Devon Powers, PhD

Director, Communication Undergraduate Programs; Associate Professor of Communication

Devon Powers

Office: PSA 325
Phone: 215.571.3550


  • BA, Women's Studies and English, Oberlin College, 1999
  • PhD, Media Culture and Communication, New York University, 2008

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Popular Music
  • Cultural Intermediaries
  • Promotional Culture
  • 20th Century History
  • Journalism Studies


Devon Powers researches the intersections between music, history, and the circulation of culture in an attempt to understand how, why, and under what circumstances and constraints music becomes popular. Of particular interest to her is cultural intermediation – the people and processes that operate "in between" the production and consumption of culture. To this end, recent endeavors have explored the history of music journalism, music and promotional culture, popular music historiography, and music in new media environments.

An avid music consumer and fan, Powers has also worked as a freelance music journalist as well as in nonprofit public relations. She served on the 2010 program committee for the International Association of Popular Music (IASPM) - U.S., and in 2009 was named an Emerging Scholars Fellow at Franklin & Marshall College. She holds a BA (1999) in Women's Studies and English from Oberlin College and a doctorate (2008) in Media Studies from New York University.

Powers joined the Department of Culture and Communication in 2008, and commonly teaches classes on consumer culture, popular music, and media criticism.

Selected Publications

  • Blowing Up the Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture. Co-edited with Melissa Aronczyk. New York: Peter Lang, 2010.
  • Bruce Springsteen, Rock Criticism, and the Music Business: Toward a Theory and History of Hype. Popular Music and Society, 34(2): 203-219, 2011.
  • The End of New Music?: Digital Media, History, and the Idea of Attention. In The Long History of New Media; Technology, Historiography, and Contextualizing Newness, ed. Dave Park, Nicholas Jankowski, and Steve Jones, 3-20. New York: Peter Lang, 2011.
  • Rock Criticism's Public Intellectuals. Popular Music and Society, 33(4): 533-548, 2010.