Williams

PhD candidate, Media and Communication, University of Leeds

Jenessa Williams (she/her) is a PhD Candidate in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds. Her research specialisms are in music, race, gender, internet cultures and social media activist movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo.

She began her doctoral research in October 2019, exploring the issue of ‘problematic’ music fandom in the wake of the #MeToo movement and questioning how music fans attempt to reconcile with morally-transgressive art/artists. Within this study, Jenessa explicitly compares and contrasts online discussion within Hip-Hop and Indie/Emo communities, illustrating how race, gender and social convention intersect with perceptions of victim believability, social retribution/rehabilitation and cancel culture.

Alongside academia, Jenessa also works as a music and culture journalist, and has been published by the likes of the Guardian, NME, Readers Digest, Alternative Press, Rolling Stone UK, DIY, Gal-Dem and the BBC.


  • –present
    PhD candidate, Media and Communication, University of Leeds