Skip to main content

Steve Wiley

Assoc Professor

Department of Communication

Winston Hall 101A

View CV 


Stephen Wiley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University. He received his B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College, his master’s in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and his Ph.D. in Communication Research from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Wiley’s work examines how globalization shapes subjectivity, agency, and sense of place—in other words, how people understand who they are, where they belong, and what they are able to do.  His primary research method is ethnography, and he has carried out numerous field research projects in Latin America during the last 30 years, particularly in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico.  He first travelled to Chile in 1985 as an undergraduate student to conduct life-history interviews with leaders of the opposition to the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.  In 1986 he carried out a video project on Chilean Canto Nuevo, a folk-protest music movement that played a significant role in sustaining opposition to the Pinochet regime.  Following a year studying communication and political theory in Argentina in 1987, Wiley returned to Chile in 1988 to carry out research for a master’s thesis on the Chilean No campaign, the successful effort to reject General Pinochet’s bid to remain in power.  In the mid-1990s, he went back to Chile again, this time to interview key figures in the new democratic government and the Chilean media.  This study became his Ph.D. dissertation, a study of how Chilean media and communication technologies changed in the years following military rule.  His dissertation argued that we should see Chile as a “transnation”—a cultural space in which the nation is formed out of transnational flows of migration, money, information, and ideas.

In 2008, Wiley was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting faculty member at the Universidad de Concepción in southern Chile, where he carried out ethnographic fieldwork to see the effects of globalization on ordinary people’s sense of place in the city of Concepción. He returned in 2012 and 2018 to conduct follow-up research with the same participants.

Wiley’s work has appeared in journals such as Cultural Studies, Communication Theory, Subjectivity, and Media, Culture & Society.  He is co-editor, with Jeremy Packer, of a special issue of The Communication Review (2010) on communication and mobility; and a book, Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility, and Networks (Routledge, 2012).  He is working on a book titled Becoming global: Transnational connectivty, subjectivity, and agency in Concepción, Chile.

Steve Wiley is married to Myriam Bascuñan and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.  They have three sons: Rodrigo, Nicholas, and Daniel.

Office Hours

  • Mon: 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Wed: 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Or By Appointment

Research Publications

Elam, J., and Wiley, S.B.C. (2020). Subjectivation in the making: The Hybrid logics of productivity and play in the university makerspace. Chapter in Hybrid Play: Crossing Boundaries in Game Design, Player Identities and Play Spaces, edited by Adriana de Souza e Silva and Ragan Glover-Rijkse (Routledge).

Wiley, S. B. C., and Moreno, T. (2020). El devenir global del sujeto: Medios, movilidades, y redes sociales de la juventud chilena, 2008-2018 (The Becoming global of the subject: Media, mobilities, and social networks of Chilean youth, 2008-2018). La Deleuziana 2020(1): 150-163. ISSN: 2421-3098.

Wiley, S.B.C., and Elam, Jessica (2018). Synthetic Subjectivation. Subjectivity 11(13): 203-227.

Wiley, S. B. C., and Wise, J. Macgregor (2018). Guattari and Deleuze in Cultural Studies.  Cultural Studies (online first).

Packer, J. & Wiley, S. B. C. (2012). Strategies for materializing communication. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 9(1): 107-113.

Packer, J., and Wiley, S. B. C. (Eds.) (2012). Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility, and Networks. London and New York: Routledge.

Packer, J., and Wiley, S. B. C. (2012). The Materiality of communication.  In J. Packer, and S. B. C. Wiley (Eds.), Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility, and Networks. London and New York: Routledge.

Wiley, S. B. C., Moreno, T. & Sutko, D. (2012). Assemblages, networks, subjects: A Materialist approach to the production of social space. In J. Packer and S. B. C. Wiley (Eds.), Communication matters: Materialist approaches to media, mobility, and networks. London and New York: Routledge.

Wiley, S. B. C., and Packer, J. (Eds.) (2010).  Communication and Mobility. Special issue of Communication Review 13(4).

Wiley, S. B. C. & Packer, J. (2010). Rethinking communication after the mobilities turn. The Communication Review, 13(4), 263-268. doi:10.1080/10714421.2010.525458

Wiley, S. B. C., Sutko, D. M. & Moreno Becerra, T. (2010). Assembling social space. The Communication Review, 13(4), 340-372. doi:10.1080/10714421.2010.525482

Wiley, S. B. C. (2007). Identification, please: Communication and control in an online learning environment. Kairos 11(2). Online:

Wiley, S. B. C. (2006). Transnation: Globalization and the reorganization of Chilean television in the early 1990s. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 50(3), 400-420.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2006). Assembled agency: Media and hegemony in the Chilean transition to civilian rule. Media, Culture & Society 28(5), 671–693.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2005). Spatial materialism: Grossberg’s Deleuzean cultural studies. Cultural Studies, 19, 63-99.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2004). Rethinking nationality in the context of globalization. Communication Theory, 14, 78-96.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2003). Nation as transnational assemblage: Three moments in Chilean media history. In J. D. Slack (Ed.), Animations (of Deleuze and Guattari) (pp. 129-62). New York and Oxford: Peter Lang.

Wiley, S. B. C. (2002). Anonymity, botulism, and counterfeit Russians. In C. M. Anson (Ed.), The WAC casebook: Scenes for faculty reflection and program development (pp. 156-68). New York: Oxford University Press.

Wiley, S. B. C. (1996). Death (an assemblage). Cultural Studies: A Research Volume, 1,

Wiley-Crofts, S. (S. B. C. Wiley) (1991). Social semiosis and authoritarian legitimacy: Television in Pinochet’s Chile, Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 10, 239-55.


B.A. Sociology and Anthropology Swarthmore College 1986

M.A. Latin American Studies University of Texas at Austin 1993

Ph.D. Communication University of Illinois at Urbana-Champgaign 1999

Area(s) of Expertise

My research explores subjectivity and agency in the context of globalization. People are becoming more mobile through travel and migration, and their social relations are becoming more extensive and distantiated (including family relations, friendships, and work relations). At the same time, we are more connected to others and more immersed in global media. In this context, is our sense of place changing? To what extent do we continue to understand ourselves, and others, in terms of traditional definitions of place, such as the city, the state, or the nation? To what extent are new experiences and understandings of place and territory emerging? My research, which is based most recently on fieldwork in Concepción, southern Chile, examines social space and place as a composition of social ties, geographical mobilities, and discourse networks. I am interested in how these three aspects position subjects and shape collective and individual agency.