Jenessa Williams

Jenessa Williams


I am a School-Scholarship funded PhD Student in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds.

I began my research in October 2019, and am focusing my study around the nature of ‘problematic’ music fandom in the wake of the #MeToo movement – exploring the moral dilemmas and cognitive reconciliation processes within the fanbases of musicians accused of sexual assault and/or misconduct. Within this study, I will be explicitly comparing and contrasting cases within the genres of Hip-Hop and Pop-Punk/Emo respectively, illustrating how race, gender and social convention intersects with our perceptions of victim believability, social retribution/rehabilitation and the wider idea of Cancel Culture. 

Prior to my enrolment at Leeds, I undertook a BA (Hons) degree in Music Journalism and a part-time MRes degree in Media, Communication and Culture Studies, both awarded by The University of Huddersfield.

Alongside my studies, I have spent the past ten years as a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist, and continue to write for various publications on the topics of music, race, fashion, beauty and millennial culture. My work has been published by the likes of the Guardian, NME, Readers Digest, DIY, Gal-Dem and the BBC, amongst others.

Outside of my current research interests, I am also interested in zine-making and DIY publishing, particularly within POC communities. My own zine project, Pennycress, is an annual print anthology that celebrates Creatives of Colour working in the North of England, demonstrating the need for media-centric attention on the creative arts outside of London.

Research interests

  • Music fandom
  • Millennial  ulture
  • Celebrity and power
  • Cancel culture
  • #MeToo
  • #BlackLivesMatter
  • Fourth-Wave/Intersectional/Contemporary feminism
  • Digital feminist activism
  • Social consciousness and performances of morality
  • Race, gender and sexuality
  • Music genres and subcultures


  • BA (Hons) Music Journalism, University of Huddersfield (First Class) – 2011-20114
  • MRes, Media, Communications & Cultural Studies (PT), University of Huddersfield – 2017-2019